Well a few interesting tidbits from the city council meeting today.
First of all, the city agreed to sell The Sheraton and adjacent parking garage to David Taylor and CIM Group for 130M dollar. Of that money, the city is expecting a profit of about 45M. Not too shabby.
50% of that money will go to a fund for subsidies for Taylor and CIM projects. I still don't know how I feel about this. I'm all for a portion of the money staying downtown, but I don't like it pigeon-holed for Taylor and CIM.
I really do like Taylor and what he has done, but I not sure I feel it is right to earmark it just for him and CIM. Then again, he is one of the only people to really take risks and finish major projects in downtown recently.
There is a time line mentioned when projects need to come forward, so we'll see how that plays out. The first proposal is due within 150 days. My guess is it will be the 10th and K housing project that has been in the works for a while now.
What I did like was some actual real questions be asked about this and some healthy debate. There were several council members very uneasy about this and asked many very good questions. I don't view council votes 9-0 or 8-1 all the time a good thing as Fargo as does. A little dissent and arguing isn't a bad thing.
Of the remaining amount, 25% would go to the 'City Economic Uncertainty Reserve Fund' (or something like that) that would be used when budget problems occur, such as..um, right now!! Kinda like a rainy day fund as someone said. The other 25% to the city Parking Garage Fund
With that 50% that is marked for subsides, these projects were outlined as possibilities. Interesting to see 601 Capitol Mall on there (aka Aura).
I have some ideas of something I would like to see happen on K Street, of which I am going to try and get out this week to get some photos I need.
1. Property Location: 1012-1022 K Street
Project during the planning process will consist of rehabilitation of existing or construction of new buildings to provide space for Active Retail, with potentially office or residential uses on top floors. Ground floor tenants must be approved by the Agency and are expected to include restaurant, retail, and/or entertainment venues. It is too early in the process to fully define the Project; the actual uses will be determined during the planning process, and the following objectives will be considered.
• Retail tenants which are expected to bring activity to this block on evenings and weekends.
• Ground floor uses that are destination oriented, activate K Street, and further the goal of creating an entertainment district on this portion of the K Street Mall.
• Uses in these buildings that create foot traffic and a vibrancy that supports the current neighboring entertainment uses such as the Crest Theater, Pyramid Brewery, the IMAX Theater, and the Cosmopolitan Cabaret.
2. Property Location: 920-930 K Street
Located on the southwest corner of 10th and K Streets, the site may be redeveloped to include transient and/or residential occupancy over some combination of ground floor restaurant, entertainment, and retail uses. Actual components will be determined by the Developer and the Agency during the planning process, and the following objectives will be considered:
• Restaurant, retail, and entertainment uses which are expected to be active and provide energy to the corner of 10th and K Streets.
• Any hotel component would be of a quality and type that is affordable to and appeals to a younger business person.
• Potential for penthouse residences or condos, if feasible and market demand exists.
• Buildings of high quality architecture and urban design.
3. Property Location: 601 Capitol Mall
Potential Scope of Redevelopment: Principal improvements would include approximately 410,000 gross sq.ft. of residential and retail space (not including 110,000 gross sq.ft. of parking); 175-270 for-sale residential units; approximately 260 parking stalls; and not less than 5,000 sq.ft. and up to approximately 11,700 sq.ft. of retail space on the ground level.
4. Property Location: 830 K Street
Potential Scope of Redevelopment: Principal improvements would include approximately 22,800 net sq.ft. of either residential or office space (2nd and 3rd levels), and 10,195 net sq.ft. of retail space (ground level).
An interest note also came out in the form of Tony Giannoni whle speaking in favor of selling the Sheraton, also said he would be coming to the city with a proposal on K Street in the next month or two.
Not sure where Giannoni owns property other than 15th and K. Maybe he and Taylor are going to partner on something in which they can tap the 50% set aside for Taylor projects?
Either way I'm sure was all for what ever brings more reinvestment money in downtown since I'm sure his property in the area would increase as more investments are made.
I emailed Bob Shalitt at the Bee to sick him on this, so we'll see what he finds out.
Also on the agenda was the approval of the final design for the K Street Streetscape Improvements. Construction is expected to begin toward the end of summer, with the St Rose of Lima Park upgrade (which I really like)to begin after the Holiday Ice Rink season is over.
If you have not seen them yet, click on the staff report to view renderings. Here a couple I picked out though.
I do think until the 700 and 800 block is settled, this is 'lipstick pig on a pig', but I guess you have to start somewhere.