City Council to discuss Empire Hotel property at Tuesday meeting

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Mark Wineka
Salisbury City Council will discuss Tuesday a formal purchase, sale and development agreement for the Empire Hotel property at 212-228 S. Main St.
In the proposed agreement, Empire Properties of Raleigh ó the chosen developer ó eventually would pay Downtown Salisbury Inc. $1.5 million for the former Empire Hotel.
Downtown Salisbury Inc. bought the property in 2007 for $1 million with the help of financing provided by seven local banks.
Since Downtown Salisbury Inc.’s original purchase, a city task force has taken 18 months to identify a development partner and work out some pre-development planning.
Principals with Empire Properties were introduced at a City Council meeting Nov. 18, 2008.
The city’s role in the property’s development as a hotel will include help with infrastructure, facility needs assessments, economic development incentives and plan review.
For example, the city probably will be asked to help with parking, facade grants, a conference center feasibility study, a traffic feasibility study for making left turns at Innes and Main streets, public utility considerations and streetscape improvements.
The developer expects to have a hotel feasibility study ready by July 1, interior design drawings by Sept. 29 and a hotel management agreement by Dec. 28, according to schedules outlined in the documents council will consider Tuesday.Council meets at 4 p.m. at City Hall, 217 S. Main St.
In other agenda items Tuesday, council will:
– Hold a public hearing on the use of 2009-2010 Community Development Block Grant and HOME funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
– Hold a public hearing on the abatement of a nuisance at 601 N. Long St. The city has been trying to have the property owner clean the corner site of large amounts of building debris.
– Hold a public hearing on the Salisbury Transit System’s Community Transportation Program grant application.
– Consider a resolution stating its intent to create a Transportation Advisory Board for public transportation.
– Hear a presentation from Phil Conrad, director of the Cabarrus-Rowan Metropolitan Planning Organization, regarding Rowan Express bus service.
– Consider bylaw revisions of the Salisbury-Rowan Economic Development Corp.
– Consider a three-year contract extension at $407,835 a year with BFI Waste Services, the company which picks up recycled materials in Salisbury.
– Consider adopting a resolution in support of the Centralina Council of Governments’ Connect regional vision and action agenda.
– Hear a presentation on the Rowan County Early College at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.
Council meetings are streamed live at www.salisburyncgov/council/webcast.html and are shown later on Time Warner Cable’s Access 16.