The battle over a piece of real estate in Gainesville's midtown area is not over just yet.
The property at 628 EE Butler Parkway is the site of Pepper's Market, and the city wants the property as part of its midtown redevelopment plan, but owner Steve Gailey doesn't want to sell.
Gainesville City Council had been prepared Tuesday night to exercise the power eminent domain to obtain the property, but City Manager Bryan Lackey asked council members to table the resolution. Lackey said negotiations have been going on for months, but in light of the coronavirus pandemic, action should be delayed.
"Through this process, which we started in January...we started back then picking the date, which was April 21, along with a date to advertise in the legal organ...which we've done, and placing a sign on the property, which we did on April 3, all leading up to this date, which was done before this pandemic crisis set in," Lackey said.
Last week, the battle over the property became more public, and Lackey said the city and Gailey had "dialogue" last week, as well.
"So, they began some work on the site without proper permits and we began a dialogue that we had concern about that," Lackey said. "They expressed their concern about us holding [a hearing] on this item during the midst of the pandemic crisis."
Lackey said the property owner agreed to stop any work on the property if council members would delay a vote until a time when public meetings would be more accessible to community members.
Council members voted unanimously to table the resolution vote until their May 19, 2020 meeting.