Laserfiche WebLink
could result in one proposal for the entire area with a single development team or multiple development <br />teams on smaller footprints. He said the RFQ would be out for 60 days followed by the council’s selection <br />of a development team or teams. He said that securing purchase options on a majority of the important <br />pieces of property along West Broadway was a significant achievement and stressed that the City was under <br />no obligation to actually purchase any of the properties; it simply had the option to purchase them within the <br />option periods. <br /> <br />Ms. Taylor asserted that the development of Broadway Place was supposed to solve all the problems of <br />downtown. She asked if the City received tax money from the commercial portion of the project, which was <br />mostly empty. Mr. Braud replied that the commercial portion was paying taxes; only the housing portion of <br />the project received an exemption. He said the commercial space was 50 to 60 percent filled. <br /> <br />Ms. Taylor asked how long ago the City purchased the Sears site. Mr. Braud replied it had been 12 years. <br /> <br />Ms. Taylor stated she was hesitant to purchase a lot of properties and let them sit empty. She preferred <br />incremental to comprehensive development and was not interested in a “theme park” in downtown. She was <br />disturbed about staff taking action without the consent of the council. She was concerned about voting to <br />seek information and having that translated to mean something else was approved. She asked who <br />composed the URA as she thought that was the council, but the council did not discuss whether it wanted to <br />secure the options. <br /> <br />City Manager Taylor replied that the council was the URA board of directors and he was the URA director. <br />He said within the general guidelines of the URA plan and budget approved by the council he had secured <br />the purchase options; council direction would determine how the options were used. He underscored that the <br />options only represented an interesting redevelopment possibility and staff was seeking direction from the <br />council on how the Downtown Plan might be implemented consistent with the vision and in a timely manner. <br /> <br />Ms. Taylor said that the council was the URA and some members did not even know the options process <br />was happening. She said Scan Design was a successful business in downtown and, while it did not own the <br />building it was in, she questioned why the City would want to threaten its existence by securing options to <br />buy the property. Mr. Braud explained that staff had made offers to all of the property owners that were <br />part of the original footprint proposed for the Connor and Woolley/Opus project. He stressed that they were <br />willing property sellers and he did not feel the City was putting any businesses out on the street as staff had <br />worked closely with the owners to ensure a transition period for any tenants. <br /> <br />Ms. Taylor said the businesses would go elsewhere and leave more empty buildings. She said her concern <br />was that Scan Design had been a successful business in that location for a long time and instead of trying to <br />make it move the City should do everything to keep it there. <br /> <br />Ms. Solomon said it was her understanding that Scan Design did not have to move; it would be their choice. <br />Mr. Braud agreed. <br /> <br />Ms. Solomon said she did not see the City’s actions as a threat to Scan Design’s existence. She asked if the <br />City would recover the cost of options through reimbursement from the development team once that team <br />was selected. Mr. Braud said he was not certain how that would occur until there were proposals in hand. <br />He said options could be assigned to another party and that would be the preferred method of disposing of <br />them; the other party could then act on the options and purchase properties. He said there could be a <br /> <br /> <br />MINUTES—Eugene City Council November 27, 2006 Page 4 <br /> Work Session <br /> <br />