Friday, May 13, 2005

Park South - BBL Backs Out

In an odd turn, BBL has pulled its bid to develop Park South. This comes a day after the common council committee voted 5-0 in favor of WinnCompanies over BBL on their recommendation for the project. Apparently BBL wasn't quite clear on what the project was supposed to be.

"It seems like the city's master plan calls for wholesale commercial development in the area, but the neighborhood isn't really ready for that kind of project," Peter Cornell, president of BBL Development Group.

So they are saying the neighborhood isn't ready to be replaced with a commerical development. That seems like something a neighborhood would say. But, here is the interesting part. Council member Conti:

"This is not a commercial development plan, if that is what (BBL) was working toward. It emphasizes residential development."

So we came really close to handing a project to a developer that didn't even have the basic concept of what the project was....and these were the LOCAL guys. Or, that is just what they are saying as cover and they decided to pull out since everyone so far had said WinnCompanies was the way to go.

In another odd twist, Planning Commissioner Lori Harris has said that the mayoral committee will be meeting to make their recommendation on a developer next week. Doesn't seem like there is much to discuss. Would you like to select Winn or Winn? Apparently they are qualified and everyone likes them. So then they would have to submit their actual plan. And the Common Council would vote on that. Or, could the Mayoral commmitte pull the plug on the whole project?