Council Members Romero, Kozachik Want to End Town West Development Agreement

December 6, 2012

By Teya Vitu

City Council members Regina Romero and Steve Kozachik have jointly asked the City Manager and City Attorney to end the five-year-old development agreement for the city-owned property across from the Steinfeld Warehouse.

The lot in question is across from the Steinfeld Warehouse (right).

This is the former railroad loading dock bounded by Stone Avenue, Franklin Street, 9th Avenue and 6th Street. Since 2007, the proposed El Mirador hotel and condo development has been tied to the site but no construction ever started.

The two council members sent a memo to City Manager Richard Miranda and City Attorney Mike Rankin on Nov. 19 “requesting that you proceed with canceling the development agreement with Town West.”

This move comes as no surprise as at the Sept. 11 City Council meeting Romero and Kozachik were forthright in wanting to see a new request for proposal process for the lot that now serves as a city parking lot.

The council on that date unanimously denied Town West request to extend the zoning for that property after Town West in recent times shifted gears to propose student housing for that property.

“At the time the development agreement happened, there was no real process for RFPs,” Romero said Nov. 28. “It’s only fair after five years to be able to open it up and cancel the development agreement.”

Romero and Kozachik are asking for the steps that need to be taken to cancel the development agreement and put out a new request for proposals. They would like to establish a committee to assemble a vision for the property and also possibly review the proposals, Romero said.

Town West’s zoning for retail, office, family dwelling and hotel expired on Nov. 26 and reverted to industrial.

Town West’s 2007 El Mirador proposal called for three joined towers rising seven, 11 and 15 stories with about 235 hotel rooms, 150 condos and a brewpub. Town West had shelved El Mirador a couple years ago to focus on student housing – but had never officially told the City about this shift.