Bids open on government center location

The city is seeking bids on the site of its government center building on Pleasant Street. A request for proposals was put out Aug. 14, with a deadline of Oct. 11, Mayor Gary Christenson said Friday. The city expects proposals to offer mixed-use development with residential, retail, and office space, and the “potential development of a high-quality hotel,” according to a copy of the request. In a phone interview, Christenson said the parcel wouldn’t simply go to the highest bidder, and that the city expected proposals that would reconnect Pleasant Street and aim to revitalize the city’s center. “We want to give developers a real opportunity to be creative and innovative,” Christenson said. “I think we’re more interested in what can be done over what the top dollar will be.” After Christenson announced he wanted to either purchase land to build a new city hall or construct one on city-owned land, a committee of city councilors, led by Council President Neal Anderson, began a review of options. The committee ultimately decided to first take bids on the current city hall lot before looking at relocation options.