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Caz: Riverside Drive development gains mass, loses steam

Development on the Riverside Drive property awarded to developers Ed Green and Scott Shannon is still moving forward, but the developers need more financing than they had originally planned, slowing down the project.

"They came in with a proposal that satisfied the immediate issues that we had asked for," said Village Trustee Peggy Van Arnam. " nobody liked it. So we went back to the drawing board with the advisory committee, and the recommendation was that we needed more parking which would require more space."

Acquiring the extra property for that space meant adding quite a bit of cost to the project, Van Arnam said, "which means that essentially, we need to begin, or the developer needs to begin, that financing search all over again. And that is going to take some time."

St. Joseph's Medical Center plans on opening medical facilities in the new development, and such facilities could attract money from the recently passed Healthcare Reform Act, Van Arnam said. But she stressed that it may be a slow moving process.

"I think it's important for people to realize that it's not something that just falls out of the sky. This is a very bad time to be looking for money, which doesn't mean there isn't any," she said. "There are a number of grants for which this project would be good. "

When will construction on the property begin? It looks like it may take some time, Van Arnam said.

"I don't think there's any reason to be pessimistic," she said, "but I think there is reason to not expect the project to break ground this year."

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