After years of failed plans for Downtown’s Lot 1 centerpiece tract, developers at Devreco – known for such successes as Headquarters Live – are expected to have an agreement with the city in place in about a month.
For decades, plans to build on the 3.5-acre parcel — bordered by Division, Camden and West Market streets, and Circle Avenue – were scuttled, one after another.
But Jake Day, president of the Salisbury City Council, is confident that won’t happen again.
“I believe we finally have the partner who can execute this. Our talks are complete. There is nothing left to be voted on. It is a decision that has been made and it won’t be reversed in any way. We will build on this parking lot,” Day told the Independent this week.
“We were one of the only development companies that has been successful in buying property from the city of Salisbury so our record speaks for itself,” said Brad Gillis, one of the up-and-coming young men at Devreco deeply involved in the renaissance of downtown.
The company bid on the property in April, but Gillis wouldn’t disclose the amount. Devreco was the sole bidder and the deadline has passed for anybody else to bid.
City leaders required those who bid on the property to agree to build housing there; Day said. “It will be ground-floor retail, parking, outdoor space like parks, housing above and that can include office and civic use,” Day said. Zoning there allows anything except housing on the ground floor, although there can be townhouses, he said.
Gillis said the exact plan hasn’t yet been completed for the property, across from the Wicomico County library and behind the Downtown Plaza. “What I envision for that area is what the market can demand,” Gillis said. “We’re a rural community that has urban amenities to it. We have to be cautious of what the market can bear as far as price and also building type….