City Council supports Peters Creek and downtown development

City Council supports Peters Creek and downtown development
September 27
03:00 2018

Last week, the City Council agreed to support new development projects at Peters Creek Parkway and Innovation Quarter and named a building after former City Council Member Joycelyn Johnson.

These were just some of the consent agenda items that were approved in the City Council’s Sept. 17 meeting. The council unanimously approved giving $600,000 to the Shalom Project’s Peters Creek Community Initiative (PCCI) to help with the $1.2 million acquisition of Budget Inn, which has been a source of blight and crime for years on Peters Creek Parkway. PCCI is collaborating with the North Carolina Housing Foundation and the National Development Council to transform the property into 60 residential units and about 4,000 square feet of community facility space.

City Council Member Dan Besse, who represents the Southwest Ward, said the project will create needed affordable housing in the area that’s close to stores and employment opportunities.

“This is one of those genuine transformational projects,” said Besse during a committee meeting earlier this month. “This has been a problem property for decades and it is in an area where there is already not enough workforce affordable housing.”

The city’s funds are contingent on PCCI getting the other $600,000 needed to buy the property and the additional funds to demolish the hotel.  The nonprofit has approached the county for the rest of the funds to acquire the property. PCCI plans for other funding for the project to come from foundations, lending institutions and eventually Low Income Housing Tax Credits.

The city’s funds come from various sources with $200,000 from 2014 bonds, $100,000 in Revitalizing Urban Commercial Areas (RUCA) funds and $300,000 from the Housing Finance Assistance Fund.

City Council Member Derwin Montgomery, who is also one of The Chronicle’s co-owners,  proposed replenishing the Housing Finance Assistance Fund using  money from a $532,100 sale of city-owned properties at Eighth and Ninth streets that the council also voted on last week. This substitute motion divided the council, with opponents saying they shouldn’t be earmarking revenues outside of the budget process. It was an evenly split vote, with Council Members Montgomery, Besse, James Taylor and Denise Adams in favor and John Larson, Robert Clark, Jeff MacIntosh and Vivian Burke opposed. Mayor Allen Joines cast a tie breaking vote in opposition, saying that he felt that there were better long-term ways to replenish the fund, like allocating a portion of tax revenue for it. Immediate plans are to reimburse the expenditure with 2018 housing development bond money, if that bond is approved by voters. The sale of the properties then passed 7-1, with Montgomery voting against it.

The City Council unanimously approved an incentive of up to $522,725 over seven years to Front Street Capital as part of its redevelopment of Bailey South and the adjacent Morris Building into 100,000 square feet of office and retail space. The project constitutes a $25 million capital investment. Front Street reached an agreement with the city to use 180 spaces in the Fourth, Church, Chestnut Parking Deck. One hundred thirty of those spaces are currently designated for city vehicles.  The incentive offsets the cost of building a 225-space parking lot that’ll be used by the city to compensate for the loss of the deck spaces. The lot will be leased to the city for at least three years as it looks for a long-term parking solution. The city plans to continue using the current deck through Nov. 1, 2019.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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