December 4, 2018 - Special City Council Work Session

Savannah City Government



December 4, 2018 – 9:00 a.m.

PRESENT: Mayor Eddie DeLoach, Presiding

Aldermen: Carol Bell, Julian Miller, Brian Foster, Bill Durrence, John Hall, Tony Thomas, Estella Shabazz, Van Johnson, II 

Rob Hernandez, City Manager

Bret Bell, Assistant to the City Manager

William Shearouse, Assistant City Attorney


To:  The Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Savannah

November 30, 2018

Pursuant to a Call by the Mayor, notice is hereby given that the Savannah City Council will hold a Special Council Workshop on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 in the Media Room, on the second floor of City Hall. The meeting will commence at 9:00 a.m. The purpose of the meeting is as follows:

  • Boards, Commissions, Authorities Interviews
  • Arena Design Review

Your presence is appreciated.


Luciana M. Spracher

Acting Clerk of Council

Workshop Agenda Items
1. Boards, Commissions and Authorities Interviews

Interviews for appointment to the following Boards, Commissions and Authorities were conducted:

  • Historic District Board of Review (HDBR)
  • Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC)
  • Savannah Airport Commission
  • Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA)
  • Savannah Recreation Commission
  • Savannah Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA)

City Council discussed applicants for appointments to the following Boards, Commissions and Authorities:

  • Civil Service Board
  • Coastal Workforce Development Board (CWDB)
  • Cultural Affairs Commission
  • Ethics Board
  • Greater Savannah International Alliance (GSIA)
  • Keep Savannah Beautiful
  • Park and Tree Commission
  • Pilotage Commission
  • Savannah-Chatham Council of Disability Issues
  • Chatham Savannah Authority for the Homeless
  • Housing Authority of Savannah
  • Traffic Calming Committee
  • Chatham Environmental Forum
  • Savannah Resource Recovery Development Authority
  • United Way Board of Trustees
2. Executive Session: Personnel / Lunch

Upon motion of Alderman Miller, seconded by Alderman Durrence, and unanimously carried Council went into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing Personnel.

Upon completion of this session, a motion was made to come out of Executive Session by Alderman Durrence, seconded by Alderman Johnson, and unanimously carried.

3. Arena Design Update
2018_1204 Savannah Arena_City Council Meeting.pdf

City Manager Hernandez welcomed everyone to the meeting. He stated this is the next step in the Arena concept design evolution process. Following the approval of the contract with Perkins + Will for the design of the Arena Project staff has been working with them on a variety of Town Hall sessions. A meeting was held in each Aldermanic district to allow citizens the opportunity to provide input on what they would like to see in the Arena. He continued stating the purpose of today’s meeting is to show Council the progress made since the meetings and to now allow Council the opportunity to provide concrete feedback as to what they would and would not like to see in the Arena. City Manager Hernandez asked Council when providing feedback to be specific as it will be more helpful to Perkins + Will in terms of takeaways from the meeting.

Pete Shonka, Executive Director of Arena Development, stated during the presentation the programmatic elements of the building will be revisited. He stated that has driven a lot of the design decisions. Additionally presenters will go through the interior of the building and relay how that drives design decisions on the exterior. He reminded Council this is a concept design and they have not penciled in all of the parts as of yet. Mr. Shonka concluded by introducing Don Dethlefs, Perkins + Will, to discuss the interior of the building.

Mr. Dethlefs showed Council a picture of the arena site in comparison to the Waterworks and the canal. He then briefly reviewed the agenda of items that will be discussed. Mr. Dethlefs briefly reviewed the project vision of the Savannah Arena which includes:

  • Providing a first class entertainment venue for the community, performers and businesses

  • Ensuring it is flexible and can host a diverse array of events to include: concerts, basketball, arena football, hockey, and family shows

  • Ensuring it is accessible and comfortable for everyone

  • Ensuring it has amenities and programs that can be used by the community outside of event times

He stated he realizes people will be coming to the arena site from a lot of different directions, but with the Waterworks and canal there they wanted to orient the major entrance to the building to the south.

He continued with the presentation discussing the Arena Program Recommendations. He stated seating will be 360 degrees all the way around, with the maximum capacity being over 10,000. There will be twelve to fifteen suites and 350-450 club seats.

Mr. Dethlefs then showed a building section of the building organization. He stated they do not want to build the building into the ground. The event level is right at grade level at Stiles Avenue. He stated the building will be built up to about level twelve and will slope down to the canal up out of the flood plain. He continued stating most people will go up to an upper concourse level, in addition there is an upper bowl and suites and club seats on the north side of the arena.

Mr. Dethlefs reviewed the Event level plan stating people will be coming up the new road in the middle that will potentially have developments surrounding it. He stated the idea is to have terraces at the canal. The stage end will be on the west end of the building. There will be lots of loading that will be hidden to attract large shows. He continued stating the concept is a separate contract to add an attached garage. On the event level is back of house spaces, with offices, storage, and a team store as well as a restaurant or restaurants along the canal at street level. Mr. Dethlefs stated the vast majority of people will go to the concourse level, which is 24 feet in the air via elevators and escalators.  Restrooms and concessions will also be on that level which allows the ability to have more glass on the exterior to show activity from the outside. He stated the concept is to have a lot of local food and beverages to have it feel like a piece of Savannah. There will be a deck or balcony overlooking the canal and outdoor terrace to have an indoor/outdoor relationship. He stated there will be bars on the concourse that will allow you to see what is going on inside, to create a very social environment. Additionally, it will have a club. Mr. Dethlefs stated the goal is to create a lot of different amenities. On the suite level there will be a moderate amount of suites, which is the only private level. On the overlook level, there is an upper bowl and loge which will have specialty services. He stated there will be a whole deck up there with multiple ways to access, additionally there will be an area for private parties adjacent to the upper seats. The balcony overlooks the arena and exterior view of the canal and downtown. He stated even though this is a big bowl, it will be close to the action. He then discussed the bowl flexibility to accommodate different types of events, such as hockey, basketball and concerts. He stated at this capacity it can attract, end stage and center stage.

Alderman Durrence stated when Council did the tour of the Gwinnett facility, one concern was needing some sheltered space prior to security entrance, and asked is it included. Mr. Dethlefs replied stating there will be a big plaza outside, with overhangs. In addition a security perimeter with covers will be designed with magnetometers. He stated they do not have the details yet on how those will be covered but it will be a part of it as the plaza is designed. He stated trucks will be kept further away from the building to protect people outside of the building.

Alderman Johnson asked about the discussions held about creating the building in a way to use when it is not in use, for example by having outside stores that are accessible from the outside. Mr. Dethlefs replied there will be a team store, restaurant(s), and a community room. He stated the goal is to have the surrounding buildings developed to take patrons down to the Waterworks building. Alderman Johnson stated his concern is if public space is not created smaller businesses will be priced out, and the arena would then be an opportunity for them. Mr. Dethlefs stated the operator RFQ is written to bring in local business for maintenance and food concessions.

Alderman Miller asked how the inability to hear in the nosebleed sections will be avoided. Mr. Dethlefs replied this is different than a stadium. Stadiums are usually designed for sports and concerts are an afterthought. This building is being designed for concerts, and the goal is to make sure to absorb the sound. He continued stating this is a mixed use building primarily being designed for concerts.

Alderwoman Shabazz stated focusing on this arena building footprint site, she is interested in the old Waterworks piece on this land. She stated with all the focus on the new and contemporary, she really thinks the City should not lose its history on any site the City is doing. She continued stating all the architecture and everything that’s in the Waterworks building needs to be preserved and needs to be taken into consideration with the future developments.

Mr. Dethlefs replied the arena was moved to the north as it is a much bigger building than the Waterworks. He stated if a park is there with the canal with the anchor and then the Waterworks building it will be a mixed use development. He stated this isn’t just an arena, it’s an arena with a canal district and they are taking it very seriously. He concluded stating there isn’t going to be another site like it and it is really exciting.

Alderman Miller asked if the City has selected the operator? City Manager Hernandez replied staff is going through the selection process now. Alderman Miller stated all this is being planned without the operating team and asked at what point is there going to be a chance for them to be a part of the process?

Mr. Dethlefs replied the City is interviewing the best three people in the country and they have worked with all of them. He added that they have all had a chance to look at the drawings.

A representative with Mr. Dethlefs stated they (the operator candidates) have all come to the community workshops and have all been asked their opinion on the Barrett Study. He continued stating they are all very familiar with the Barrett Study and all agree with the number of suites, clubs, etc. He stated they will not be starting with them from scratch but would still like to get them on board as soon as possible.

City Manager Hernandez stated he estimates that Council will be voting on the contract award within the next 30 days.

Denise Grabowski, Design Team member, came forward to present the community feedback to Council. She stated community input has been very important throughout the process. She stated there were two meetings, two surveys, and district town hall meetings. Ms. Grabowski stated they received 1000+ responses form the survey. What we heard was people wanted this to be a destination for Savannah and for the region. They want it to be inclusive with great diversity represented for people who attend and with the events. She stated they asked the community to respond to images of the exteriors of other arenas. The community is very excited about the opportunity for the canal to be more than just a drainage feature. They are excited about it being a true amenity and asset of the arena. Ms. Grabowski continued stating people responded positively to a lot of windows. In the interior they liked the open entryway. She stated there was a lot of excitement about the potential sporting events, diversity of seating, local food opportunities, and the integration of technology, but also reflecting the history of sports through the hall of fame in Savannah. She stated during the second meeting three different conceptual schemes were shared. The majority chose scheme 1, and about a third chose scheme 3, or a blend of both by taking elements from each one. Ms. Grabowski continued stating they heard people want a warm and inviting building that reflects Savannah, yet is modern and contemporary. The connection between the indoor and outdoor was universally complimented throughout the engagement. 

Alderman Johnson asked how many responses were received. Ms. Grabowski replied there were about 150 people at the community meeting. There were surveys at the meeting and online surveys, and they had face to face conversations with many of the attendees.

Alderman Johnson asked if that is a good representative sample. Mr. Dethlefs replied it is a good/high sample.

Ms. Grabowski stated responses were very thoughtful and detailed in responding to what they liked and what they didn’t like. She stated they realize they will never be able to make everyone 100% happy so they are trying to reach a point of consensus. She stated with the comment cards they heard, we want something that is durable, we want something that reflects Savannah, and there was an overwhelming response to brick, some said it’s used too much. She stated there were positive responses to the trellis and overhang to provide shade. She concluded stating they also heard a lot about having a sustainable design and one that is efficient and responsible going into the future.

Alderman Miller stated he is turned off by the design concepts. He thinks it looks too modernistic and looks like a closed shopping center to him. He concluded stating he’s not artistic enough to tell you what it looks like but it doesn’t look like Savannah.

Ms. Grabowski replied Marco is going to walk Council through the design and where it’s headed after the feedback received. She concluded stating they are not complete with the design as these are still all concept.

Marco Nicotera, Senior Project Designer, stated after the last community meeting they took a step back and thought about what is special about Savannah and wanted to look at Savannah in terms of its context not just in the Historic District, rather in the entire context of Savannah as a city. He continued stating the things drawn out of it is that it has a particular scale to it. They discussed the durability of materials, like the use of red brick, how they have a human scale and the way they meet the ground, and the ratio of the buildings based on the plan. Mr. Nicotera continued stating when you walk around historic Savannah you see a great variety of architectural expressions, sometimes they are more ornate, sometimes they are pared back, they all have different materials, and display differences in how they touch the ground. He stated the scale of an arena is so different than what you see in historic Savannah.  As you step out of the Historic District, the buildings become more horizontal and not vertical, they are utilitarian buildings and serve a particular function, and they are typically two story and are often brick. He stated you see some commonalities in all of these buildings that is different from the Historic District. The Waterworks building, is both utilitarian and has a significant beauty to it in its detailing, restoring it as an architectural gem would be very exciting to the Arena District. Mr. Nicotera then showed Council a diagram to look at the scale, looking at the height. He stated it is 85 feet tall compared to the Waterworks building which is 50 feet tall. He stated they thought about how to incorporate industrial features of Savannah buildings and the aspirational goals of the community for the building. He stated they want to avoid creating a sculptural object that doesn’t seem congruent with Savannah. He then showed Council a view from the Springfield Canal with a transparent open welcoming portal with an expression of brick, beginning to treat brick the way you see it throughout Savannah. Mr. Nicotera showed Council a conceptual design and reminded them that this is not the finished product, briefly describing the work that has been done. He stated the design showed the use of red brick and proportion, and the level of detail that makes Savannah unique. He stated they are tying it across local sites and nearby sites in Savannah. The design had an indoor/outdoor connection through larger portals of glass framed by brick often seen throughout Savannah. He continued stating they used warmer materials, trellises to shade glass and an active boundary between the canal and arena. He stated they have been working with Greenline Architecture, they have looked at other unique elements in Savannah that could tie into the arena. Mr. Nicotera briefly showed Council the approach off of Stiles, which introduces a brick colonnade that could play into the interior of the building. The west elevation on Stiles is more solid because programmatically that is where a lot of the support spaces are taking place, it reduces a lot of the heat gain, and it is responding to the scale of the nearby neighborhood. He stated as you arrive to the building you can see activity and you’re arriving to a grand space. He concluded stating in the lobby of the south side there is natural light and a brick colonnade, which creates a very dynamic environment.

Alderman Johnson stated he is extremely sensitive that there are two neighborhoods to the northeast and southwest of the building and he is concerned about what they will actually see as it relates to the building and how that is softened so that they are not looking at a brick wall, that it integrates with the community and they are not just looking at the butt of the building, and how that is addressed in the design.

Mr. Nicotera showed Council the west Stiles elevation, stating they are beginning to break that down and make those elevations more human.

Alderman Johnson stated it is important that the aesthetic features are reflective of their point of view and is symbolic. Mr. Nicotera replied they are trying to introduce smaller scale windows to have more of a residential feel to them. He stated it would be difficult to try to make an 80 foot wall feel like a 15 foot wall. He stated they are trying to create a scale that is much different on the west side than on the east side. He stated a couple residents approached him and they are more concerned about the visual noise as it relates to lighting. He concluded stating they are trying to mitigate some of those concerns.

Alderwoman Bell asked was the intent to select the operator early enough to have some coordination with the architecture and design of the building. Mr. Shonka replied yes. Alderwoman Bell asked if that is still happening. Mr. Shonka replied the operator is going to be concerned with the interior design of the building related to maintaining the building. He stated they usually aren’t that concerned with the exterior. He stated they will have input on the design as we are not so far down the road with any of this that they aren’t going to have input. He continued stating the big thing they want to know is where the maintenance equipment is stored and how they will get food into the building.

Alderman Miller stated he feels like Council is being shown the same designs and being told look how great this looks, but it’s still the same design. One thing the selection of this site did was introduce Council to the Waterworks building which is a gorgeous building, but being put next to this which is totally different. He pulled up a picture of the Savannah Electric building that Kessler is redoing and stated there are things that can be done to make it look more like Savannah. He stated the look of this building has nothing about Savannah as none of the things in the study show up in the building design.

Mr. Nicotera replied he begs to differ. He thinks the one thing he was trying to point out is that those buildings are often hotels, residences, and offices and they are congruent with the programs inside of them. He stated what he hopes came across is this scale and type of building doesn’t really exist in Savannah and the scale isn’t really the same. He continued stating it’s a different program, and they want it to feel like it fits in Savannah and not like they have gone into a historic building and rehabbed it. He concluded stating the Waterworks building is a different building and it is unique.

Alderman Miller stated he understands his position but still think there are more themes from the buildings looked at that could be carried into the building as this one doesn’t do it for him.

Ms. Grabkowski stated a lot of that detailing isn’t there yet because the design isn’t finished yet but as it continues to evolve a lot of those details will be very subliminal as you’re walking down the street.

Mayor DeLoach stated his issue is if you go to Bull Street where the School Board building is, if you walk around the building you can see the details on every side. He continued stating looking at the design shown to Council if portions are taken off you have a box. He stated there is an entryway that says wow and will carry us another fifty years. He stated he doesn’t see a design that says this is going to be here in 50 years and will be a beautiful entrance. He stated he wants it to make a statement that says you are in Savannah. He concluded stating he wants people to remember that entrance, and make a statement to our community.

Alderman Johnson stated he likes it. He thinks it could be manipulated in some ways. He continued stating when we talk about Savannah’s past, we are really talking Savannah’s future, and the brick gives the connection to the past but the glass talks about the future. When we talk about more enhanced designs we talk about more enhanced money. He stated the grander we get obviously we have to pay for it. He stated he gets the concept, it should be something different as it’s not in the Historic District. He stated those neighborhoods don’t have the Savannah feel and don’t look like Savannah and that’s part of our history. He stated there has to be a way to interchange Savannah’s past but we are also talking about Savannah’s future. He concluded stating he thinks this is a great starting point.

Alderman Thomas stated we are the architects of Savannah’s past a hundred years from now. He stated he doesn’t like the design and agrees with Alderman Miller and the Mayor. He stated he looked at the designs that were presented to Council and looked at buildings that have been torn down and keeps coming back to Union Station that was on Martin Luther King, Jr., Boulevard which was one of the larger scale buildings in Savannah. He stated there were components of it that you could incorporate such as creating towers, to marry some of it together. He stated that was a lost treasure that should not have happened. He concluded stating this might be an opportunity to bring components of that building forward to incorporate into the building. He concluded stating if there is any building that needs to be brought back to life it’s that building as it is significant to our community.

Mr. Nicotera replied all of the comments are helpful.

Alderman Thomas stated this is the most important investment this Council will ever make.

Alderman Hall stated the San Antonio Center (Henry Gonzales), looks nothing like Old San Antonio, it’s beautiful full of glass. The challenge you have is to satisfy nine people, none of us are going to live in the building. It is being designed for tourists and for people to come in. He concluded stating he thinks it’s a beautiful building.

Alderman Foster stated he would lean more towards what Alderman Johnson stated. The City can’t pay for what we have and Council is talking about building fancier things and stated that should be kept in mind. He stated there were 1,000+ responses and they designed exactly what people have asked for. He continued stating when you go to the Civic Center today, it is old, run down and dark. This building has been opened up and has a lot of light with places to go on the outside. He stated he gets that it’s designed for the canal, and they have done a remarkably good job of putting out there what they heard from the responses and giving our cost limitations. He concluded stating Council wanted a bright, open place where we can have a good time. He doesn’t want to close it up with brick and arches. It’s a place people are going to be entertained and thinks they have done a good job.

Alderman Miller Googled the Gonzales building. City Manager Hernandez replied that’s the old one. Alderman Miller stated there are other things that can be done to enhance the building. He concluded stating the building looks cheap to him.

City Manager Hernandez stated he would like to hear back from the design team in terms of what they think they heard today, because they are going to incorporate your feedback into the next design concept. He asked what are some of their questions and concerns that they need more input from?

Mr. Nicotera replied Alderman Foster highlighted the inherent conflict they have which is they are hearing a particular voice from the community which was highlighted earlier by Denise for a contemporary forward looking building that is full of transparency with lots of glass that looks to the future. He continued stating then there are City Council members that are looking at other examples within historic Savannah as reference points which is another point of view that may not be the same as the one previously mentioned. He continued stating the third contingent is how to marry it with the best of both worlds. The challenge is going to be falling somewhere in between to incorporate elements to a certain extent that can be played out in the building that is more detailed, and makes it feel not like a cheap building done in a way that can be afforded. He stated it’s their job as the design professionals to take into account all comments and synthesize them into a coherent design. He concluded stating he realizes they will not appease everyone and the worst thing would be to end up with a design that looks like four ideas that have been applied to one building and it reflects that.

City Manager Hernandez asked based on what was heard today, do you think you have a clear understanding of what your client is expecting and how will you continue to work on the design for the project incorporating some of the feedback heard today.

Monica Mastrianni, Greenline Architecture, stated she is on the program management team and she and Keith Howington have had a lot of input and have been talking to Perkins + Will, over the past few weeks. She continued stating Keith spent eight years on the Historic Review Board and felt that it was important for Perkins + Will to get input on local architecture, and how a project like this would be handled locally. She stated they have had a lot of input to this design work, and all of the buildings they have talked about were historic and are boxes. Ms. Mastrianni continued stating they look different depending on how they are dressed on the exterior. This box happens to be really large and they worked on breaking down the scale based on Savannah. She concluded stating this is not in the Historic District and it needs to appeal to the future and young people of Savannah as Savannah is hungry for a nicely designed contemporary building and believes this is a nice opportunity to do so.

Keith Howington, Greenline, stated what he heard from everyone is not necessarily a negative thing, as the renderings don’t necessarily show the level of details you are talking about like the Board of Education and Union Station. He stated those buildings show levels and base, middle and top and cornices and lintels, and he believes all of those are going to come out in this design, taking some of those elements out. He continued stating it will come down to those details through the context of Savannah. There are budgetary concerns and we don’t have the craftsmen for some of the grandiose details, but subtle hints can be taken from some of that and apply it to this building that is consistent with all of the buildings discussed.

Alderman Miller stated when the project first started there was a concept that Christian Sottile drew that showed what this building might look like and asked was that not the same type of building? Mr. Shonka replied that rendering was a little bit out of scale. Alderman Miller stated he doesn’t mean build that building, but take some of that concept and enrichen this building. He stated there is a wide swath between that building and this one.

Mr. Shonka stated throughout this process, they have changed a lot and worked very hard on it. He believes this is a very good compromise and invited Council to go online and look at North Charleston and Greenville and compare their arenas and tell him what they like and don’t like. He continued stating this is so much better than what other cities have. This is what a midsized government can afford. He concluded stating we need to compare apples to apples as much as possible.

Alderman Johnson stated when that is done you take out what fits in to a particular community. He stated we need something that will fit into our community.

Mayor DeLoach stated he apologizes if the design team is upset but some of us aren’t happy. He stated they are theoretically okay with it but it needs to have a statement that doesn’t look like every other place that could be anywhere. He stated it needs to be Savannah’s building and that’s not what he sees. He stated he doesn’t want to take away from anything that has been done and he’s just trying to emphasize that we have structures in town, and that building needs to have a statement that when you walk in the front of it you know you’re walking into Savannah.

Alderman Johnson asked Mayor DeLoach if his concern was more with the access point? Mayor DeLoach replied it’s the details.

Alderman Johnson stated he thinks Council needs to temper that with what our citizens have articulated are important to them. He concluded stating the folks that are paying the bill have weighed in heavily and decisively on a mix of at least two designs.

Alderman Thomas stated when the designs were released, they may have participated before the released designs, but he never heard that they loved it, he heard the opposite. Alderman Johnson stated he heard they were happy we were moving forward and they saw something concrete. Alderman Hall added he didn’t hear much of anything.

Alderman Thomas stated the ground hasn’t been turned yet, and asked if it is too late to get any other options? City Manager Hernandez replied that is a question for the design team. Mayor DeLoach stated the interior is set, and that is the largest part of the dollars.

City Manager Hernandez stated if he were a part of the design team what he thinks he is hearing is general acceptance to the programmatic of the interior; somewhat of an acceptance with the exterior understanding they haven’t flushed out all the concepts, understanding there are elements of Union Station or the Savannah Electric building that they may be able to incorporate those exterior design elements of this, that they still have a base product to work with. He concluded stating this is a good start and they need to take it to the next step and incorporate everything heard today and bring back the next design concept.

Alderman Miller replied yes, take this design and tweak it.

Mr. Dethlefs stated it seems like you are somewhat divided. He stated from the examples given one half wants more of a contemporary building and some examples given are more neo traditional.

Alderman Thomas stated you need a hybrid of it. He stated he thinks the interior is perfect but the façade needs enhancements.

Alderman Johnson stated he thinks it’s an excellent start.

JLL representative stated they have to hear this honestly. They have been in situations where the owner was afraid to give negative feedback and led us down a path they didn’t want to go.

Alderman Durrence sked if all this glass creates a negative situation? Mr. Dethlefs replied no, it will be clear glass. The JLL representative stated glass technology has changed a lot.

Alderman Foster stated he wants Council to remember who is paying for this, it is paid for by SPLOST and 40% of those individuals don’t live here. He continued stating who comes to concerts and sporting events, young people and millennials, they don’t want to come see Historic Savannah, they want a great place that is exciting to come to. He concluded stating he thinks they are closer to what millennials are looking for.

Alderman Thomas stated he respects his opinion but disagrees. The canal is being widened and they are creating a Canal District. He stated it has to fit in and it has to look good, as this is something that is going to be a staple of a whole new district. He continued stating it is that if they don’t get to where everyone is pleased they get to where everyone can agree. He concluded stating something needs to be built that is significant and beautiful.

City Manager Hernandez confirmed with design team, and asked if they are hearing tweaks or starting over from ground zero.

Jeff Sherman, Architect with Perkins + Will, replied he heard from everyone here that they are 100% aligned with doing something that is of remarkable quality. He stated they are early in the design process, and the goal is not to do a cheap box. He continued stating they all agree to do something beautiful. He concluded stating this is a building that people are going to be going to at night, and the glass will make it look vibrant and alive at night, as they don’t want a brick box.

Mayor DeLoach stating nobody wants a brick box. Council understands the City will be paying for something that is going to live long past all of them. He concluded stating it has to stand the test of time.

Alderman Durrence stated please keep in mind that the appearance on the computer screen looks different from the picture in the presentation. He also added that Council keeps talking about the downtown landmark design aesthetic, but in this community the history here is the industrial aesthetic and you should be thinking about it.

Mr. Shonka replied that is why we looked at the rail district.

City Manager Hernandez stated to close things, this is the first step, and the design team will continue to refine this design concept with the feedback given to them today. He stated they will be back with a more refined design of this concept within 60-90 days.


There being no further business, Mayor DeLoach declared this meeting of Council adjourned.

The video recording of the Special Council Work Session (Arena Presentation only) can be found by copying and pasting the below link in your url:

Luciana M. Spracher, Acting Clerk of Council
Agenda Plus