City Engineer Bob Kelly pointed out there are several "ifs" between now and then.
If City Council approves a contractor bid, if the city can arrange the sale of bonds and if the contractor deal is signed -- and if all of that happens by mid-December -- work can begin as early as January.
Kelly and city financial director Prashant Shah made presentations to Mayor Dennis Clough, members of City Council and other city leaders at an informational meeting.
Four bids were submitted to be the general contractor on the city's portion of the project, Kelly said.
The job covers streets, utilities, parking lots and garages, and off-site projects such as street and utility work near the site.
Shah discussed financing the project, which could be done with tax increment financing bonds.
City Council president Michael Killeen said the next step will be dealing with questions about the project and the bids, and working with the lawyers from American Greetings and Crocker Park.
Then, Council can approve a contractor bid and authorize the city to sell the bonds, which could happen in early December. Once the bond money is in place and the contract is signed, work can begin.
"A lot has to happen," Kelly said. "This isn't set in stone."
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