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Revitalization Plans Changed for One Part of Proposal

AEDC plans to build new facility for Coca Cola to make room for Multi-use Venue
AMARILLO -- There's a change in plans for part of downtown Amarillo's revitalization.
  
        It looks like the city will have to construct a building to house Coca-Cola.

        The original plan was to modify an existing building and move the company there to make room for the multi-purpose event center.

        It sounds like this is going to end up costing more money.   But, officials say it could actually end up being cheaper.

        The reason for the change is the existing facility isn't big enough.  The city had planned to move Coca-Cola into the former Zargas wind turbine facility in the Centerport business park in east Amarillo.
       
        Now, it looks like they'll get a brand new building in Centerport.

        The original cost was expected to run about $8.75 million.  $4 million for the renovations and $4.75 million for the building.

        Officials say early numbers show constructing a new facility could be done for less than $8 million total.

        Amarillo Economic Development Corporation CEO Richard "Buzz" David says they will have firm construction cost numbers before they move forward.  "The new building we're looking at constructing will be more directly related to the operations at Coca Cola.  It's a prototype design they have and will be a lot easier to design and construct than do a modification to the other building and making it fit."  David said.

        David calls it a win-win for the city.  Not only may it come in cheaper but, they'll still have the old Zargas building for any future business growth.

        If approved, they expect to begin construction on the facility in early March.  Completion is set for January of 2015.

        Mayor Paul Harpole says this change should actually speed-up the timeline for the construction of the proposed multi-purpose venue.



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