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City Commission Work Session Minutes - October 14, 2021

Present Mayor Phil Anderson; Commissioners Marty Sullivan, Sheila DeCiccio, Carolyn Cooper and Todd Weaver; City Manager Randy Knight; City Clerk Rene Cranis

Also Present Division Director of Office of Management and Budget Peter Moore; John Rife, Founder, East End Market; and Wade Miller.

1) Call to Order Mayor Anderson called the meeting to order at 1:06 p.m.

2) Discussion Item(s) a. Old Library Site Reuse Discussion & Exchange Concept Proposal Mayor Anderson stated the primary goal is to understand a prior presentation on a proposal for future use of the old library.

Commissioner Cooper provided details on The Exchange, a collaboration of community members including Mr. Rife and Mr. Miller, which was designed to enhance community space and arts and culture in the city. She said that if this is to be sustainable there must be a component that generates revenue.

John Rife began the discussion posing the question of whether refurbishing the building will provide the “sandbox” to further arts and cultural opportunities or whether it is better to sell and develop something elsewhere. He spoke on the need to support local entrepreneurship that gives the city a sense of place, but there has to be a balance between paying the bills and using city infrastructure and assets to further the strategic vision of the city. He explained that providing temporary space or short-term leased spaces for start-ups on the first floor would generate revenue; however, the building doesn't justify market rent in its current condition.

Mr. Miller said the building presents the opportunity to create something different that the city can be known for and a sense of diversity in people and community. He spoke on the cost to retrofit the building and issuing an RFP.

Mr. Knight agreed that an RFP is needed but the first step is identifying the true cost to retrofit building to code and ADA standards and make it tenant-ready.

Mayor Anderson spoke on the costs to renovate the building and parking for tenants. He believes the city would need to invest significant funds to attract a market-based tenant who can handle its own improvements.

Discussion followed on the potential costs, funding, level of improvements, and providing a location for start-ups.

Mayor Anderson addressed the parameters of the RFP and questioned whether a developer would want to take this on at a potential cost of approximately $6M.

Commissioner Cooper spoke about parking requirements and calculations and presented data suggesting that controlling the use of upper floors could reduce parking needs and costs by avoiding the need for a parking garage. She feels that the first floor should be used to lure visitors and the top floors used for arts and culture. Discussion followed on parking needs, options and cost.

Mr. Miller and Mr. Rife left the meeting at 2:15 p.m.

The following questions were raised and discussed: traffic impact and parking needs which will be driven by square footage utilization, the amount the city wants to invest (start with RFP with no investment from the city or partial investment by the city), funding sources and timing; gaps in space needs; city becoming landlord for another building or having a single tenant who would manage other tenants.

Discussion returned to the parameters of the RFP, use and parking. Mayor Anderson suggested placing this on a future agenda to discuss how to gauge community acceptance and on how much money the city wants to invest in improvements before moving forward with an RFP. Approved by consensus.

The meeting adjourned at 2:32 p.m.

Posted to on December 28, 2021.

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