Here’s my story on the Blake Hunt redevelopment project in Centerville.
I didn’t harp on proposed the $1 sale price for the 6.6-acre parcel. Fremont folks said it’s common for a Redevelopment Agency to effectively give away land to a private developer and that Jim Tong would have gotten the same deal if he could have moved ahead with his plans for the site several years ago.
Still I took a negative tone, which I thought reflected the lack of enthusiasm from the four councilmembers with whom I spoke. They seemed resigned to approve the project.
Maybe it’ll help the neighborhood, but the city did spend $12.5 million to buy all the parcels and get the land ready for development and it’s going to pony up another $13.5 on infrastructure improvements.
That’s a lot.
When you’ve got $26 million in taxpayer funds, you want — to borrow the words of a well-dressed man — a “Wow” project, or at least something that you know is going to bring a lot of residents/shoppers to Centerville.
Here we’ve got $26 million in public funds for 188 apartments (122 studios and 1-bedrooms) and 14 stores. You could say that’s $138,000 in city money per apartment or you could say that’s nearly $2 million per store. Wowser.