Progress Report on 5th & Forbes: Process On Track and On Schedule
December 13, 2001:
Don Hunter of Hunter Interests Inc. gave a progress report to the Plan C Task Force at its meeting this morning, outlining his firm’s work to date and his thoughts on how best to proceed with the revitalization of the Fifth and Forbes area. Members of the group indicated agreement with the overall approach suggested. The Task Force is pleased to report that its work with Hunter is right on schedule and it is anticipated that a clear development strategy for the area will be completed by the target date of January 31st, 2002.
Hunter’s suggestions on how to proceed reflect the Task Force’s principles that revitalization should combine new construction via “catalyst” type development together with the re-use of historic buildings, “incremental” smaller scale development and participation by existing property owners. His work also recognizes potential for residential development as well as the need to incorporate unique businesses and to provide for additional (low cost or free) parking. With eminent domain “off the table” Hunter is developing innovative approaches to tenancy, merchandising, financing and redevelopment.
Hunter’s team of 4 consultants, 2 economists and 4 technical/administrative staff have reviewed all past retail and development plans for the Fifth and Forbes corridor and conducted more than 65 interviews with local property owners, retailers, and developers. They have completed about 85% of their market analysis of the region, and about 75% of their work at “testing” their conclusions with potential developers and partners.
The Task Force recognizes that the need to build upon Downtown’s strong retail presence is essential, that there will be a need for some form of subsidy, and that a “do nothing” approach is unacceptable. Working with Hunter Interests Inc., the Plan C Task Force looks forward to presenting a development strategy for potential partners and public consideration in early 2002.