EDA discusses changes at Obici Place

Published 8:45 pm Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Economic Development Authority on Wednesday took three votes after an hour-long closed session related to the Obici Place development.

The authority twice voted 6-0, with Robert Barclay abstaining because he has done business with Meridian Obici, to amend covenants and restrictions of Obici Place and to amend the cost participation agreement with Meridian.

A third vote passed 7-0, and it allowed the developer of the commercial portion of the site more time to get a site plan — which includes plans for an Aldi supermarket — to get approved.

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The North Main Street site, vacant for many years after the former Louise Obici Memorial Hospital moved to Godwin Boulevard, now holds the Meridian Obici apartment development in the rear of the site. The front of the site is planned for commercial development.

Economic Development Director Kevin Hughes said the cost participation agreement with Meridian formalizes the developer’s commitment to pay for the traffic signal improvements at the intersection.

The changes to the covenants and restrictions are “essentially a restructuring of how we police it,” Hughes said of the development.

The authority has restrictions on the development that allow it to ensure a high-quality development, Hughes said. For example, the authority has told the developer not to bring lease deals that feature certain types of retail like mattress stores.

Although that hasn’t changed, some minor changes were approved on Wednesday to make the site more attractive to retailers, Hughes said.

“It’s very much driven by who’s coming,” he said.