One who intends to leave others better off for his having existed.

12/22/09

On the Downtown Hotel and Soulsville (Posted on July 9, 2009)

County commissioners this week deferred approving a $700,000 investment in the [Towne Center at Soulsville project].


 


The $11 million mixed-use lifestyle center which involved funding from both the city and the federal government, will bring retail, restaurants, and a 24,000-square-foot grocery store to the Soulsville USA neighborhood in South Memphis.


 


…Former county commissioner Bridget Chisholm, a consultant on the project and Jeffrey Higgs…director of the LeMoyne-Owen College


Community Development Corporation…went before the county's budget and finance committee last week to present the proposal.


 


Though commissioners are supportive of the project, they are wary of giving the Community Development Corporation (CDC) what could essentially amount to a blank check.


 


Why is the Soulsville Website still under construction?


 


http://www.townecenteratsoulsville.com/about.html


 


"I think we need to have further conversations about how we structure the county's involvement," says David Lillard, the commissioner who asked to defer the item, "It would amount to the county giving $700,000, basically in cash, directly to the CDC."


 


Should the City of Greensboro risk money it doesn’t have


on a venture involving something it doesn’t need,


during what may be the worst recession since the Great Depression?


 


For the Towne Center project, the city paid for the demolition of existing structures,…and pledged an additional $250,000 to the project.


 


The CDC also secured several federal grants as well as a pending $9 million bank loan.


 


"This is really about economics," says Higgs


 


"It's not about a little nonprofit.


 


This is serious economic development.


 


…all the dollars being put in by the federal government by private businesses, by the city ... [for the Towne Center]is just another cog in the wheel turning this community around."


 


If the proposed $75 million hotel for Greensboro goes bad


who would be responsible for paying back the borrowed money?


 


Would it not be moronic for a city to guarantee debt with its children’s future income for what some may believe is an unnecessary, relatively risky venture, if a few insiders could profit regardless of whether the project succeeds or fails?


 


Soulsville Returns


Mary Cashiola


Memphis Flyer, July 12, 2006

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