Tuesday, August 25, 2015

CM Blair's bank, the State Street exurb, commercial dereliction, corporate welfare and non-transparency.

Lightning Food Mart is an excellent example of the durability of locally-owned independent small business.

Conversely, most of State Street between the hospital and I-265 long ago was given over to chains and franchises of varying stripes, with a handful of locally-owned businesses scattered randomly through the vicinity.

It's several blocks of exurban sprawl logic crammed inelegantly between neighborhoods where people actually live, with perpetually renewing auto-intensive development, traffic problems, more car-driven development and the ensuing hamster wheel of futility in trying to balance conflicting interests.

Meanwhile, on Sunday this posting racked up huge numbers.

Let's go Krogering?: Does CM Blair's fixation with a boarded-up Hardee's have to do with gas pumps and corporate welfare?

As pointed out to me subsequently, Kroger's ongoing machinations aren't the only reason to pretend that discussions of how to seize and demolish "derelict" commercial properties should occupy council time when other factors are involved.

From 2013 ...

First Savings Bank nearly finished with Wesley Commons project, by Kevin Eigelbach (Louisville Business First)

Clarksville-based First Savings Financial Group Inc., the holding company for First Savings Bank, has nearly finished developing a 4-acre retail center in New Albany. The bank held a grand opening for a new bank branch there, its first in New Albany, last month.

And this:

Tenants: A Bob Evans restaurant, a Tire Discounters store, a Visionworks eyewear store, a Qdoba Mexican Grill restaurant, Bella Nails manicurist, Fantastic Sam’s hair care, Woodside Dental Center, the First Savings branch and a Starbucks coffee shop with a drive-through lane.

Ooh, a drive-thru?

And this:

The bank’s total investment: $7.55 million.

As a friend notes, $7.55 million for all of Wesley Commons makes the $9 million for River Run seem even more inflated, but the point is transparency.

Granted, just because CM Blair is a banker, it doesn't mean he's to be vocationally vilified (even if the temptation always will be strong for me), but the fact that his bank is a player in the immediate vicinity, and Kroger's redevelopment designs were not clearly delineated by Blair or anyone else at last Thursday's council meeting (the razing of  the fire station at a loss to the city to suit Kroger on the other side of the plaza is a different but no less annoying topic), and the city council itself typically participates in decisions pertaining to zoning, traffic and land use on the State Street corridor -- look, all these factors demand more, not less, transparency from elected officials.

Although it does prove that "independent" means different things to different people ... and I like my definition better than his.

1 comment:

w&la said...

Who demolished the Swifty gas station on the point of State and Captain Frank? Was that done by the city or did market forces take care of the matter?