I urge the Council to think about the 801 Magnolia lease in the context of the City’s upcoming Regional Housing Needs Allocation, which will far exceed its prior allocations. The City will need to consider all tools and resources at its disposal, including use of City-owned parcels.
Parcels in the City center – proximate to taller structures, bus lines, schools and emergency services – will garner particular attention in considering suitability for higher density housing, perhaps in conjunction with compatible ground floor civic uses.
Thus, I think it is imperative that the City allow itself the flexibility to exit a lease with the Center for the Arts if it determines the parcel could be put to higher and better use down the road. There are many ways this could be structured, but I fear that the current lease terms do not allow the City sufficient flexibility in this regard.