Monday, June 22, 2015

The Cathedral Campus Redevelopment Plan: Questions and Answers (2)

This blog by LLC Manager Mark Lester is the latest in a series of Questions and Answers about the Campus Redevelopment plan.  See all entries here.

Q: What is the timeline for the project?

A: The timeline for the Cathedral Campus Redevelopment Plan we’re sharing here is based on projections made by our project consultant and other experts in the field. Please be aware that it is an approximation, since we can’t predict contingencies that may affect the project as it progresses. But with that in mind, we hope that sharing this timeline will help the SPC community gain a better understanding of the project and give you a rough idea of the schedule.

It will probably be five years from the point at which the Olive parcel is listed until the Cathedral moves into its new office and program space. The timeline allows for careful consideration of the proposals the LLC receives and is a more complex process than a simple land sale where the highest offer gets the deal. SPC and interested developers will need to negotiate critical aspects of the project. While on some points confidentiality will be required, you will receive updates from the LLC throughout the project. And input from the SPC community remains essential, especially as the Chapter begins to develop specific plans for the use of program space.

When Chapter affirms the LLC’s decision to list the parcel, we will immediately meet with Park Chateau tenants and our property manager to explain the project and discuss their concerns. The LLC is committed to a faith-based standard of business ethics as we work with our tenants toward their eventual relocation, which will occur two to three years after we list. (July 2015)

After we list the property, the broker will begin the marketing process, including the accumulation of due diligence material, preparation of marketing exhibits, and outreach to prospective developers. The broker will follow up with interested parties and solicit offers from qualified buyers. We will explicitly seek proposals from both market-rate and affordable housing developers. The call for offers will occur about three months after the listing agreement is signed. (October 2015)

At about the same time, the Vision for Mission task force will make its strategic planning recommendations to Chapter. This means there will be plenty of time following acceptance of those recommendations to incorporate them into the detailed plans for use of our new program and office space. Improvements within the “vanilla shell” that will be SPC’s new space will occur at the end of the project, so there is plenty of time to plan.  (Fall 2015)

The LLC, in consultation with Chapter, will review offers at about the four-month mark, but it is impossible to predict with certainty when or if a desirable proposal will be received. The criteria used for considering proposals will be based on the LLC’s conversations with Chapter and the congregation, and will align with the values and mission of St. Paul’s. Once buyer is selected, contract negotiations will begin. Hopefully, a Purchase & Sale Agreement (PSA) will be signed six months into the project. (December 2015/January 2016)

It is unlikely that any developer will want to build the exact structure that is currently permitted. So after the PSA has been negotiated, the developer will begin the process of seeking approvals for design changes from the City. (SPC’s approval will be part of the PSA negotiation.) This phase of the project could take a year or longer depending on whether or not the developer chooses to make changes (such as an increase in unit count) that require an amendment to the existing Site Development Permit (SDP). If the developer instead chooses to pursue minor changes through the City’s “Substantial Conformance Review” process, the timeframe would be shorter.  (Late 2016)

At this point, we would be ready to close the transaction and the developer would prepare architectural drawings and apply for a building permit. This will take at least a year. Upon receipt of the building permit, tenants would need to leave Park Chateau, and Cathedral offices would move from the administration building to the basement space previously occupied by the Bishop and Diocese. Temporary restrooms would replace those in the administration building. (Late 2017)

Once the apartments, offices and parking lot are vacated, demolition could begin. The developer will be required to “make whole” any parts of the Cathedral damaged as the office building is demolished. And finally, construction will begin. Construction will likely take at least two years, at the end of which the Cathedral’s tenant improvements would be built. Funds from the land sale will be set aside to cover these improvements. (Late 2019/Early 2020)

At this point, the time line becomes sketchier (where did I put my crystal ball?). But following the relocation to new office space, the basement space formerly home to the diocesan offices will be thoroughly renovated, made ADA-accessible, and repurposed based on Chapter and congregational discussions.

While the next five years will be full of change, much discussion of our future, and probably some anxiety, I’m choosing to focus on the redeveloped Cathedral campus, with plenty of space for our ministries, custom built for today’s church, not the church of 1928 or 1951, when our Great Hall and Cathedral nave were built. As we move beyond our 150th anniversary as a parish in 2018, I have faith that St. Paul’s will ever more fully embody its mission to “Love Christ; Serve Others; Welcome All.”

- Mark Lester, LLC Manager


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