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Coliseum construction delayed by city commission

Coliseum construction delayed by city commission

Some business owners concerned about parking

March 14th, 2018 by Karl Richter in Texarkana News

The Coliseum, a former downtown Texarkana nightclub, will be turned into apartments on Broad Street.

Photo by Jim Williamson /Texarkana Gazette.

The Texarkana, Ark., Planning Commission on Tuesday put off a decision on allowing construction of apartments in the former Coliseum nightclub downtown.

Because of concerns about parking, the commission tabled a vote on approving a conditional-use permit for the proposed development. Commissioners said they would be willing to hold a special meeting to expedite the permit if parking issues can be worked out before their next regular meeting, scheduled for April 10.

Owners of businesses near the Coliseum building, at 401 E. Broad St., expressed concern that future apartment residents would take up too many curbside parking spaces on the block, forcing their customers to park farther away.

The city has proposed leasing to the Coliseum's developers 64 parking spaces in a lot it owns at East Third and Hazel streets, but neighbors are skeptical that residents would park there if spaces closer to the apartments were available. Another anticipated problem is how to enforce clearing that lot for special events such as car shows staged there by the nearby Four States Auto Museum.

"We want to enable this development, but we want to enable it in a positive way that has a positive effect on everyone involved," Commissioner Boots Thomas said.

The city's Board of Directors held a workshop meeting on the proposed parking lease last week. The board agreed to notify stakeholders and have a second workshop on the issue before taking any further steps.

The permitting delay stops developers Jeffrey Wright and Christian Wright from proceeding with the Coliseum project, despite their eagerness to begin construction work.

"We're ready to make this investment," Christian Wright said. Jeffrey Wright said that if permitting for apartments did not work out, they would use the building for some other purpose, perhaps as a warehouse.

On Twitter: @RealKarlRichter

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