Discussion on Lot 9 of the downtown entertainment district is ongoing, and last night’s Manhattan City Commission moved the process forward a bit with an amendment to the planned unit development.
The plan calls for two new hotels and a multi-use building which will be used for a restaurant or coffee shop as well as loft apartments. While voting in favor of the change, Commissioner John Matta had an issue with the whole situation.
“I’m not really a fan of the City getting involved in development work,” he said. “For me, someone who’s come on where we’re at, we had to go with what we had in this situation.”
Commissioner Wynn Butler agreed.
“The only thing I would add,” Butler said. “We’ve got studies here that say these hotels compete, but we’ve got a convention center that needs rooms, also, so there’s two conflicting viewpoints. And the other thing you have to consider, if you remember, we were supposed to have two more hotels.”
The amendment was passed 4-1, with Commissioner Loren Pepperd the lone ‘nay’ vote.
Also discussed was a potential ballot issue this year, the half cent economic development sales tax. City staff presented a proposal to begin the discussion, which called for greater Commission control as to how the proceeds from the tax are spent.
Commissioners were shown a proposal on how to spend the tax proceeds, which allows for some Commission decision power on how to utilize the tax money. Commissioner Wynn Butler reached out to his constituents, and brought their concerns in.
“I like the idea of the flexibility,” he said. “But a number of folks have said the makeup of the commission will change over the ten years of the life of the tax.”