The city is asking developers for their ideas on what they would do with the property located at 200 Mill, including the former City Hall building.
At Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, councilmembers got their first look at a “Request for Interest” regarding the property, located next to the library and across the Cedar River from Liberty Park.
According to Economic Development Director Cliff Long, the property is the “largest develpment site available downtown.”
Community Development Project manager John Collum said the RFI is the first step in seeing what can be done with the property.
“This is the initial stage to find out if there is developer interest,” Collum said.
The proposal offers the land as a blank slate. Developer ideas can use the building as it is and rebuild elsewhere or knock it down and start fresh with the full site, though the city warns that because of shoreline setback regulations passed since the building’s construction, any new development would probably not be able to be located as close to the river.
There are currently a handful of tenants in the building, including the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center and Renton Prep, as well as the city attorney’s offices. Collum said it would be up to the developer to decide how to handle the tenants, all of whom have leases, as part of their proposals.
The potential sale has been discussed with the tenants and at least one, Renton Prep, is having engineers look at the building and property to see if they want to get in on the bidding.
According to the document, the city hopes to “return an underutilized city-owned site to private use in a manner that compliments and further fosters the image and function of the Civic Node and City Center.”
The property is in an area identified as a “Civic Node,” named for its “abundant civic, recreational and cultural amenities.”
And though the parking lot for the library is included as part of the property, Collum said the city is committed to providing parking and expects that to be retained in some way as part of the proposals.
Developers are not expected to provide specifics or financials at this point and instead are supposed to just focus on the big picture and the concept for the land.
Following the first round of conceptual ideas, the city will put together an official Request For Proposals for the property to get more detailed plans.
According to Collum, the goal is to identify a developer and get an agreement on the property by the end of 2016.