Nebraska– Omaha’s Riverfront Revitalization Planning Committee is proposing a $290 million plan to revitalize the city’s downtown riverfront. The master plan includes a walking promenade stretching to the Missouri River, spacious lawns, an ice skating rink, water plaza and dog park.
The project will create a 90-acre park along the Gene Leahy Mall and river, from the marina near the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge south to The Breakers apartment complex at Leavenworth Street. The city’s philanthropic community has verbally dedicated more than $150 million and the city plans to issue $50 million in lease-purchase bonds for the project. Construction will depend on permitting and approvals but could begin as early as mid-2019 with estimated completion in 2022.
California– The former Los Angeles Police Department headquarters, Parker Center, will soon be developed into a new Civic Center Building. The total cost of the project is now slated at $708 million. The city’s Municipal Facilities Committee has recommended that the city pursue a public-private partnership (P3) to oversee construction, financing and maintenance of the new building. Plans call for erecting a 27- to 29-story tower offering 753,740 square feet of office space and underground parking for 1,100 vehicles.
The cost of construction, maintenance and operation of the proposed building is projected to range from $915 million to $943 million over three decades, at which point the building would shift to city control. The new building is the first phase of Los Angeles’ Civic Center Master Plan, approved by the city council in March. The plan calls for six phases of development to bring 1.2 million square feet of additional office space, along with residential options and retail hubs to the area. The approved proposal calls for demolition of the existing structure by December 2019, and an estimated completion of the new construction by 2023.
South Dakota– Rapid City Council members support the construction of a new, $130 million arena. The council will issue $110 million in sales tax revenue bonds and lease certificates of participation to fund the construction. The city currently has about $25 million in reserve for an initial payment. The council was asked to consider either building a new arena or renovating and remodeling the existing Barnett Arena, which has functional, life safety and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance issues.
An updated feasibility study shows that the operating income for the new 12,000- to 13,000-seat arena would increase by $2.8 million annually. Construction costs are estimated between $130 and $135 million, but with interest, that figure would be closer to $180 million.
The city lost about $700,000 on a design project during the last consideration of building a new arena in 2015. The city plans to hold off on a final decision to build a new arena because the community can petition for a public vote. Two-thousand signatures will be required for a public vote to be issued. The deadline for petition, is March 20. If enough signatures are gathered, a public vote will be set for June 5. If a public vote occurs and the project is voted down, the city plans to go with the Barnett Arena renovation.
Washington State– The Port of Kalama has issued a request for interest (RFI) from developers for a 5-acre parcel of land located near the old Kalama fairgrounds. The site, that is part of the Spencer Creek Business Park, could potentially feature a range of retail or commercial services, including a fuel station, hotel, restaurants and coffee shops. The parcel’s development is expected to set the tone for the business park’s remaining 65 acres. The RFI is expected to result in the selection of a development team for an exclusive negotiating period.
The port has considered developing its property east of Interstate 5 for more than a decade – slowly purchasing nearby land and conducting economic feasibility studies. The port will also seek bids in the spring for a $5 million road project that will add a new roundabout at the intersection of Kalama River Road and Highway 99. Street improvements for the area between Haydu Park and Meeker Drive are under design, as well. The port also plans to relocate and install utilities to support the site’s development. Responses for the RFI are due at the end of this month.