The city wants to clear the air over one of its largest and most controversial building projects.

The 15-story Village on the River is a $50 million, mixed-use project that will include a parking ramp, hotels, restaurants and other businesses.  

But ever since it was announced, it’s come under heavy scrutiny because of the involvement of one of the partners in the project; Legacy Development and Consulting, LLC.

The Village on the River is the city’s biggest private-public partnership; one that will change the skyline of downtown when finished.   But there have been many questions concerning who the developers are. 

As the city continues to prepare the site for builders, Mayor Paul TenHaken called a news conference Wednesday to discuss the project.

“I too, like a lot of people, had concerns about the process on how we got to where we are today, I’m here today to tell you I’m excited about where we landed,” Tenhaken said. 

Following criticism from some city councilors and community members over the original developer; Legacy Development and Consulting, LLC, which is among the companies facing civil lawsuits following the deadly Copper Lounge building collapse, Village River Group, LLC took over as developer.  On Wednesday, TenHaken and a spokesperson with Legacy said the change in developers was not in response to those concerns; it was part of the plan for the project. 

Jeff Lamont is the CEO for the development company. 

“I make all the decisions for this company no one else can make any decisions at all for this company any decisions that are made come from me,” Lamont said. 

Lamont says even though Paul Cink, Norm Drake and Larry Canfield are involved in both Legacy Development and Consulting, LLC and the Village River Group, LLC, Lamont says he has no concerns and says citizens shouldn’t either.

“They’re a small partner in this project and have no control at all. I’ve never done any projects with them ever in the past no ties, they can’t make any decisions on this project,” Lamont said. 

Village River Group, LLC plans to begin work on the parking ramp next spring.  It hopes to have it completed by the fall of 2020.