Some of our thoughts on the proposed development of the downtown parking lot:
• This block is the last piece of city-owned, prime downtown, riverfront property. Of course a developer wants it. This space is key to existing business and residential vitality.
• The city may not want to invest in totally restoring the popular public parking lot that’s been in poor condition for over 20 years, but we the taxpayers may end up sinking tons of money in infrastructure and consultants before an investor actually starts construction on that site. Why not spend that money to make this block an inviting parking and green space?
• We are told the city wants to encourage activity and use of downtown spaces. This parking block already has plenty of active use. No need for a hotel to draw more activity.
• Present hotel occupancy numbers do not warrant creation of more than 100 new overnight rooms downtown. The new downtown Holiday Inn Riverfront should be outraged the city would consider a hotel in this location.
• Reasonable sites to consider are the nearly empty Kentucky Avenue and Washington Street block between Third and Fourth, or the empty Kresge building lot in the 300 block of Broadway.
• Restoration of downtown buildings has been a steady forward process for decades. New construction, as proposed in this location, would discourage the momentum to restore upper floors for living spaces and retail on first floors in buildings beyond riverfront locations.
• When we have guests in town and want them to “experience Paducah” we place them in downtown restored properties. They are wowed every time.
• TIF benefits are not worth doing what is being proposed to the charming historical district of our downtown. Another location for construction could create those same TIF tax credits.
• The new structures being proposed don’t complement the natural charm and ambience of our historical district. The proposed design even has “sailboats” in the background on the Ohio River.
Hopefully our leaders will reconsider this proposed plan. Yes, progress is awesome and welcome. But a hotel on this property will not be viewed as “progress” in the future.
Please don’t do this to downtown Paducah.