By Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
The City of Wyoming took a giant step forward on its 28 West project by entering into a development agreement with Wyoming Mall Monday night.
In a unanimous vote, the Wyoming City Council accepted a $1.6 million agreement with Wyoming Mall, LLC, to facilitate the mall owner’s construction and demolition projects, and the relocation of city water, sewer and storm water lines and construction of a new public street. The actual cost to the city will be about $1.2 million for the relocation of city services and construction of the road. The developer’s costs is around $113,000 with there being a 25 percent contingency, around $322,000, for the entire project.
“The Wyoming Mall approached us about doing some major reconstruction/demolition on their property,” said Mayor Jack Poll during Monday night’s council meeting. Mall officials indicated they were ready to allow the city to put in a public road since they were planning to teardown the north end of the mall where Once Upon A Child is located and add a new structure along the northwest side of the building, Poll said.
City Manager Curtis Holt said the city is in active discussions with Loeks Theatre Inc. which owns the Studio 28 property just to the west of the Wyoming Mall. It is the goal of the city to acquire property for the proposed road to continue through with an egress across from Hook Avenue located on the north side of 28th Street between Applebee’s and Anzah Sands West. Proposed land acquisition and construction of the road on the Studio 28 lot is estimated about around $708,000. The entire project from Michael Avenue to Hook Avenue is estimated to be around $2.2 million.
Holt said the city plans to put the project out to bid with the goal of completing the entire road project from Michael to Hook within the next few months.
Because of the Wyoming Mall owners’ decision to move forward with construction, it gave the city an opportunity to officially start its 28 West concept which is a reimagining of the south side of 28th Street between Clyde Park and Burlingame into a mixed-use town center with new complete streets and compact blocks. Part of that plan features a curving slip street to be the center’s new “main street.” That street is proposed to start on the south side of 28th Street across from Hook Avenue to Jenkins Avenue, which runs next to the former Klingman/Rogers Department Store building. A portion of the road runs straight through the Wyoming Mall property which is bordered by the former Studio 28 site on the west side and Michael Avenue on the east.
Adopted in December of 2013, the 28 West plan has a form-based code, which is a land development regulation that fosters predictable built results and a high-quality public realm by using physical form rather than separation of uses. Form-based codes address the relationship between building facades and the public realm, the form and mass of buildings in relation to one another, and the scale and types of streets and blocks. 28 West calls for an increase in retail space with a mix of office and residential space.
City officials have been working on the 28 West concept for the past couple of years acknowledging that they knew it would take several years for the plan to materialize. With Wyoming Mall officials’ announcement that they had decided to remodel its facility at 28th Street and Michael Avenue construction of the first part of the 28 West could begin, Poll said.
City officials said this is a first good step on the project and they hope it will help encourage growth along the corridor and future development of the 28 West project.
Construction on the site should start soon, Holt said, adding that the city can not begin the road until the demolition at Wyoming Mall is completed . In fact, mall officials want construction to start on the new building so quickly that they are willing to build on top of existing utilities instead of waiting for the city to move those utilities. The council approved a second agreement with Wyoming Mall Monday night that mall officials assume any risk for doing this so that the mall could begin construction.