City officials discuss future redevelopment along St. George Boulevard – St George News
ST. GEORGE- Parcels of city-owned property around 100 West and St. George Boulevard are being considered for future redevelopment by the St. George City Council.
It remains to be seen exactly what this development will look like as officials prepare to invite developers to submit their own vision for the town center plot.
One of the council’s overall goals for the area is to see it become an additional commercial attraction and gathering place in downtown St. George.
St. George Council met in business Thursday afternoon to discuss the future of city-owned parcels west of Ancestor Square on St. George Boulevard. This covered the former location of the St. George Inn, which was demolished earlier this year, as well as some businesses currently residing on the block next door. This includes Premiere Auto, Oakes Family Auto and Hooray! Engraving.
Shirlayne Quayle, the town’s director of economic vitality and housing, gave council a brief history of the town’s recent involvement in the area. It all started in the winter of 2016 when the city purchased the lots where the former St. George Inn and Bicycle Collective once resided.
The original plans for the property fell through, with the city buying the parcels where the car dealerships and the engraving shop are located between 2020 and 2021.
Following the additional purchases, the City Council met in the spring of 2021 to discuss its plans for the property.
“Board consensus is that they would like to generate new revenuebut more importantly, to meet the needs of the community and create a level of convenience or people wanting to visit downtown,” according to minutes taken from the council meeting. March 4, 2021, meetingg.
The ongoing redevelopment and revitalization of downtown St. George has been an ongoing project for city officials for decades. The construction of the mixed-use building played a role in this regard. City view and Place Joule projects, as well as the creation of the St. George Children’s Museum and the renovation of electric theater nearly a decade ago.
City officials have believed for a long time that while the downtown is not attractive and bustling with activity, it serves as an overall reflection of the state of the city as a whole.
Another mixed-use project has been proposed by developers for the corner of 300 West and St. George Boulevard that was tabled at a recent City Council meeting due to height issues.
One of the purposes of Thursday’s board business meeting was to provide Quayle with general guidelines for a “request for proposal,” or RFP, that could be issued to interested developers.
According Investopedia.coman RFP is described as “a business document that announces a project, describes it, and solicits bids from qualified contractors to carry it out.”
Councilwoman Danielle Larkin – who attended the meeting electronically due to illness – said whatever project takes hold in the area should help energize and reinvigorate downtown St. George and also provide the greatest possible use of the property.
The project is also expected to focus more on commercial businesses than downtown housing, Councilman Jimmie Hughes said. This would be the opposite of mixed-use projects like Joule Plaza and City View, which have commercial and office space on the first floor of their buildings and apartments on the upper floors.
“Housing is not going to be our No. 1 ask,” Hughes said.
Councilor Gregg McArthur suggested the project could be tied to neighboring Ancestor Square and also echoed Hughes’ words about maintaining a low-priority housing component. McArthur and Mayor Michele Randall said the entire property should stay together as one cohesive unit, rather than potentially being split into two halves with 100 West as the dividing line.
Towards the end of the discussion, the board agreed that keeping the RFP as broad as possible to invite innovation and variety of proposals was the best route to ownership. Quayle said she would soon be able to send out the RFP with a deadline set around early November.
“The main goal is to get something great downtown,” McArthur said.
Randall said she expects a good response to the RFP, as more than 70 parties have already expressed interest in redevelopment of the property.
“I’m glad so many people are interested,” she said. “We’re climbing.”
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