Published Date Written by Craig LyonsIt's possible that another proposal from the Eastland Park Hotel to annex part of Congress Square could come back for the city's review based on continuing discussions between the developer and staff.
The City Council's Housing and Community Development Committee met in a non-public session to discuss continuing talks with RockBridge Capital — the firm that owns the Eastland Park Hotel — about possible plans to redevelop Congress Square. While no decisions were made during the meeting, committee Chairman Nick Mavodones said once further discussions have taken place between the city's staff and developers, there's a possibility of a new proposal coming back on the table for discussion.
A new proposal from RockBridge about taking over part of Congress Square would be the first the HCDC has seen since this summer. The city anticipated seeing a revised proposal from RockBridge in the fall, though no plans materialized.
RockBridge Capital was interested in building a ballroom or events facility that would extend off the hotel and into the property that's now occupied by Congress Square Park along High Street. The developers presented a tentative plan that would use a portion of the park for the ballroom and leave a "pocket park" along Congress Street for public use.
The company's intentions for the ballroom were entirely separate from the rest of the hotel's renovation plans.
The Congress Square Redesign Committee did not endorse the developers' plans and preferred the city find another way to rehabilitate the neglected park.
(Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that representatives from RockBridge Capital met with the council committee during the non-public session. No one from the company were present at the meeting.)