CASPER, Wyo. — New downtown housing is headed to Casper.
The city council voted on Tuesday, Nov. 5 to authorize the sale of the former Plains Furniture and adjacent properties to FLAG Development, LLC.
Vice Mayor Shawn Johnson, Councilwoman Khrystyn Lutz and Councilman Steve Cathey all voted yes, though they had voted no on the last vote.
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Only Councilman Ken Bates voted no.
This vote was a reconsideration of the sale after the council voted 4-4 on the final sale of the properties to FLAG Development, LLC for $500,000 during their Tuesday, Oct. 15 meeting.
Councilman Steve Freel abstained from that vote and the tie meant the sale failed to move forward.
Tuesday’s decision authorizes the mayor and city manager to complete steps needed to close the deal.
Lutz motioned for the reconsideration.
She says she’d spoken with many people since that vote and had learned that the project would create jobs. She said citizen outreach was also a significant part of her decision since many of her constituents had urged her to vote yes.
Cathey also changed his vote. He said he was opposed to the city’s initial purchase of the property because the price the city paid at that time was too high.
“What we do need though is the development, the diversification,” he said. “For the overall growth of the city, this is a good thing.”
Councilman Ray Pacheco said that forward thinking is necessary if Casper is going to attract and retain younger people.
Ahead of the vote, Councilman Ken Bates said he had a problem with the $500,000 sales price.
“That big of a loss, it eats me up,” he said.
Despite that, he said the proposal for “The Nolan” was a good one.
Councilman Bob Hopkins said that he understood the sale would be a loss up-front, but that it was an opportunity for the city.
He pointed to examples such as David Street Station where the city provided seed-funding and saw good things happen in the community.
“A little seed-money here and there will go a long way to make the downtown a better place,” Hopkins said.
This article shows a synopsis of the city’s history with the former Plains properties since 2012.
The properties involved in the sale have an appraised value of about $1.1 or $1.2 million.
A memo from City Attorney John Henley and Community Development Director Liz Becher acknowledged that the city stood to lose money on the deal. The city paid $3 million in 2016 for the former Plains building and some surrounding properties not included in this deal.
FLAG’s vision is to turn the following properties into a housing and office space called “The Nolan”:
- Livery building and some additional land to the south
- South parking lot, south of the Plains building
- The three buildings in the Plains complex
Selecting the name “The Nolan” for the site would honor the properties’ original history.
FLAG’s plans include up to 11 market-rate loft townhouses, an open-air courtyard and 8,200 square feet of office space.
FLAG also looks to build seven three-story market-rate row houses in the south parking lot area. The Livery Stable would be demolished and converted into a private parking lot.
The final purchase agreement saw some changes from the original proposal.
The initial agreement would have waived land fill fees associated with the demolition and construction of the site. The final agreement only waives these fees up to $10,000.
Hazardous material land fill fees are excluded from the waiver.
The other change is that the city will not sell a public parking lot north of the former KaLark’s building for 10 years after the sale, which replaces a “right-of-first refusal” section that would have given FLAG the first right to purchase the parking lot should the city wish to sell it within five years.
The city’s process to sell the properties has been a drawn-out process.
City staff omitted one of the lots involved in the sale when they published an announcement of the sale last month, pushing it back to Oct. 15.
In March, the city council rejected two proposals they’d received to sell the properties because they thought the offers were too low relative to the properties’ appraised value.
Those proposals came from FLAG Development and from Ashby Construction, LLC.
The city council then opened up a new request for proposals on the properties. FLAG submitted the only proposal.
The council entered into an agreement with FLAG Development, owned by Daigle and Kevin Hawley, in July to work toward the sale of the properties.
Further details about the purchase agreement are included in the council’s work packet.
If you would like to contact members of the Casper City Council regarding this or any other issue, here is their contact information:
Mayor Charlie Powell (Ward II, Term Expires 1/5/21):
- (307) 577-6042
Vice Mayor Shawn Johnson (Ward II, Term expires 1/3/23):
- (307) 337-5057
- (307) 277-7377
Councilman Ken Bates (Ward II, Term expires 1/5/21):
- (307) 473-1247
Councilman Steve Cathey (Ward III, Term Expires 1/5/21):
- (307) 262-8237
Councilman Steve Freel (Ward III, Term expires 1/3/23):
- (307) 259-1276
Councilman Bob Hopkins (Ward I, Term expires 1/5/21):
- (307) 472-1837
Councilman Mike Huber (Ward I, Term expires 1/5/21):
- (307) 266-4188
Councilwoman Khrystyn Lutz (Ward I, Term expires 1/3/23):
- (307) 359-3673
Councilman Ray Pacheco (Ward III, Term expires 1/3/23):
- (307) 258-1226
Council members can also be reached by mail at: 200 N. David Street, 82601
If you would like to contact members in your specific ward, but don’t know which ward you are in, a map is available at the City of Casper’s website.