The construction site for the Midtown development as of Wednesday, March 22. (Photo by Steven Shaffur/KMAN)

Days after an investor pulled out of the Midtown Aggieville development project, Manhattan city officials remain optimistic that the project will be seen to the finish line.

On KMAN’s In Focus Tuesday, Manhattan City Manager Ron Fehr said the land transfer agreement approved Nov. 15 stipulates that Back 9 Development has 38 months from the time of closing to produce the minimum 40 million dollar facility.

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The Manhattan City Commission agreed in November to sell the former city-owned parking lot for $1 to Back 9 Development for the project and closed on the transfer of property in December.

According to the development agreement, work is to commence no later than eight months after closing and be completed no later than 30 months after commencement of construction. If not, Back 9 would be required to pay the City of Manhattan the market value price of the lot, an estimated $2.3 million.

Also spelled out in the agreement was evidence of financing, which Fehr says showed the developer was approved for up to 40 million dollars in financing for the planned project. Mayor Mark Hatesohl says he spoke with Back 9 President TJ Vilkanskas over the weekend and says he’s confident the project will get finished.

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Back 9 Development announced on Friday that an unnamed investor had pulled out of the project. When construction might resume is uncertain, but Vilkanskas has vowed to seek additional sources of funding to get the project back under construction.

Fehr says the construction company worked over the weekend to get the site buttoned up, with 12th Street reopening to traffic Monday, along with the full width of Laramie Street.

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The project will bring about transformational changes to the Aggieville District once completed. Fehr says the city was already in design of turning 12th Street, between Laramie and Moro, into a pedestrian plaza.

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In an email to KMAN over the weekend, Vilkanskas said he has “no doubt the project will move forward at the right time.”