The Jeffersonville Redevelopment Commission opted for a larger development with no purchase price and a host of unknowns at the corner of 10th and Spring streets in Jeffersonville.
After receiving requests for proposal and hearing presentations from two developers to convert more than 4 acres of property into restaurants, hotels and retail space, the Jeffersonville Redevelopment Commission unanimously chose to go with the proposal offered by Lexington-based White Reach Development.
The other proposal up for consideration was by Jeffersonville-based API.
At the outset of the meeting Redevelopment Executive Director Rob Waiz listed concerns that he said need to be addressed before development moves forward.
Waiz’s concerns and considerations included a claw-back agreement (which would revert the property to the redevelopment commission should the developer fail to complete the project), that the redevelopment commission grant final development approval, a timeline of completion for the project, conforming with the Environmental Protection Agency consent decree and the price of the property, among others.
“If these were that important, why were they not in the RFP?” asked Redevelopment Commissioner James Lake.
“These were things that I came up with 15 minutes ago, that I came up with just kind of by reviewing it, and I wrote it down to try and help you out,” Waiz said. “I’m disappointed that you didn’t bring this up earlier instead of bringing it up now and trying to make some issue out of it.”
He added that Lake voted to approve the RFP without offering his concerns.
It was suggested to, again, reject the proposals and wait 30 days to negotiate with the developers or issue a request for clarification to address some of the concerns Waiz raised.
Rejecting the proposals was not an option for Lake.
“It is an issue ... what I think is completely unfair to the people that submitted the RFPs is the only way that you can come up with an agreement ... is to reject it and just negotiate carte blanche,” he said. “I think it’s a completely disingenuous situation. I’m not prepared to reject them. I’m actually prepared to approve one and move forward with it.”