City Council learned of revised plans for Phase Two from Testa Companies, the City’s proposed development partner, at the August 1 Council meeting. The new plans were based on input from Open Houses and group meetings. Afterwards, several residents shared their questions and concerns. Many commented that the plans presented by Testa development firm did not “fit Hudson,” that we were making a traffic problem downtown worse with more development, and that we were “moving too fast” with plans.
Since height and density were common issues, I asked that we see a comparison of the new plans with existing city blocks and neighborhoods. Density in particular is a concept that often has negative connotations, not just in Hudson. Here’s a good description of the concept.
It may seem that we are moving fast, but from my perspective, the more detail we can see in proposals, the better feel we will have about Testa. Keep in mind that we have no agreement with Testa, all this can be see an “audition” for actually hiring them once we know whether what they propose fits our collective vision and our cost parameters. As I said in the meeting, this is “our” (Hudson’s) project — not one being laid out on private property.
Council may decide it wants to go in a different direction. It’s not unheard of –the City of Cleveland Heights just parted company with Fairmount Properties when they couldn’t agree on the vision for a mixed-use development like ours land that has been vacant for decades. Fairmount may be familiar to Hudson readers – they are responsible for First & Main and were a bidder on Phase Two.
So there’s much to discuss yet. I have concerns, as do other Council members. With more details on construction and financing we will get closer to a finished project.
The public sessions on Phase Two are over, but if you would still like to comment and question plans, you are invited to my next Ward Three Forum, 7 PM Monday Aug 28 at Barlow Community Center. We normally focus on Ward 3 issues, but I will make time once Ward questions are asked to have a Q&A about Phase Two. Full disclosure – I was not a leading proponent of the priority for Phase Two or need for housing. Since a majority of Council voted to go forward and we have invested in the process, I am committed to make it a success.
We may also discuss the proposed housing on Stow Road at the Turnpike and future funding for EMS if the audience that night wants to know more. For a summary of where we are presently, see my link to Notes from the Recent Council meeting.