3/30/2010

inLighten Says No

Posted by MJ


LUSJ and The Buffalo News reported.

It was pry to be expected. Possibly 100 well paying jobs wandered into our area (DT!), sniffed around and then kept on looking.

The real shame here is the rarity of the opportunity. These types of potential jobs do not wander into the city on a regular basis looking to make a home. If this is indeed the end, the most important thing to find out is the details of why. Was there a bigger welcome wagon elsewhere? Were they really leaning to a suburban type site even though they mentioned otherwise?

Moving forward do we sit and wait for some other place to wander in? What do the "Waterbourne Real Estate Advisors of Getzville" actually do? Are they supplied a package by the city listing every single available benefit offered by the city, county and state? Some older articles from the Buffalo News (article 1, article 2) point out some reasons companies leave and others stay in the area.

“It was like night and day,” Nathaniel said.
The offers of help rolled in. County legislators came forth. Economic developers pointed them to local architects and engineers and help with the permitting process. Officials persuaded a local paper company to sell Science First some unused land for 25 percent of the market rate. They were offered up to $8,300 for every job created under a State of Florida program. A low-interest loan of $300,000 was put on the table. And the absence of a state income tax saves the family about $100,000 a year, the Bells estimated.
How welcoming and easy to work with are we? Not from our perspective but from the perspective of the potential (and existing) businesses that we interact with. How do we market ourselves? Are we marketing single pieces of property or the city (and area) as a whole?

Canal street has facing the locks going for it. That's about it. It is isolated from all the activity on the other side of the canal. At one end is an empty lot (possible new ticket booth for Lockport Cave Tours) and at the other end is pedestrian activity killing city hall. The only visible store fronts are at opposite ends of the block and the largest building has no storefronts. An Excalibur-like gazebo (never to be pulled from it's site!) will make sure the street never has a continuous streetscape to pull pedestrians down it. I feel inLighten was the brightest hope at this time.

For now we will have vendors and musicians there this summer. They will be a welcome addition to DT. But why try to pull people over to empty buildings instead of over to actual businesses on Main St where they can actually spend money and density can be created? One can see effort all around. Is it pointing in the right direction and working together to some type of goal?

We live in a world where electricity, the internet and the automobile pretty much let any person or business settle anywhere. The rules have changed. Are we ready to be successful in this competitive environment?

5 comments:

Rocketboy said...

If it was an issue with the city's requirements, I'd rather not have them downtown. The stipulations were rather quite reasonable.

Canal Street was a well intentioned project, but a badly planned one. It's not going to be easy to get anybody in these empty shells of buildings.

Anonymous said...

Something badly planned in this city....nooooo

Rocketboy said...

At least you have to go W-a-a-a-y back to get to the root of the Canal Street project. Tucker did what he could do to make a bad situation good.

Well, as good as it could be.

Anonymous said...

Anyone read this mornings Buffalo News regarding the GLDC's loan out to Rubberform not being payed on time?

Please let me know, has there been any successful GLDC loans out to any businesses in the city? This is just another reason why the whole Canal St- inlighten project wasn't right from the beginning.

Rocketboy said...

That's a good question, what GLDC loans are out there that ARE working.

Maybe we need to stop allowing people to take risks with someone else's money.

As Milton Freedman described, there's four ways to spend money.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RDMdc5r5z8&annotation_id=annotation_479468&feature=iv

And the only way that someone spends money intelligently is when they spend their money on something for themselves.

Any other way is just asking for waste.

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