A South Main Street lot redevelopment project is progressing well enough that the Brighton Urban Renewal Authority has repaid a $ 2.5 million loan from the city.
“We have seen that the city has had challenges with the pandemic and there has been such great support for our residents and our businesses, coming from the city,” Candace Werth, president of the authority, told city councilors. during a January 26. study session on the Zoom networking platform. “BURA really just wanted to do our part and since we were financially in a position to do so we figured it was time the city needed it. So we wanted to put this money back into the city’s funds.
The authority began work to redevelop the vacant 4.23-acre lot at the corner of South Main Street and Bromley Lane in 2015.
“It was a vacant lot with a dilapidated building left by a car dealership that had closed many years earlier,” Werth said. “When we started, we had a developer who wanted to build a hotel and a conference center on site. “
The authority borrowed $ 2.5 from the city to purchase the land, with the intention of paying it back in 2022. The original developer stepped down, but the authority began working with different developers. Current developers, Evergreen Development, plan to bring new stores and restaurants to the field. According to the development agreement, they are to list at least two new restaurants to be built on the site, with the aim of attracting customers to the area all day, night and on weekends.
“The current developer has evolved the vision for the property on several occasions, depending on the challenges of developing such an area,” said Werth. “The project took longer than expected, but at this point the developer is getting letters of intent from end users and the project is starting to gain traction. “
But Werth said the authority had enough money in the bank to repay the loan well ahead of the September 2022 due date, along with interest. The total amount owed to the City is $ 2,568,949.
“The members of the BURA commission really appreciate our continued partnership with the City of Brighton and City Council, and we look forward to working with you in the future,” said Werth.
The advisers said the authority’s decision was a good one. Councilor Clint Blackhurst said this should ease tensions between the city and the authority.
“I know this has been a disappointment for all of us,” said Blackhurst. “We’ve all taken a bit of heat for this South Main project, but it’s good to see things moving forward. We appreciate being reimbursed sooner.