After stumbling to find interested developers, the Development Advisory Committee (DAC) will be looking to bring stakeholders together and forge a path forward on a key property for downtown redevelopment.
Committee members voted unanimously Wednesday during their meeting to draft letters regarding state-owned property adjacent to Capital City Plaza Hotel, 405 Wilkinson Blvd. They would be looking to bring owners of the hotel, YMCA representative, the state’s finance and administration secretary, city manager and city planner together in one room to collaborate on a plan to attract developers.
Keith Parker, co-interim city manager, was tasked with organizing the meeting.
“We’re going to try to bring all the parties together in order to say that if we want to make it economically viable, we need to show our hands,” he said. “We need to come together so we can figure out how to get it in the hands of a private developer and on the tax rolls.”
Parker was also instructed to send a letter to Finance and Administration Cabinet Secretary William Landrum to postpone any response to the city’s previous position that a modification needed to be made on the property to attract developers.
Parker said that the state currently owns the property and wants DAC to find private developers in order to generate tax revenue for school, city, county and state projects. However, some of the stipulations attached to the property — like a requirement of a 150-car, covered parking deck — did not pan out to be desirable to investors.
Out of more than 120 requests for information (RFI) sent out by the city to potential developers, only two responded, Parker said. The city manager at the time met with the prospective developers and then drafted a letter to Landrum that the current requirements did not create a reasonable economic return for development.
DAC members will be asking that Landrum hold off on his suggestions until they can meet with the hotel and YMCA leadership to discuss possibilities of crafting a more alluring offer. That could include tax incentives or other properties for development.
During the meeting, DAC members heard proposals from the public of possibly increasing the hotel tax an additional 1 percent to help fund development.