It was only a matter of time before we got “official” word that Costco has had offers from other communities both inside and outside of Lucas County (per Elizabeth Holland on the WSPD morning show). I’m just surprised it took this long.
And imagine how attractive an offer of “pick a spot and we’ll make it happen” would be to Costco…
Toledo is on the brink of losing this project. Abell is willing to invest $35 million dollars while bringing in good jobs and revenue to the City and County and Mayor Finkbeiner is quibbling over the issue of wider sidewalks, less green space and a drive-through.
But the Mayor’s positions are not the major issue in this fiasco – his approach is. He made up his mind about his personal vision of what Westgate should look like and he’s stubbornly insisting upon that vision. He is ignoring basic market and business realities as well as signed contracts that Abell has with potential tenants – contracts which were based upon previous approval from the Office of the Mayor.
And, by doing this, he continues to send a negative message to the business community. I can’t help but wonder what the new owners of Miracle Mile are thinking. Does anyone believe that they’re actually looking forward to submitting plans for redevelopment?
Further, the Mayor’s personal comments about Elizabeth Holland are rather hypocritical – such descriptions of “obstinate” and an attitude of “my way or the highway” could very easily be used to describe the Mayor.
Carty excuses his behavior by saying he’s doing what’s in the best interests of the City. And I believe that he believes this. But has he considered that his insistence on his position may well end up being bad for the Toledo in the long run if it costs us this development? Ms. Holland has already made further compromises – is Carty willing to compromise too?
During Carty’s campaign he said that the business community must lead our economic development – that government should provide a supportive role in that process. Perhaps he’s forgotten this in his zeal to interfere in the Westgate project.
But there is a solution to this dilemma – if Carty really wants his own way on this perhaps he should just purchase the entire site himself and then he can develop it any way he wants.