However, the City has been waiting to complete the downtown strategy plan before disposing of the land. In a report, City Manager Diane Hunter writes that the most interesting offer so far has been from the Pomeroy Group, who envisions a combined retail/hotel/residential development. She also recommends consulting the community before deciding to sell the land.
Similarly, the City has been waiting for a formal plan for development of the downtown area before looking for interest in the vacant lot on 100 Avenue between 100 Street and 98 Street. It was purchased for $165,000 in 2009, and is currently used for private parking, but is not maintained by the City. At the time the intention was to turn it into a long term lease parking lot for downtown business workers.
The City has been approached twice by the owners of Mings Kitchen, who are interested in building a large restaurant with parking. However, Hunter says this plan “would destroy the streetscape of the area and negatively impact our downtown.” While a parking lot could still be part of the plan, there are a number of other options.
Requests for Expressions of Interest for both lots have been drawn up. If and when that happens, council will be a given the opportunity to short list proposals, and weigh options, before considering putting out Requests for Proposals.