Duluth city officials have decided on an initial course of action for developing the vacant lot on Main Street next to the Red Clay Theater.
City Council members decided Monday (Aug. 26) at a work session to let the city's Downtown Development Authority solicit interest from private developers about the property. That entity would likely allow 90 days for that process to run its course.
"We need to make a decision," Mayor Nancy Harris told council members before soliciting their positions later in the meeting. "We need to stop spinning our wheels." Discussions on what to do with the property, which also sits next to Pure Taqueria, have gone on for a couple of years, Harris estimated.
The council got a presentation from architect Les Spencer on a possible city-financed solution. The most elaborate of three options included an open-air building with a basement and rooftop dining. Cost estimate was $1.1 million. Two other less costly options also were presented.
"We need something more to happen now," council member Marsha Anderson Bomar said. Added council member Kelly Kelkenberg: "We've got an ugliness there now."
If no private developers provide what the DDA considers an acceptable solution, then the city would consider other options for developing the land.