City receives responses

Ben Lanka of the Journal Gazette, reported this morning that the City received e-mail responses late last Friday to the notices sent earlier this month to Barry Real Estate and Hardball Capital.

These notices were to let BRE and HC know they were in non-performance on their contract to build The Harrison, condominium and retail component of Harrison Square.

[…] Greg Leatherman, executive director of redevelopment, said the city received responses from Barry Real Estate and Hardball Capital late Friday by e-mail. He said the city will not release those responses because they are part of ongoing negotiations. Leatherman intimated there is still a gap between what the developers are offering and what the city wants.

[…] Leatherman said having a deal done in the initial 30-day time period is unlikely, saying it will take more than a couple of weeks to conclude.

Casey Cox, a member of the redevelopment commission, previously suggested the city look at keeping more of Parkview Field’s naming rights revenues as a way to compensate the city for the project not being completed. The city and Hardball split the annual $300,000 check from Parkview.

Leatherman said attorneys would likely handle the negotiations between the two sides, and the redevelopment commission would be asked to approve the final agreement.

My opinion: I have mixed feelings on keeping the emails private at this point.    The question is, just how far apart are the two sides?  Greg Leatherman has been pretty stolid in stating that $14.5 million and condos only would be acceptable.  It seems that I remember him stating recently that apartments might be acceptable.  But if part of keeping the emails secret is a fear of the public’s response, why worry about that issue now?  Besides, it’s my feeling that most people might be open to a possible downsizing of the project – anything to get something built in that spot.  I also think there’s a segment of us that have always felt it was the wrong spot for condos anyway.  I guess I would say, don’t underestimate what the public might accept at this point.

Let them build one story of retail or some sort of commercial space that would be complimentary to a ballpark.  In exchange for this, they would commit to phases two and three with perhaps a bit more initial investment in the two to make up for some of the loss in the first phase.  These future phases are where the continued catalytic affect would stem from.  The ballpark on it’s own is having a positive influence on downtown.  It’s keeping this momentum going that is important.

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