Richland Stays the Course on Original Development Proposal at 650 George Washington Way
April 27, 2016
In March 2015, the City of Richland entered into a Purchase and Sale Agreement with The Crown Group, Inc., a commercial real estate development and brokerage firm based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, for development at 650 George Washington Way. The Crown Group, Inc. won Council’s approval for purchase and sale of this key property based on a proposal for mixed use development with a combination of office space, retail and/or residential that reflects the highest and best use for the site. 650 George Washington Way, often referred to by local residents as the “hole in the ground,” is a vital link between the City’s downtown and waterfront areas. For this reason, Richland City Council has given special attention to ensuring the right fit for development on this long-vacant property.
In February 2016, upon the Crown Group, Inc.’s request, Richland City Council approved an extension of the initial contingency period under the parties’ Purchase and Sale Agreement. At that time, Crown representative Mark Lambert and local businessman Adam Brault approached City Council with a request to enter into a public/private partnership for the development of a public market at this approximately 114,602 sq. ft. location. Lambert and Brault sought a total of $16 million dollars for construction of a public market, a parking structure, and an outdoor plaza.
They also requested $60,000 to fund a business plan for project efforts.
Although intrigued by the project concept, Richland City Council will stay the course on the original development proposal made by The Crown Group, Inc. for 650 George Washington Way.
In a letter provided to Mr. Lambert and Mr. Brault dated April 27, 2016, City Council explained its reasoning. (See April 27, 2016 Letter, attached). City Council appreciates the opportunity presented by The Crown Group, Inc., and looks forward to commencement of development at 650 George Washington Way in the near future.
The initial contingency period under the Purchase & Sale Agreement expires on June 25, 2016. Richland has no immediate plans to pursue siting of a public market in any other location within the City, although it will continue to consider feedback from citizens through the public input process and the annual citizen survey when planning for future capital projects.