Today in the Courier-Journal, Ben Zion Hershberg contributes an excellent overview of current progress toward beginning the process of building New Albany's Scribner Place project:
In it, architect Wayne Estopinal discusses the revised money-saving, two-part plan to get Scribner Place off the ground:
It reduces the expected investment by the city by $3 million to about $10 million. The three-story, 53,000-square-foot YMCA is still expected to cost about $8 million ... Estopinal said the new design concentrates on the first phase of the complex — the YMCA, the indoor swimming complex, a 160-space parking lot and the observation tower — leaving the design of buildings to be constructed by private developers for future discussion.
Even scaled back a bit, Estopinal said, Scribner Place "will be a great catalyst for downtown New Albany."
He expressed confidence that the YMCA and the swimming complex will attract thousands of visitors and encourage private developers to invest in the area, bringing downtown New Albany back to life.
"It will be important to get this first step under way," Estopinal said.
The tone of the article is optimistic, and relieved of the burden of extemporaneous thinking that makes his televised appearances so entertaining, Mayor Garner speaks assuredly as quoted by Hershberg.
Score one for the Mayor.
And yet, to return to Estopinal's assurance that private investment will follow the YMCA and revitalize downtown New Albany, is there anyone in the current administration - from the Mayor on down to his most lowly political patronage appointment - who's willing to reveal the apparently top-secret plan for assisting this process of revitalization?
There has to be a plan, right? If a plan is in place, then why doesn't the current administration take time off from mayoral photo ops and articulate it?
Exactly what is the Garner Team waiting for?
While it is encouraging that the project's architect continues to express confidence in the concept and sincerely believes that it will transform downtown into a Pixar-generated Lazerus rising to do syncopated soft shoe ... well, one tends to follow the party line of the fellow who's signing the pay checks.
Someone does have a plan, right?