A high-level aide to Mayor Jerry Sanders said today that talks between the city and the developer for the Navy Broadway Complex have not yet produced a deal that would allow the city to sublease about an acre of the bayside land for a park.

Jim Waring, the mayor’s land-use chief, said the city’s pitch to sublease a portion of the 14.7-acre redevelopment project for $20 million has stalled, but said he was optimistic that a deal could be reached down the road.

An agreement between the city and Manchester would remove a building from the western portion of the parcel to make way for extra parkland.

At issue are the boundaries for the proposed parkland, which would run along Harbor Drive, Waring said. Both sides want control of a promenade that sits between the acre in question and an adjacent building.

“Because a big element of this project is the park, then we want the public to be assured of some certainty,” Waring said

Waring’s announcement was the first public disclosure of the $20 million price tag, which he said was independently set by Keyser Marston, an outside firm. The city’s payment would remain in an escrow account and would not be paid to Manchester until he built the Navy’s headquarters building, Waring said.

If an agreement is reached, the sublease would be paid for with money that is set aside for downtown parks. Waring said the Centre City Development Corp. would also have to approve the use of those funds.

The CCDC’s board is meeting this afternoon to weigh the plan.

The mayor’s park deal does not have to be completed by Jan. 1, which is when Pentagon brass must approve Manchester’s development deal with the Navy.


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