SC City Council Approves Mixed Use Project
On Tuesday, June 23, 2020, the Downtown Library Council Subcommittee made the recommendation to the full City Council to proceed with the Mixed Use Downtown Library Project.
The City Council voted to:
1. Conceptually approve, subject to appropriate environmental review and the required permit process, and give direction to staff to proceed with the design and development of a mixed use project on parking lot 4 (located at Cathcart, Cedar, and Lincoln Streets) by adopting a resolution with the follow provisions
a. Relocate the Downtown library to the ground floor into a mixed use project on lot 4;
b. Include an affordable housing project containing a minimum of 50 low-income dwelling units which should be targeted at the lowest levels of affordability, including Section 8 vouchers, and special program vouchers, or other ways to achieve the deepest levels of affordability with the discretionary permit applications for the affordable housing component of the project to be submitted no later than the start of construction of the library;
c. Include a parking garage with no more than 400 parking spaces, which will provide the required number of parking spaces for library users, affordable housing units and replacement public parking spaces in the downtown area; and
d. Restrict the total height of the building to not exceed the height of the University Town Center development or, if this isn’t possible, the development at 1010 Pacific, specifically, if additional height may provide additional affordable units.
e. That the affordable housing component of the project, along with the METRO project remain the highest priority projects for funding from the Low-Income Housing Trust Fund.
2. Authorize staff to proceed with selection of an owner’s representative to manage the overall project implementation and a competitive RFP/RFQ process for selection of a Design-Build project team.
3. Direct staff to work with selected owner’s representative and Design-Build team to initiate a community outreach process on project design, based off of the preliminary “Option D” concept developed by Group 4 and to return to Council with preliminary project design options for consideration.
4. Prior to the start of construction of the mixed use project, initiate a public process to consider reuse options of the current library site, including affordable housing, a community commons and other public uses.
5. Direct staff to provide a report to City Council at the earliest possible time, but no later than three months, containing:
a. Detailed financial information regarding each component of the mixed use project;
b. A work program and timeline for implementing the affordable housing units, library, and parking garage to include a public engagement process; and
c. General schematics showing the integration of the library, housing, parking, and commercial use components.
6. Direct staff to reengage with the Farmer’s Market and move forward with Council direction or updated information to execute an agreement and develop a design for a permanent downtown Farmer’s Market on parking lot 7 (located at the corner of Cathcart and Front Streets).
7. Direct the Economic Development Department to return to Council at the second meeting of August with a report of the RFP/RFQ process and grants.
8. Express the City Council’s intention that, to the extent feasible, Downtown employees be given preference for the affordable housing project units.
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