Thus Harden and Bruck step into a plot of land where scores of hopes and dreams have circled unsuccessfully.
In designing this vision, the developers took cues from several other historic-themed projects nationwide, including the White Provisions mixed use neighborhood in Atlanta, and the National Harbor neighborhood in Washington that have hotels, offices shopping, residences and a waterfront space.
The developers do have several factors working in their favor. The site has long been set for redevelopment. Rather than build and flip the property, they aim to operate it long term. Also, the site is within an Enterprise Zone, so companies that bring jobs there can apply for government incentives. There is also a tax structure to boost funding for new utilities underground, though the developers aren't asking the City for any of their own incentives or financial perks.
"I think it's a spectacular project. The site has wonderful views of the sunset," said Del Acosta. "With this, it's a matter of having realistic expectations, and they acquired control of the site at a discount. Still, I could easily see some kind of biotech company locating there, or a new medical school. It's the kind of project you might normally see in places like Atlanta or San Francisco."