Thursday, May 21, 2009

Getting your hand grenades ready

Paul McKee and co. spoke at Central Baptist Church this evening. It was basically the first time the public saw what the developer had been planning with the massive amounts of plots he had bought out in North City; the presentation was prefaced by a statement saying that there was no final plan. The slides were not very specific, and the audience grew frustrated as the developers and politicians told them over and over that there were no plans, just "concepts and opportunities."
McKee did not present a comprehensive plan of what will go where, and how much. Costs were shown, but in very general terms. The grave concerns of the residents, especially about the use of eminent domain and the poor upkeep of the existing McEagle properties in the area were not satisfactorily resolved. Most importantly, the atmosphere of the meeting was very tense (especially when the man cussed McKee early in the meeting and stormed out) because the residents felt as though he had facilitated the decay of their respective neighborhoods by allowing properties to deteriorate. No one took him seriously when he or his colleagues mentioned McEagle's maintenance practices.
The plan seems too large of a scale and relies on the completion of all the components to be successful and worth all the losses incurred already. Someone in a discussion mentioned how WingHaven had to change plans mid-development and ended up something different from what the initial residents hoped for. Any valuable opportunities from this plan have been marred by the secretive and corrupt dealing of McEagle and their disrespect for the existing neighorhoods. The meeting was pretty well-attended (I think), but the take away from it for me was the question of if someone that didn't show you respect to you deserve your respect?

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