“Preservation might not be possible in the end,” Pratt said. “Engineering, economics, structure and other things could come into play.”
Pratt said this design scenario would incorporate and maintain pedestrian zones and add mixed-use development. He said there would be more flexibility when it comes to building footprints and parking.
“It’s a scenario to consider, but it’s a scenario where you have to be mindful of how the architecture takes shape and it doesn’t lose that context and is grounded in the site,” said Pratt.
He said that even with new construction, the emphasis would be on using materials to “keep a sense of place”.
Turner said the project created some buzz.
“There has been demonstrated interest from potential local tenants,” said Turner. “There has already been interest.
Turner said there are two investment groups that have approached the city about the project. Turner did not provide details.
So far, the project has included a plot analysis, a site-specific market analysis and the first phase of the public engagement process. He will soon go into site planning and financial feasibility analysis.
Turner said the market analysis showed weak market demand for retail, residential and office businesses, and increased market demand for affordable uses.