Multiple attempts by developers to build on the city hall parking lot have failed, but Commissioner Tom Green wants to try again.
At the city commission meeting on May 24, Green brought the issue up. He said he was tired looking at the retention pond on the property and thinks it could be valuable to the city if the entire lot were redeveloped. “I would like to get this back into discussion. Let’s get this back in the public consciousness.”
Green said he would like to see a mixed-use development built on the property and include retail space, residential units, a plaza or open space and possibly a parking garage. He added that the tennis courts would remain intact. The plaza, he said, would be a space for residents and visitors to meet.
Commissioner Julie Carson said she agreed with Green wanting to redevelop the property and said the city could “develop it the way we want.”
In 2013, one firm proposed a mixed-use development to include between 120 and 280 residential units, 13,000 sq. ft. of retail and restaurant space, a rooftop pool and garden, 1.2-acre plaza and between 300 and 620 parking spaces in a four-story parking garage.
Another developer wanted to build a hotel but, after a closer look, decided he didn’t want to risk investing time and money in a proposal that might not be approved by the commission. The hotel would have been between seven and nine stories high with 80 to 100 rooms. A 440-space parking garage, two acres of open space and commercial space for at least one restaurant was also planned.
Previous concerns about redeveloping the property, expressed by residents, have included the impact it would have on neighboring Hagen Park and the creation of a canyon effect on Wilton Drive – too many high buildings next to each other.
Mayor Gary Resnick said the issue needs to be discussed further at a public meeting outside of the commission so the city can “flesh it out further.”