When I read this editorial I had to wonder why another location was not considered more strongly. The location is the empty state street parking lot.
My heart has a special place for the old lot. At one time, many years ago, I was in a partnership that owned and was developing two of the buildings where the parking lot now stands. The county came in and (with the threat of ED) bought them from my partners and I for the glorious new justice center. As you may remember it never got built.
Now the county has made it into a parking lot that by my account sits 98% empty 98% of the time. I rest assured knowing that with the the cost of electric, lot clean up, security ect. The lot loses money.
Now, the city wants to build a transit center for buses across from James White Fort. With the use of ED the city will take out a thriving business that employees many many people on a full time basis. I know the owner. I doubt he will stay in the area if forced to move.It will mean A lot of lost jobs to the area.
I often hear how public transportation is the only way some people can get to work. The employer they would kill is walking distance to the projects. Would the city prefer the former employees have easy access to a bus so they people can ride around and look for a new job?
Although the State street lot is a little farther from the projects (two or three blocks) it is only one block from Gay street where people need to go for city jobs and services, so the closer to town location may help many bus riders.
If land must be taken, although the county may not like having ED used on them (I know I didn't appreciate it when they did it to me) I feel it would be better to take an under used vacant county owned lot, than to take out an active employer who may just close up shop and move to another town.
Anyone with the city or county with more info or input on this is welcome and encouraged to comment. Anyone? Anyone?