City Hall is moving ahead with a plan to buy two-and-a-half blocks of property just off the downtown owned by Pepsi Americas Inc., according to a City Hall report to city employees.
The city plans to put its new bus depot, called the Intermodal Transit Facility, on part of the site.
Pepsi operates a warehouse and maintenance operation on the property and has its office there at 400 Sixth Ave. SE.
In early March, the City Council selected the Pepsi Americas Inc. property as the preferred site with the new transit facility.
City staff and Pepsi have been talking since, and Pepsi now is meeting with local contractors to determine the cost to relocate to a new facility. The city is expected an update from Pepsi this month.
The city’s plan is to buy the entire two-and-half blocks and then to sell what it doesn’t need for the Intermodal Transit Facility.
In part, the city picked the Pepsi site with the idea that the Pepsi operation is something of an industrial operation not necessarily suited for a spot close to the downtown.
The city has been trying for years to build the transit facility, and has had $9 million in federal funds in place for the project since 2002.
Initially, the new depot was slated to go up across First Avenue East from the U.S. Cellular Center. Next, the city moved the site to Second Street SE. The current council said the Second Street SE site didn’t make sense because it was so close to the Ground Transportation Center bus depot. The council then decided to close the GTC depot and move its function into the new Intermodal facility at Sixth Street SE and Ninth Avenue SE. That site flooded, though, and the Federal Transit Administration said the city can’t build there. That led the council to the Pepsi site.
In the meantime, the council also has to decide what to do with the GTC depot site, which also flooded in June 2008.
For now, the bus terminal is operating out of temporary buildings in the city’s Park and Ride lot along Second Street SE.