SIOUX CITY -- The Sioux City Council on Monday moved forward a project that will bring more than 500 new parking spaces and more retail development to the southern edge of Pearl Street downtown.
The council voted 4-0 to begin the 30-day notice period for a proposal to build an $11 million parking ramp at the southwest corner of Third and Pearl streets between the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City and the Tyson Events Center.
The four-story ramp, which will be funded half by the Hard Rock and half by the city, is expected to include approximately 530 parking spaces along with 15,000 square feet of first-floor commercial space.
The 30-day notice period is required since the land sits in an urban renewal area. Councilman Dan Moore abstained from Monday's vote because his law firm represents the casino.
Bill Warner, CEO of Las Vegas-based Warner Hospitality, which owns the Hard Rock, presented the project to the Sioux City Council Monday.
"I think everyone understands that there's limited parking in the downtown area when there's events at the Tyson or we have events," he said.
Warner said the ramp will be designed to allow traffic to use one direct ramp rather than a spiral to ascend the floors.
"It's proposed to have what's called a 'speed ramp,' which allows you to get from the first floor all the way up just from one direct ramp," he said. "It's nice and convenient for guests."
Those parking for Hard Rock events will have direct access to the venue by riding an elevator to the first floor level that will open in a lobby area.
Warner said the ramp will also help make up for parking spaces that could be lost by any future expansion at the Hard Rock, although he said there's no new project in the works at the moment.
City manager Bob Padmore said the project could go out for bid as early as June. It's expected to take about a year to construct.
Padmore said the additional retail space will be a finishing piece to the southern end of the Pearl Street development.
"It's something that would not only complement Hard Rock but provide additional opportunities for people going to the Tyson," he said.
Under the agreement with the city, the city would own the ramp and retail space, which would then be leased by the Hard Rock as the prime tenant. Hard Rock will be responsible for subleasing the retail space, and the subleases for those spaces would be subject to city approval.
Warner said parking would be free.
The city will continue working on plans and agreements for the project over the next month. On Tuesday, the Planning and Zoning Commission will vote on a rezoning of the property and a site plan for the project.
The City Council will then hold a public hearing June 11 and will consider development and lease agreements for the project.
In other action Monday, the council voted 5-0 to direct staff to prepare an ordinance to renew Downtown Partners' taxing district for another five years. It will take a formal vote to adopt the ordinance June 11.
The taxing district's boundaries will expand to include a handful of properties, including more of Mercy Medical Center -- Sioux City's campus, Doxx Warehouse Bar, and Ho-Chunk Inc.'s Virginia Square development.
The council directed staff to also include property south of Gordon Drive that will include the future site of the riverfront development within those boundaries.
Downtown Partners wanted the land to be included so it could financially support the future riverfront development at Chris Larsen Park, which is expected to begin following I-29 construction.
The council's direction ran contrary to the recommendation of city staff and the city's Planning and Zoning Commission, which had advised the city to wait until the conclusion of the Interstate 29 reconstruction project to decide whether the uses of the land would work within the district.