Not sure what to name this thread so mods please change if necessary!
We are a small lower-income community with virtually no development or growth.
We have a large institutional use (15 acres including parking) adjacent to our Historic District along a state highway that is leaving and tearing down all their buildings. This is fantastic opportunity for the community to create something special in a very distinct area. However, as a staff we are unsure how to go about making sure this large piece of land becomes something meaningful and adds value to our downtown district. Outside of rezoning it to a district that doesn't allow metal buildings and tons of parking up front is there another path we should follow? Like I mentioned, there is no growth and currently developers are trying to offload their properties on the cheap so forcing some grand mixed-use urban project isn't a possibility. We don't have money to hire a consultant to study the area and there are no grants for such studies available where we are. They are going to leave it parking and remove all of the building (foundations included) but we want to make sure something is in place before they can sell it to a used-car store or something.