Development Details Emerge for Downtown Sites

August 12, 2022

Corner Parking Lot at Summit Hill and Central (130 South Central Street)

I’ll be honest and say that this parking lot has been on my radar for years as a potential site for development that would extend the Old City and come close to reconnecting it to what I call “uptown.” While I don’t know the history of the spot, I would guess that it likely that the buildings on the spot were taken down with the Summit Hill construction. Maybe someone can chime in with a link on the history?

The plot has most recently been owned by Leigh Burch and its sale to the Ephant Group was completed this week. The acquisition was handled by Oliver Smith IV and Will Sims of Liver Smith Realty and Development. I understand plans for the site include multi-family housing, though I do not know details. Clearly, this is a spot where one might hope for commercial space along Central and Willow.

The site is more complicated than it might appear at first blush. The lot is not rectangularly shaped, due to the crossing of First Creek at an angle across the rear of the lot. Given environmental protections that require any new structures be set back from streams, the size of any potential construction on the site is necessarily reduced.

I spoke to Leigh Burch who said he feels the buyer has a great plan for the site and, importantly, will likely move forward with those plans more quickly than Mr. Burch would have been able to move with his. He said the offer came at the right time and he’s pleased to have the property headed for potentially more timely development.