Ok tons of information to go through here so let's get started. This is from the July 10th Advisory Board Meeting. Oh on a side note, are you guys tired of this smoky air like I am? I went into the CAC meeting with dry red burning eyes and seriously bad allergy problems; the committee probably thought I looked on the verge of death lol.
1. Farmer's Market - The farmer's market was an amazing success for its opening day. Kudos has to go to the Redevelopment Agency for putting this event together and filling the plaza up with farmers in a matter of only three weeks. 4 more farmers have signed on for this coming Friday. So how successful was it? Well apparently, unlike other farmers' markets, people came to this one to shop for food, not browse, or just come for the event. One farmer sold 25 pounds of tomatoes in just 15 minutes. Lattin Farms, where I got my salsa and wild blueberry loaf, reported more sales in the 4 hours that night than they had in their regional stores in a week. Needless to say, us downtowners like our local-grown foods! Don't forget, this Friday will be even larger, and surely you are running low on whatever you bought last Friday, like me.
2. 10 North Virginia St. Retail - A final developer is expected to be presented to the CAC (before going to Council) by the end of August. I'll be there!
3. Post Office Project - The post office building portion of this project has run into a bit of a snag, so the Redevelopment Agency is going to work with the Post Office to separate the post office river-front plaza from the retail portion. This is because of two reasons - First, the new location requirements the post office turned into the Redevelopment Agency were a bit more than what they expected, because the post office is injecting a 10-year growth projection into their space requirements....so they need a minimum 3 acre parcel, somewhere within the zone of downtown, and expand from their current 30-something parking spaces up to over 100, among other space requirements. The second snag is the Memorandum of Understanding that the post office drafted for the RDA was substantially different than the MOU the RDA drafted for the post office, and the short of it is, the project as current proposed by the post office would be financially unfeasible; so its back to the drawing board for this one; however the project and concept isn't dead, and still considered an active project. Mark Lewis, as I mentioned before, predicted some bumps in the road for this project, and termed it as a 'longer term' project.
4. Triple AAA Baseball Stadium - Here's some encouraging news. Mark Lewis mentioned 3 studies supporting a Triple AAA Baseball stadium downtown. One studied the overall economics of Triple AAA baseball, one studied specifically downtown Triple AAA stadiums, and focused on Oklahoma City's downtown ATT Bricktown Park as an example.
Two final locations are pretty much in the cards, one is the Freight House area, off of Evans and 2nd Streets, and the other would be at Grand Sierra Resort. Now I don't want to say that Mark Lewis had a favorite preferably location between the two, but her certainly talked more about the Freight House location than the GSR location. He mentioned RDA will be asking the Council the feasibility of relocating the Fire Station and initiate other planning processes that would be necessary to locate the park at the Freight House property. There are 4 parcels involved, and the City owns two of them, which is a big plus. This would include acquiring two private parcels, one is an empty lot Siena Communities recently purchased as part of the Freight House Lofts plan, and the other is the motel located directly behind that parcel...kind of tucked way behind the Freight House building and the empty lot. He mentioned they will be actively engaging those two property owners and I 'think' all of this will go before the council for discussion on August 2nd. A couple committee members mentioned the Freight House area would be ideal for this, and are behind the project 110%.
5. Beautification Projects - This is broken down into several sub-projects
A. Virginia Street Gateway Project - This affects Virginia Street from 7th to 9th where the University is. Gillian mentioned UNR is tinkering with idea of buying up all the old motels on this strip, nd renovating and converting them to student housing. What a cool idea! I hope UNR does it. There is also an art component to this project but I didn't catch what it was, or it hasn't been decided yet.
B. Virginia Street Pilot LIghting Project - This is between Pueblo and Mt Rose on Virginia, near the Stremmel Gallery. This will be candy-cane style lighting that is found on the recently completed beautification of Virginia Street from 1st to 4th Streets, and on portions of First, and Second Streets, etc. Expected completion date,
C. Public Art - This will include the installation of 10 new bike racks that are somehow artsy (no finalized concepts yet), which will go everywhere from from West Street, in front of City Hall, in front of the public library, 2 riverwalk sites etc. The other part of this public art project will be decorating and painting 20 traffic signal boxes downtown
D. Streetscape of Virginia Street - Complete! What a pretty street this is now, with the hanging baskets, the multitude of banners up everywhere and the trees. It reminds of a small-town 'Main Street'.