The city’s leading economic development official told Common Council members Wednesday he’d like to see the city purchase the downtown former HSBC building for $350,000, for the purpose of demolishing it and turning it into a city-owned parking lot.
Randy Soggs, Urban and Economic Development commissioner, said the money for the purchase and demolition, an estimated total of roughly $700,000, would come from state money allocated for downtown parking.The city needs to use every legal means possible to force the owner of the HSBC building to bring the building into compliance with codes and to recoup all costs related to having to deal with the nuisance on the property.
The city's proposal to pay the owner $100,000 more than the owner paid for the building has a distinct odor. The idea that someone would be permitted to benefit from neglect at taxpayer expense is simply outrageous. It will only encourage more of the same.
First it's proposing a housing development next to the proposed up ramp on the N-S Arterial. Now this!
The proposals demonstrate that a successful businessman can be totally clueless when it comes to setting public policy and planning.
This guy has got to go!
Common Councilman James Zecca, D-2, has proposed legislation, currently in committee, that would halt demolition of all commercial buildings until the master plan passed.
This is another crock of baloney. While I'll agree that demolition of this building should be stopped, there is NOTHING in the draft Master Plan that addresses this situation.
Rather, this debacle will be used to justify appointing a bunch of insiders to update the zoning ordinance and city code (because that is what the plan calls for). Undoubtedly the insiders will rewrite things to benefit themselves. The Master Plan RFP called for professional consultants to do a written technical review of the zoning ordinance and city code and to draft revisions for same, but it was never done. Instead the taxpayers received $325,000+ window dressing.