Waco City Council on Tuesday is set to seal the deal on a $100 million riverfront development known as the Brazos Promenade.
The council will vote on a development agreement with its master developer, Catalyst Urban Development, which plans to build a mix of full-service hotel, retail, restaurant and multifamily residences on the city’s 16-acre site around the Waco Downtown Farmers Market on University Parks Drive.
The council meets at 6 p.m. for its business session following a 3 p.m. work session, both at the Waco Convention Center’s Bosque Theatre.
The business session agenda also includes council confirmation of Ryan Holt as police chief.
City staff said the agreement for the riverfront project was still being finalized Monday and was not ready to be made public.
City Manager Dale Fisseler said the agreement spells out the obligations of each side.
“I think it protects us,” he said. “Our due diligence was looking at other projects that Catalyst has done and that have been successful. I’m confident they’ll finish what they start, but we have to protect ourselves because there have been other examples where that didn’t happen.”
Under the agreement, the city will remediate the site and provide upfront funding for off-site improvements, including enhancements to University Parks Drive and the farmers market.
For the on-site improvements, Catalyst must finish each phase of work before receiving incentives for that phase. The city can revoke the lease and funding for any phase that does not begin on time.
The city has already pledged $20.2 million in Tax Increment Financing Zone funds to the project. That includes up to $8 million the city is spending on site cleanup, due to be complete by next fall. The council also will vote in January on a $3.8 million economic development grant, called a 380 grant, along with a long-term ground lease.
The first phase, which would begin late next year and finish by late 2019, includes 264 multifamily units, including 44 “live-work” units that ultimately could become commercial or office space.
Also in the first phase is 10,222 square feet of retail, restaurant and office space, and a 344-space parking garage. The farmers market and University Parks Drive would be enhanced as part of the first phase.
An overlapping second phase, to be completed by the end of 2020, would include a hotel with at least 110 rooms, a 12,000-square-foot conference space and an attached retail, restaurant and spa space. It would also include public parks and open space and improvements to Webster Avenue.
The third phase would include a 17,000-square-foot restaurant and retail building, an outdoor venue by the river and recreational space.
Also on Tuesday, the council will consider adding $322,700 to the engineering contract with SCS Engineers for cleaning up the riverfront site, bringing the contract to $672,300.
SCS has been testing the site and has discovered large amounts of fill material, including brick, concrete and glass. If the material is found to be non-toxic, it will be ground up, returned to the site and compacted.