Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Inspired by today’s editorial here:

The GASD has asked the city to transfer the lot to the district, but some city officials said they were hesitant to do so, expressing concerns that it may turn into a parking lot.

Whether Petrosino uses the lot for parking or for a park, it makes no sense for the city to keep the property. It’s unlikely that any developer will buy the building without the adjacent lot.

While this will be yet a wholly predictable post on my part with my usual arguments on neighborhood preservation, green space, the importance of protecting property values, and yadda, yadda, yadda, I do want to save myself the frustration of rehashing all that and just raise a few points so maybe just maybe we can just stop blighting the city a bit more with another huge expanse of asphalt:

– The Council cannot simply turn over the lot to the buyer without going through a process with the State Legislature.

– The editorial presents a false choice: either the building sells with a huge paved lot or the building will not sell with a nice green scape yet with a vacant building. I think other options exist such as sell the building, provide for a reasonable, aesthetic way to handle off-street parking and provide green space as but one option.

– I consider the GASD referendum on the sale of the building to be null and void as the referendum asked voters to vote on an illegal property transaction (the district did not own what it was selling).

– The disposition of important pieces of architecture in vital neighborhoods in our community garner close to zero interest or debate yet the community remains flummoxed as to why our neighborhoods decline. Hmm, there may be a correlation as to what you allow to happen to your neighborhoods and how they develop.I think I have a whole city littered with examples of that thinking.

– I truly do not understand why growing the expanses of parking lots in a small city are considered acceptable from any perspective. I know the argument is that, well, it will go on the tax rolls. That’s utterly fine but adding to the tax rolls by diminishing property values of adjacent properties by an equivalent amount hardly gets us anywhere.

– I simply do not understand why no one cares about property values instead choosing to focus on even the tiniest expense as a tax outrage while what happens to hundreds of millions in assets gets a shrug and a yawn.

In the end, I just worry and remain unhappy.

PS To be clear: I support the sale and repurpose of the building. Let’s just, please, make sure whatever we do with the lot ‘fits’ with the neighborhood. That’s all I ask.

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