Batavia council ramps up downtown redevelopment
Redevelopment of much of a block of downtown Batavia took giant steps forward Tuesday night.
The city council:
• Approved a redevelopment agreement with One North Washington LLC, a Shodeen Inc. entity, for a $40 million project that could include 180 apartments and a 350-space garage, generally at Wilson Street and Washington Avenue.
• Bought a former alderman's office building on East Wilson, for $195,000 (more than twice its assessed value), to make way for the development.
• Approved tearing down buildings, including the former First Baptist Church, for the plan.
• Spent $1.25 million to buy the Larson-Becker Co. factory sites on North River, in part to provide more parking at least during construction of One North Washington.
Only Alderman Kevin Botterman voted against the measures.
Resident Sylvia Keppel pleaded again for the council to postpone voting on the redevelopment agreement until parking and traffic studies have been done for the One North Washington project.
"There's no need to rush," she said.
Specific design and construction plans for One North Washington have not been submitted.
The redevelopment agreement is contingent on the city's not receiving proposals for a better deal from any other developer within 45 days of the effective date. That date was not specified in the council's materials, and it depends on several conditions for the city to meet.
• Acquiring another piece of land on Wilson, then selling all the land needed for the redevelopment to the developer for $10.
• Demolishing the buildings
• Remediating any environmental problems with the sites.
• Rezoning the sites.
• Creating a tax-increment financing district for the area.
The agreement calls for the city to borrow up to $14 million to pay for public improvements, including the parking garage. Ownership of the garage would be turned over to the city.
The council will vote later this fall about establishing the TIF district.