UPDATE: City seeks $6M for Market Square site

February 19, 2007

The city is restarting efforts to find a company to redevelop the former site of Market Square Arena, which has languished as a parking lot since the city tore down the arena almost six years ago.

A new request for proposals likely will go out Wednesday. This time around, developers will need to propose projects that can be financed without pre-sales requirements from lenders, said Justin Ohlemiller, a spokesman for Mayor Bart Peterson.

The land will be offered for sale at a price of $6.175 million if the Metropolitan Development Commission approves the draft RFP on Wednesday.

The last development group that tried to develop the four-acre site, Market Square Partners LP, failed to meet the pre-sale requirement on a $70 million, 31-story condo building that was to be the first phase of redevelopment. Lenders often require down payments on a certain percentage of units before delivering financing, and Market Square Partners did not meet the threshold.

In November 2006, the city canceled its agreement with the developer, a partnership of locally based Shrewsberry & Associates LLC and Columbus, Ohio-based Smoot Construction.

Ohlemiller would not offer specifics about how the city’s specifications have changed in the new RFP.
Developers will have until mid-April to submit proposals, and the city will choose one of them by mid-summer, he said.

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