Kroger gets Dayton to be their flunky

“Stick to the knitting” was one of the insights shared in the first mega-selling business book “In search of excellence” by Tom Peters. It meant that exceptional companies did what they did best and hired others to do everything else.

The city of Dayton has spent way too many hours getting involved in locating a grocery store for Kroger, and now, is using public money to play real estate developer. They are stepping in to clean up a mess made by the previous developer, Midland Atlantic.

Kroger proposal depends on city’s ability to buy properties
A proposal to build a $16 million Kroger store at the corner of Wayne Avenue and Wyoming Street now rests on whether the city of Dayton can secure options to buy 89 properties on the 12-acre project site.

The city completed appraisals on each of the properties last month. On Wednesday, the Dayton City Commission hired O.R. Colan Associates of Florida, LLC to negotiate with property owners.

Dayton City Manager Rashad Young expects the negotiations to be done in 60 to 90 days…Funding to buy the properties will come from public and privates sources: Kroger, tax increment financing, the city of Dayton and from commercial businesses that locate on outlets around the grocery.

The city must control all 89 properties or talks with Kroger are over….

While Dayton is spending thousands of hours and millions of dollars kissing up to a company that is perfectly capable of hiring another developer and paying for their mistakes, somehow Dayton government is stepping in, like a co-dependent adulterer who is trying to help someone out of a bad marriage so they can make off with their sweetheart.

All this, while a small business is getting the run around while trying to re-open a shop on Brown Street and is getting building codes handed to her like a subpoena.

While I live within throwing distance of the new Kroger to be, I’m really wondering why they are getting the royal treatment. It’s not government’s job to be a developer, never has been, never should be. If we could just stick to what government is supposed to do- businesses would find a way to do business on their own and because they know they can make money doing it. It’s governments job to get out of the way.

This is why I believe the only tax credit that should be issued for business “relocation” is based on the number of employees who can walk to work. This would take a lot of this kind of political favoritism and wasted energy of our government out of the process- and allow them to “stick to the knitting.”

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