Council hears plans for riverfront subdivision
The city’s efforts to redevelop the riverfront is moving a step further with the final plat of the Pivot Point Yuma Subdivision that reflects years of planning by the city and efforts to gain ownership of the various parcels.
The Yuma City Council is scheduled to approve the plat when it meets tonight for its regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers.
But first the council got a look at the various lots and what might eventually be developed on them with a briefing on the subdivision during its work session Tuesday evening.
The subdivision includes about 40 acres along the riverfront north of 1st Street between 5th Avenue and Gila Street.
Efforts by the city to prepare the riverfront for redevelopment have been more than a decade in the making, from cleaning up an area that had become overgrown and overrun by trash and transients to untangling a complex web of local, state and federal owners.
“This is a complicated subdivision,” Kevin Eatherly, supervisor of the city’s Capital Improvement Program, said in his presentation. “It literally took an act of Congress” that allowed the transfer of property.
He outlined the 15 lots currently in the subdivision. They include the Hilton Garden Inn, Pivot Point Conference Center, the old city hall, parking lots and vacant land. Two of the vacant lots with railroad tracks are being transferred to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The updated plan calls for development of the remaining lots into office and retail space, residential, boutique hotel, restaurants and a parking garage. The city’s pathway also cuts across some of the lots.
But what will actually be developed will depend on the market, Eatherly said.
To that, Councilman Edward Thomas asked for an explanation of “market driven.”
At one time the conceptual plan outlined very specific uses for the various parcels, explained Charles Flynn, executive director of the Yuma Crossing Heritage Area, which oversees the riverfront redevelopment efforts. But with the recession, the plan was modified to allow more flexibility to reflect current market conditions. For example, he said, right now there is more demand for residential than new office space.
Flynn also said that while a parking garage would really help the entire downtown, cost is a challenge for that project.
Regardless of potential developers or projects, the final plat is required for any development to occur, he said. “It simply designates potential use. It’s a blueprint for anything that can occur.”
Councilman Cody Beeson asked if there is a future plan to move the city’s water treatment plant.
Eatherly responded that it was looked at but the cost would be prohibitive. “That’s why we did beautification projects.”