Destination Bayfront is a $72 million plan to turn the old coliseum area into a huge entertainment and park destination, but the group behind the effort said it needs about $60 million in City bonds to complete the project as planned.
City staff and the City Planning Commission are not interested in putting the Destination Bayfront project in with the 2012 project list. A group of city financial and community leaders has been working on getting the project completed.
Many other cities across the country have built similar parks, which include restaurants and shops. It would help to draw tourists to town and give them something to do along the Bayfront, not to mention the residents who could come to eat, shop and perhaps take sailing lessons.
But $60 million of the $72.5 million planned development would have to come from the City. Right now, staff and the planning commission agree that it would go on the November ballot, but would be included among the other bond projects that would require a tax increase to fund.
Right now, the City has $55 million of bond cap space that is dedicated to street repairs, and those dollars would not mean an increase in taxes.
"The number we need is $60 million. Now we're not sure if we're going to ask for the full $60 million or how it's going to be proposed or broken up into pieces, but the question is how much do we need," said J.J. Hart of the Destination Bayfront project, "and the answer is $60 million."
"$60 million price tag, I mean, while daunting, the best we can do is put it on the ballot and let the voters decide whether or not that's something they see, hold or place value in to approve or not," Assistant City Manager Oscar Martinez said.
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