Council hears pitch for Marietta Riverside Project
A presentation was delivered to Marietta City Council on Monday about the proposed $8 to $10 million Marietta Riverside Project.
Abe Sellers, local attorney, showed the council drawings of the project which the land developers hope to build on the Peoples Bank parking lot at the corner of Franklin Street and Putnam Avenue in the city’s fourth ward.
Sellers said to be able to purchase the property, Peoples Bank would have to find another 119 parking spaces for employees. A tentative agreement has been reached regarding another lot for bank employees, but a variance request would have to go through council to reduce the number of spots needed from 119 to 66.
Bob Monahan, general counsel for the land development company, said they would be unable to do the project without the city’s help. Lots adjacent to the Peoples Bank parking lot have already been purchased by the land developer, Milo Ritton.
“We’ve already invested half a million” in procuring the lots, Monahan said.
Brian Waugh, president of Par Mar Oil Company, dba Par Mar Stores, said their current facility is not big enough.
“These won’t be just offices, but training facilities,” he told the council.
He said they were interested in keeping the Par Mar headquarters in Marietta, where they’ve been since 1967.
“We’re named after the city,” he said. “Marietta is our city and we want to be here.”
Ritton said it would take a lot of steps to complete the project, but they can’t begin until they know about the parking lot.
“This is the 50-yard line of the west side. This needs to be better than just a parking lot,” he said.
Mayor Josh Schlicher said they’ve been working on this project a while and he wants to do everything to make this project happen.
Fourth Ward Councilman Geoff Schenkel said they are working on pedestrian infrastructure improvements and invited those involved in the project to participate in their discussions, saying this project would have a “pretty big impact” on the west side.
Cassidi Shoaf, councilwoman at-large, asked about the parking variance and Sellers replied the bank doesn’t need 119 spots and he believes the alternate lot would suit the bank’s needs.
Council President Susan Vessels said this was an exciting concept to bring employees into downtown Marietta.
Finance Chairman Mike Scales said Marietta needed more jobs and this was a “great gift to the west side.”
“It shows Marietta is open for business,” he said.
Sellers was asked how quickly they were interested in starting the project.
“As quickly as council is ready to move,” he answered.