The Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau unanimously approved landscaping plans Monday for its properties between Main and College street, just east of Third Street South.
The plan, which was commissioned by Dispatch Publisher Birney Imes, encompasses the new CVB headquarters, the Tennessee Williams Welcome Center and an adjoining park.
“Everybody”s excited about it,” said Columbus-Lowndes Development Link board representative David Sanders, who made the motion to approve the plan.
Although the layout is subject to change, the plan includes an arbor area in the art park and a stage that can be used for small- to moderate-sized events.
The arbor and stage will be done later down the road, said CVB Board President DeWitt Hicks. Over the next month or so, the board will focus on planting trees and grass.
The landscaping work, which will be paid for by the CVB, will likely be done in increments, as money becomes available. The city will build the sidewalks surrounding the property and will restripe the parking spaces.
West Brothers Construction will construct the parking lot and landscape the area immediately around the new CVB office building on Third Street at College Street for $38,000, which comes out of the Columbus Cultural Heritage Foundation budget.
The offices will be ready for a walk-through Feb. 1, said Developer Mark Castleberry. The CVB plans to take over the property Feb. 15, moving in to the 4,000-square-foot building shortly after.
To pay Castleberry and West Brothers Construction, the CVB will take out a $510,000 loan, which is 85 percent of the $600,000 appraised value of the property. Altogether, the board, which has a little more than $257,000 in reserve, owes $629,282.
The board voted to employ Sanders, who is also an attorney, to briefly look over the closing documents. He abstained from the vote.