+ Get moving on the garage
I am greatly disturbed by the comments emanating from City Hall relating to the State Street garage. I was a member of a team of professionals who had worked diligently on a proposal to build the garage and accompanying retail space for a good six months before it was unceremoniously aced without staff or public input. We had received letters of interest from tenants, including a much-wanted drug store, to absorb the retail space prior to construction beginning, unlike the Palm Avenue garage.
If the rationale for Vice Mayor Turner’s conviction “that it is not needed” is the current underutilization of Palm Avenue, his reasoning bears scrutiny. Of course, the Palm Avenue facility is under used, the ground floor has just been leased and the long-awaited hotel has yet to be developed. When these two uses are up and running and on the tax rolls, it will be a different story.
The same Commissioner Shannon Snyder, who is championing radical cost cutting, suggests he “would like to see what it would cost to get out of a contract.” Our city is facing a major financial crisis, so let’s spend money to stop a project that could contribute significantly to city revenues and create jobs. At least it is consistent with removing the meters.
There is no reason not to get this project moving. The timing is perfect, the economy is beginning to improve, downtown merchants are reporting healthy sales and last, but by no means least, we are facing a serious challenge for vibrancy from other areas.
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