Of all the topics that have been discussed on this site, none have matched the impassioned response of the initial post on the Wheeler Plaza Development in downtown San Carlos. Between the direct comments to the site and the emails that I have received, it’s clear that the City’s plans for this site have struck a nerve with San Carlos residents. Some are overwhelmingly positive, welcoming a change to the downtown scene; others are equally negative, and are worried about the impact on parking and schools. Here’s what has happened since the original post.
In October of 2008, the City issued an RFQ to qualified contractors to re-develop the Wheeler Plaza location (see map above.) The guidance on the RFQ required that the development needed to include housing atop ground floor commercial, and the developer would need to replicate the parking on the current site as well as parking spaces needed for the proposed development.
The City received 10 responses to this RFQ, from which two finalist firms were selected after a thorough review by the selection committee. The City Council interviewed both of the finalist firms at their January 26, 2009 meeting, and took the matter under advisement. That’s where we are as of today…
Directly from the City website:
The City Council is scheduled to discuss the selection of a firm to enter into an agreement with the City to develop designs and plans to redevelop Wheeler Plaza and to partner with the City on an extensive public participatory process about this site at the February 9, 2009 City Council Meeting.
What does that statement mean? According to Housing Development Manager Mark Sawicki, once the winning firm is picked by the City Council, they will embark on the aforementioned “extensive public participatory process.” This entails interviewing neighboring businesses, and residents of San Carlos to better understand what the best usage for the site should be. The details of this process, and the dates for any meetings where the public will be able to voice their opinion have yet to be announced.
What Can You Do?
If you’re interested in keeping informed about developments in the Wheeler Plaza process, here’s what you can do:
- Attend the City Council Meeting on February 9, 2009.
- Check back on the blog. I will endeavor to keep you updated on this topic. If you haven’t already done so, I’d recommend that you subscribe to this site (of course I’m going to say that.)
- Check the Wheeler Plaza section of the City of San Carlos website for updates.
- Subscribe to the City’s E-Notify email subscription service. My experience with this service is that it’s a bit erratic on the timely delivery of updates, so I don’t rely on it exclusively.
Stay tuned…this should be a very interesting process!
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