WEAR - Search Results
Locals weigh in on downtown development plan proposals
PENSACOLA -- A Texas developer is trying again to buy the site where the old waste water treatment plant used to be in downtown Pensacola. H-T Land Company out of Houston offered $7.6 million for it, but the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority rejected that bid last month, saying the developer didn't make it clear what they were going to do with the land. Now the developers are back...With the same offer-- but this time with more concrete plans in their proposal.
The waste water plant-- nicknamed Old Stinky-- was demolished and cleared away last summer. Since then-- this lot has been empty...But a developer is hoping this becomes a mixed-use development-- designed to enhance the downtown area.
Christopher Andrews owns Southern Refrigeration, one of the only businesses on Government Street.
His warehouse is directly across from the former waste water plant, which for the past year has been just an empty lot.
"We'd like to see some development rather than a vacant lot, but we can see the Wahoos Jumbotron," Andrews said.
Andrews wants to see more life on this side of downtown. Besides the baseball stadium, he says, there's no reason for people to come down this way. Andrews has some ideas on what he thinks will help the city.
"A hotel maybe with a convention center. You know Palafox has really grown it has a lot more life than it did six years ago," he said.
The proposal on the table would create what the developer has dubbed "The West Main Street Galleria."
Here's an example of what it could look like... A 300 room hotel, with condos, parking lots, and retail space.
"Outside of that they need to move on you know, Pensacola has got potential to grow right now when other cities don't. I look forward to seeing what they're gonna do."
But not everyone is thrilled with the proposal. Some residents have their own ideas of what should be done with the space.
Resident Charles Taylor said, "I feel they should build something there that would benefit the city as a whole not necessarily the big money makers."
Resident Alicia Harvey said, “I’d like to see a big water park or a skate park. We've got a lot for adults downtown but we don't have a lot for kids and teens."
The proposal also includes a letter from the city's planning services administrator saying the plans are in compliance with the zoning and overall aesthetic of downtown. The board will discuss the proposal at Thursday’s meeting.