The city plans on building a transit center at the location that would serve as a bus stop. The city hopes Redstone will also develop a city welcome center and commercial offices. Redstone management also proposed to build a hotel at the location.
LINK: View Redstone's Plan for the Carr Lot
The council voted 4-2 in favor of Redstone but in unusual fashion. Councilors Anne Watson, Jessica Edgerly Walsh and Justin Turcotte voted in favor of Redstone while councilors Donna Bate and Thierry Guerlain were in favor of developer D.E.W Construction Corp.
Before the vote, Montpelier Mayor John Hollar indicated he was in favor of D.E.W but in order to prevent a tie he voted in favor of Redstone.
Councilor Tom Golonka was abstained from the vote since his in-laws own the Capitol Plaza Hotel, possibly creating a conflict of interest since Redstone proposed to build a hotel at the Carr Lot. After the vote he told FOX 44 he would have voted in favor of D.E.W.
At the council meeting Larry Williams, a principal with Redstone, said the company is more than willing to work with the city to determine the best use of the Carr Lot, even if that includes not building a hotel.
Mayor John Hollar and some members of the public who spoke at the meeting indicated building a hotel at the site could make it harder to complete the main objective of building a transit center. The city still has to acquire land from the Capitol Plaza Hotel in order to include a bike path as part of the development.
Councilors who voted in favor of Redstone gave multiple reasons. Walsh says she liked that Redstone offered an option to return the $1.7 million the city is investing in the project through taxes from properties built at the Carr Lot. She also thought Redstone offered a better plan for sustainability.
Watson says she valued the opinion of the Carr Lot Steering committee, which recommended the council move forward with Redstone.
Bate says she believed D.E.W's proposal offered a better option for a public place while Guerlain says he still had many questions about the Redstone project.
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