Multiple developers will make presentations this afternoon for use of the Spencer’s property in downtown Mount Airy, which one insider considers “the beginning” of tangible efforts to revitalize that site.
This is scheduled during a meeting of the Mount Airy Redevelopment Commission which begins at 5:30 p.m. in the city council chambers at the Municipal Building.
“There are four developers coming to make presentations,” commission Vice Chairman Chip Pulliam confirmed Tuesday.
“I don’t know what those presentations are, but they will be specific to the Spencer’s property,” Pulliam added of the former industrial complex purchased by the city government in 2014.
“They are all from out of town,” he said of the entities for which pitches are to be made today.
While Pulliam said he did not know the specific projects they have in mind for the property, proposals made by potential developers in the past have been for housing projects. Today’s meeting also is to include an update on a feasibility study for a hotel/convention center on the sprawling site.
The identities of the developers who will outline proposals today have not been released.
“We (redevelopment commission members) would prefer that they identify themselves,” Pulliam said Tuesday. “We do know who they are.” Several already have met with the city commissioners, he said.
The group’s vice chairman says each of the potential developers has experience with historic-preservation projects, an issue with the Spencer’s complex due to some of its buildings dating to the late 1800s.
Pulliam said the availability of that property has attracted the attention of a number of developers. “Interest is high.”
Those to make presentations were narrowed down from “numerous companies,” Pulliam added. “We have done interviewing and screening by phone,” he said of trying to get a feel for what they would like to accomplish with the property.
“It doesn’t mean it’s the final four,” Pulliam said of the fact other potential developers could be included in the process as time passes.
Today’s presentations represent a key first step, in the view of the commission vice chairman. “This is really the beginning of where the city goes” with selecting those who will be involved in the redevelopment process, he said, which the commission was appointed last year to spearhead.
“They will be given an allotted amount of time,” Pulliam said of the developers’ attendance at today’s meeting, which will be about 20 minutes each and include PowerPoint programs.
“And there will be questions, and answers from the redevelopment commission back to those developers.”
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.