Some good news down on South CascadeAve. It sounds like the Ivywild project that Bristol has been working diligently on for nearly two years will be able to move forward and some big changes will start taking place! Bristol and Blue Star have been working together to purchase the empty school and convert it into an expanded brewery, bakery, garden, and really what sounds to me like a neighborhood center.
|Artist rendering of the Ivywild Project|
I don’t have all the exact details but yesterday the city council voted and passed the project. A few months ago, the Gazette reported that the plan had hit a snag when Mayor Steve Bach wanted to look closer at the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) redevelopment plan “that allows the project to
retain the sales tax it otherwise would send to the city for the next 25 years. Language in the deal would allow the project’s backers to retain up to $50,000 a year…” (Gazette). So, I’m not sure if the plan was passed with the original language in place, or if that language had been changed at all, but indeed the council voted in favor 7-1. We’ll see what happens next and we will try to get some updates from Bristol on their next steps. We’re all looking forward to seeing this project in its various stages from now until opening day (and beyond of course).
I learned of the outcome of yesterdays council meeting from Twitter. I’m going to paste all of Bristol’s tweets from yesterday so that you can see the play by play (Maybe this is interesting for you? I want to make sure the tweets don’t disappear into the internet void):
Council is voting on the Ivywild project this afternoon. It was just taken off the consent agenda. They’ll vote on it separately. / #Ivywild project up now. / Czelatdko moves to support. / Bennett (?) seconds. / Bach assures council that he’s been behind the project. / Bach blasts Urban Renewal for wanting $2.25M fee on project. / Hente says URA has pledged to “look at their fees”. / URA defends themselves by saying “we don’t really look at the scale of the project” when assessing fees. Denies Bach’s $2.25M number. / URA requests resolution from council to allow sales tax increments for #Ivywild. / URA says mayor’s office not responsive. Bach: yes we were, fee numbers correct. He said/he said. / Hente: let’s settle this out of council. / Ivywild passed 7-1!