After a special session called by Mayor Jerry Morales yesterday, the Midland City Council has delayed a planned vote over its part of the Energy Towers project in downtown Midland.
The council was set to vote on whether to move forward with a $60 million incentives package for the project’s developers and plans to demolish the former Midland County Courthouse, with the possibility that the city might back out of the project.
Two council members (Jeff Sparks and Spencer Robnett) couldn’t be at Tuesday’s meeting, but the remaining members appeared encouraged by updates from the developers. The vote has now been pushed back to the council’s next meeting on July 8th.
Mayor Morales described it as a “great” meeting, but again insisted the project needs to move forward immediately or the city needs to move on to other opportunities.
“We just cannot sit here and stagnate and wonder all the time,” Morales said. “We have to have some action.”
Originally planned as one 53-story high-rise, the redesigned Energy Towers project would house retail and office space, hotel rooms, an underground movie theater and a new office for the Midland Center and the Midland Chamber of Commerce.
Morales called Tuesday’s session after growing frustration at the city over a lack of updates and public information from the developer’s of the multi-million-dollar project.
Wendell L. “Scooter” Brown, the Vice President for Energy Related Properties (ERP), one of the co-developers of Energy Towers, said after the session the company has been actively working on its plans for the towers, and if it seems like that’s not the case.
“There’s been a lot of work going in behind the scenes, that a lot of the public and the counsel [were] not aware of,” Brown said. “We have been very busy.”
The Midland Reporter-Telegram live-blogged details from the session on Tuesday – according to those reports, ERP President William Meyer said plans for demolishing the former county courthouse have been finalized, and could begin immediately.