Wayzata resident Jeff Shore posed the question at a recent Wayzata City Council meeting, and sought an answer to whether or not the Bay Center would move forward. “Are we holding Pres Homes to what they originally agreed to do? Our biggest exposure is that it ends up being a hole in the ground. This would be, in my opinion, a tremendous blow to the community if they can’t finish what they agreed to start.”
Mayor Ken Willcox met with representatives from Presbyterian Homes as recently as last week, and indicated, “My understanding is that they have every intention of going forward with the plan as it was structured. The lurching has been happening because of the financial crunch, and that the key markets they would have been building into, namely condos and retail have fallen on hard times. They have readjusted the schedule of what they are going to build first. Everything is still on course.”
Councilwomen Mary Bader asked if their was a possibility that the property along Lake Street would sit vacant. “We know the market for retail has been difficult, the condo market has been difficult, we don’t know about the hotel. The sequence originally was that the buildings along Lake Street would be built first, and the senior housing last. Now that sequencing will be changing, the senior housing will be built first. What is the possibility that the buildings on Lake Street, the hotel, and the retail sections–could that land along Lake Street sit undeveloped for years or decades?
City Manager Al Orsen indicated, “There is no way to guarantee that it will get built. They are promising to deliver the utility construction schedule within the next 30 days.”
An email seeking an updated timeline from Presbyterian Homes representatives was not immediately returned.