Records show CURA paid $289,200 to assemble the site in 1990 and '91, CURA Director Jim Edwards said. Molgaard is hoping the agency will donate the property to the city.
As at Quarrier Street, rents would be subsidized by sponsorships from participating employers, he said.
"That's part of what this [consultant's] analysis would deliver -- a cost structure about the kind of sponsorships we get.
"We would expect participants to pay an affordable rent. Residents would be in the arc of their careers, recruited by area businesses. We know people graduating from college are burdened with unprecedented loan debt."
Molgaard said he assembled a steering committee of young professionals, many of them members of the Generation Charleston group of the Charleston Area Alliance.
It could take a month or more to select a consulting firm, he said. He wouldn't speculate on the estimated budget or overall timeline.
A still-to-be-named committee will choose among the four firms that submitted qualification statements Friday. Three are from Charleston -- Silling Architects Planners, Thrasher, ZMM Architects and Engineers -- plus AU Associates Inc., of Lexington, Ky.
The initial phase was funded with a $40,000 grant from the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, Molgaard said.
"We're hoping to select a firm that will be with us for a while." Financing and finding sponsors could take up to a year, he said.
"It would be very nice to be contemplating a construction contract at this time next year," Molgaard said, adding: "That's very optimistic."
Reach Jim Balow at ba...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.