Though how the city will use the First Street property in the future is subject to more public deliberations, plans will include razing the two buildings once the tenants relocate and offering new public access to the site, according to City Manager Nelson Fialho.
"The city's goal in acquiring the property is to eliminate long-term blight, complement the expansion of Lions Wayside Park and improve parking circulation to and from the Firehouse Arts Center," he said in his monthly community newsletter.
Fialho told the Weekly that he expects the council will consider rezoning the parcel at 4363 and 4377 First St. from commercial to public property later this spring. A final recommendation for how to use the property going forward will be incorporated into the city's ongoing project to redesign Lions Wayside and Delucchi parks -- a plan ultimately subject to council approval.
The 18,200-square-foot property contains two commercial buildings, most recently occupied by tenants Express Liquor, Yan's Massage, Roots of Eastern Medicine (acupuncture), Team EdServe (marriage and family counseling), Urban Realty Services and a leased storage unit.
The property owners, Ianson Holdings, LLC and Malakoff & McIntyre, Inc., had been aiming to sell the commercial/retail parcel when they entered into negotiations with the city last year. The two sides agreed to initial terms in the fall, a deal that was endorsed by the council on Dec. 4.
One of the terms was that each tenant still under lease at the property must enter into a relocation agreement with the city to free up the two buildings. Each could be eligible for financial help from the city to help with relocation costs.
Fialho said he expects the remaining tenant spaces will be vacated within three to four months, and the goal is to tear down the buildings by the end of the year.
The total acquisition cost was estimated at up to $2.34 million, of which $2 million was the purchase price.
Other costs included $2,650 for environmental review, $32,500 to hire a relocation consultant and relocation expenses for the tenants that could total between $92,500 and $310,000, city staff estimated in December. Building removal and interim site maintenance would cost another $70,000.
The costs were paid from the city's Lions Wayside Park renovation project budget, which has about $4.5 million in funding in the city's capital improvement program. The Lions Wayside project will be reimbursed in the 2019-20 budget year.
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