Sunday, December 24, 2006

Well isn't that special

Six months after part of the so-called Lillian’s parking lot collapsed, the city council appears all but ready to sell it to heavy-hitting developer Sonny Bonacio. The price tag? A mere $700,000, which is just about $60,000 more than it was assessed at several years ago and probably less than the property is worth.

There are some that would say this cash is a hell of a lot for a crumbling parking structure that will need to be razed before anything can be built there. But the truth is, this parcel is about as valuable as they come given its central location in the downtown.

What is clear right now is that the council wants Bonacio to redevelop the lot, especially after seeing his work elsewhere and hearing his promises to help build yet another parking deck on Woodlawn Avenue. They get three-quarters of a million bucks and Bonacio gets the cornerstone of his empire. And they’re not the only ones chomping at the bit over this impending deal.

In a rare moment of solidarity, Bruce Levinsky has agreed with the city’s actions thus far, even offering his support for Bonacio’s plan. Why? Because Big Bruce gets his long-saught-after pedestrian connection between the building he owns on Putnam Street and Broadway. Also, the underground parking lot proposed by Bonacio will have its entrance directly next to Doc’s Restaurant, a location he leases to former Wheatfield’s owner Bobby Mitchell, who presently has very little parking to boast of his own.

So build the mix-use building, fill in the one gaping hole in Broadway’s otherwise pearly smile and make the taxpayers a nice little nest egg --perhaps to kick-start the Wiebel Avenue recreation center project or build more parking garages --to boot. Sounds like everyone makes out.

Everyone, that is, except the people who rely on that lot for nearby parking. And for Dale Easter’s Moriarity’s, which would officially lose it’s one source of parking to the deafening beat of progress in the city.

Of course, one can’t omit mention of the skate rats and street musicians when mentioning the losers in this deal. Once the upscale shops are installed at street level, chances are pretty good they’ll get the boot.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

But where will the banjo guy play? Too sad.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the banjo man will go to music school, where he will actually learn to play the banjo correctly!

7:18 AM  

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