The Hynds and Hole (H2) Redevelopment Project

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- On December 20th the Cheyenne Downtown Development Authority Board of Directors made some decisions regarding the Hynds/Hole (H2) redevelopment project. One of the decisions was deciding not to select a project that was submitted for redeveloping the Hynds building and the hole next to it.

Cheyenne LEADS CEO, Randy Bruns, said,“The fact that they didn’t take the first thing that came along shows integrity of the dda and of the process. We’re very much on board with that.” Cheyenne LEADS owns the hole next to the Hynds building. Though the DDA was in charge of the project, they did follow what went on and were happy with the work that was done.

The President of the DDA Board in regards to the decisions at the meeting said, ”We are not abandoning our vision of a revitalized hynds and hole but are regrouping to to determine the best course of action.”

Below is the press release from the Cheyenne Downtown Development Authority from December 20th.

For Immediate Release December 20, 2018

HYNDS/HOLE REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT UPDATE

CHEYENNE, WY – On Thursday, Dec. 20, the Cheyenne Downtown Development Authority Board of Directors made four important decisions regarding next steps on the Hynds/Hole (H2) Redevelopment Project. This Board vote came as a result of recommendations made by the project’s Technical Review Committee and Financial Review Sub-Committee following detailed assessments of the Statements of Qualifications submitted in mid-October. At their regular monthly meeting, the DDA Board voted to: 1) not move forward with either team that submitted their qualifications for the project; 2) retain DDA’s existing option with LEADS on the “Hole”; 3) let the month-to-month option with Cheyenne Development Partners expire on the Hynds Building; and 4) disband the Technical Review Committee and thank them for their service.

On Dec. 10, the project’s Technical Review Committee was convened in order to hear the recommendations of the Financial Review Sub-Committee and make decisions regarding next steps. At that meeting, the full committee came to consensus regarding the recommendations of the sub-committee. Following that meeting, the Financial Sub-Committee, comprised of Gregg Jones, Branch President of Jonah Bank, Tim Ostic, Branch President of FirsTier Bank, and Jerry Johnson, Principal of Johnson Economics wrote a letter to DDA summarizing the sub-committee’s recommendations. It stated, “Based on our review of the materials provided and subsequent discussion with the team, the Financial Sub-Committee is not convinced that either proposal represents a viable development proposal at this time. While the teams include highly skilled and reputable professionals, the indicated economics of their proposed programs do not support anticipated costs. Our finding is that the viability of either of the programs will require a significant level of intervention that is not identified in the submittals, and as a result, any realized development will vary substantively from what has been formally proposed.” Our recommendation is that the Downtown Development Authority not move forward at this time with either of the teams who submitted on the project. Further, the DDA Board should evaluate whether to hold the option on the Hynds Building. If the option for the Hynds Building is no longer held by the DDA, either of the proposing teams can pursue the project as the property would likely be publicly available.”

At the Dec. 12 meeting of the full Technical Review Committee, members also discussed a 90-day “rest” period to get through the holidays and the upcoming legislature session in order to assess next steps and provide an opportunity for either of the proposers or any other parties with an interest in redeveloping these properties the opportunity to step forward directly with the current owner.

Alane West, President of the DDA Board, said of the decisions made by the Board at the Dec. 20 meeting, “ The DDA Board has acted using the unique powers of the authority to pursue the redevelopment of a long-vacant key historic building in the district. Due diligence by following the RFP/RFQ process has resulted in the decision to reevaluate what the next steps by the DDA should be in regard to redevelopment of the Hynds and the Hole. If the financial viability of the projects could be pursued without public investment, then the private sector would have already redeveloped the sites. Now we, as a Board, need to determine what other avenues can be pursued that will result in a viable development. We are not abandoning our vision of a revitalized Hynds and Hole but are regrouping to determine the best course of action.”

Members of the Technical Review Committee include: Alane West, DDA President and H2 committee member; Bruce Heimbuck DDA board member and H2 committee member; Dan Holbrook, DDA Board Member and commercial appraiser; Tim Ostic, Branch President, FirsTier Bank; Gregg Jones, Branch President, Jonah Bank; City Councilmen Scott Roybal, Pete Laybourn and Jeff White; Eric Fountain, Mayor Orr’s Chief of Staff; Amy Allen, City Engineer; Lisa Pafford, Interim Planning Director; Chuck West, C.C.I.M., commercial realtor and real estate attorney; Jerry Johnson, Principal of Johnson Economics (johnsoneconomics.com) and real estate economist who has been contracted by DDA to assist with the project; and Vicki Dugger, Executive Director of DDA. Members of the DDA Board include: Alane West, Bruce Heimbuck, Dan Holbrook, Councilman Jeff White, Astrid, Jonathan Savelle, Steve Borin, Elisa Maggio, and Del Lummis. Ex-officio members include: Charles Bloom, City of Cheyenne Planning Director and County Commissioner Linda Heath.