The City of Aiken is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: AMDC Virtual Meeting
Time: Apr 18, 2022 09:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting https://cityofaikensc.zoom.us/j/88420618019
Meeting ID: 884 2061 8019
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Aiken Municipal Development Commission
Join Zoom Meeting https://cityofaikensc.zoom.us/j/88420618019
April 18, 2022
CALL TO ORDER
1. Approval of Agenda for April 18, 2022.
2. Consideration of a Resolution in Support of the Conveyance of a Portion of Newberry Street.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Aiken Municipal Development Commission (the “Commission”) in meeting duly assembled as follows:
Section 1 Findings of the Commission
(1)The Commission is a redevelopment commission of the City of Aiken, South Carolina (the “City”), established by the City Council of the City (the “City Council’) pursuant to Title 31, Chapter 10 of the Code of Laws of South Carolina 1976, as amended (the “Enabling Act”), with an area of operation encompassing the entirety of the City. In accordance with the Enabling Act, the Commission and the City Council have adopted the Redevelopment Plan One for Downtown Aiken, dated July 10, 2020 (the “Redevelopment Plan”) for a redevelopment area consisting of the area of the City bounded by Laurens Street, Chesterfield Street, Richland Avenue, and Park Avenue (as more specifically described in the Redevelopment Plan (the “Redevelopment Area”).
(2)The Commission is a public body corporate and politic possessing those powers necessary or appropriate to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of the Enabling Act, including the power to purchase and dispose of any real or personal property or any interest therein, together with any improvements thereon, within its area of operation necessary or incidental to a redevelopment project.
(3)The Commission, at the direction of City Council, has determined to undertake a redevelopment project within the Redevelopment Area, known at this time as Project Pascalis (“Project Pascalis”) Such redevelopment is expected to include or facilitate the development of (i) a new hotel, (ii) retail and housing facilities, (iii) a new event space, and (iv) structured parking.
(4)The project design team has planned dramatic improvements to the entire project area, to include the creation of a retail and residential promenade and substantial upgrades to the Newberry Street Festival Center that will be enjoyed by Aiken residents and visitors for decades to come. Specifically, these improvements would place the premium on a safe and comfortable pedestrian-focused esplanade akin to a central square for the City of Aiken. These improvements would be free from the concerns of vehicular traffic due to proposed modifications to the traffic flow on the block that would remain integrated into the City’s treasured Parkway Grid. The proposed site plan detailing the initial concepts described herein is attached and titled Exhibit A.
(5) To allow for the improvements listed above, the Commission and the Project design team have relied upon informal encouragement from City Council and the understanding that the Council would convey certain real property along the Newberry Street corridor to facilitate the envisioned improvements. Such conveyance would also serve to allow the AMDC and the developers to deliver all the the intended project components within the 55-foot height limit for the City of Aiken by providing additional horizontal space required to accommodate the structured parking and other elements of the plan.
(6) While the Commission believes there is merit to future reconsideration of the 55-foot limit, it does not feel that any such consideration should be undertaken at this time regarding Project Pascalis as the massing and scale of the project must fit well into the existing character and architectural fabric of its surroundings.
(7)Overall, beyond bringing positive and transformational change to the Newberry Street Festival area, extending the positive impacts created by the closure of The Alley and portion of Bee Land in 2017, the project is expected to create in excess of 150 new jobs and replace lost surface parking along Newberry. It will also bring an estimated 150 new full-time residents downtown to shop and dine on a daily basis, creating a minimum estimated increase of $3.3 million annually in local government property, hospitality and accommodations taxes while maintaining the essence and character that has long defined Aiken. Construction of the hotel, apartments and commercial/retail components of the project will inject a minimum of $50 million in private-sector investment from the developers who will own and operate those facilities.
(8)The City of Aiken is the owner of the right of way known as Newberry Street, located between Park Avenue and Richland Avenue, and has received a request from RPM Development Partners, LLC to acquire a portion of this property [starting at the corner of Newberry Street SW and Richland Avenue W east for approximately 40 feet into Newberry Street then south approximately 715 feet to the property line of the building at the northeast corner of Newberry Street and The Alley] to allow the development of Project Pascalis in return for the lots identified as TMS No. 121-21-08-005 and -008 being contributed free of charge to the Project Pascalis site by its owners, Aiken Alley Holdings, LCC.
(9) On March 28, 2022, City Council unanimously approved at first reading an ordinance that would formalize the Council’s enthusiastic support for improving the Newberry Street Festival Center through the conditional conveyance of the described property for the betterment of the project and the City of Aiken and its residents. The conditions required for the conveyance to take place require that the Commission and the developer reach agreement on a Master Development Agreement; that the development team agrees to provide, at no charge, adjacent property that they control for inclusion in the project site; and, that construction of the project be imminent based on fully approved site plans and permits to move forward. Failing these conditions precedent, the property would continue to remain under City of Aiken control and ownership.
Section 2Recommendation of the Commission. Considering the enumerated benefits of the proposed conveyance of City of Aiken property under consideration, the Commission strongly encourages and endorses the City Council moving forward with Second Reading and final approval of the conditional ordinance at the next regularly scheduled meeting of April 25, 2022. In so doing, the Council will allow the planning and engineering and due diligence related to the project move ahead unimpeded by uncertainty.
Effective Date. The provisions of this Resolution shall be effective immediately upon the adoption hereof.
ADOPTED AS A RESOLUTION and approved at a meeting duly assembled by the Aiken Municipal Development Commission this 18th day of April 2022.
AIKEN MUNICIPAL DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION