Spokane City Councilman Orville Barnes plans to travel to Washington, D.C., today to sit in on Mayor John Talbott’s meeting with federal officials.
Talbott plans to meet with officials from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Wednesday to discuss his concerns about a $22.65 million loan to a downtown redevelopment project.
Talbott will be in Washington, D.C., today through Sunday to attend the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ annual meeting.
Barnes decided to attend the meeting so federal officials realize the majority of council members support the loan, he said. The trip was urged by council members Jeff Colliton, Roberta Greene and Phyllis Holmes.
Barnes plans to return to Spokane Wednesday.
The proposed public-private partnership calls for HUD to loan the city the money, which then would be loaned to River Park Square developers. The loan has received preliminary approval but hasn’t been awarded.
The $100 million redevelopment project includes a Nordstrom department store, a multiplex movie theater, expanded parking and numerous shops and restaurants.
During Monday’s council forum, six people spoke in favor of the River Park Square project.
“If the downtown project does not happen, our business will fail,” said Sheri Young, who with her husband owns a used-car business on North Division.
“Spokane really is at a threshold,” said Jim Kolva, former member of the city’s Plan Commission. “We’re on the brink of having a great downtown or a wasteland.”
River Park Square is owned by Citizens Realty Co. and Lincoln Investment Co., affiliates of Cowles Publishing Co., owner of The Spokesman-Review.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: REDEVELOPMENT The $100 million downtown redevelopment project includes a Nordstrom department store, a multiplex movie theater, expanded parking and numerous shops and restaurants.