The city hosted an informational meeting about the Wayne/Wyoming Kroger location tonight at Twin Towers Place. Shelly Dickstein did an admirable job trying to be polite, and project an air of confidence to a crowd numbering around 100. A large contingent from South Park was there, but surprisingly- of the 65 owners of the 89 parcels- only 15 were in attendance and only 3 were owner occupants.
Noticeably missing- any one from Kroger or Midland Atlantic.
Somehow- they don’t seem to get it- or just enjoy watching the city do their bitch work for them. Apparently, I was quite out of place asking the following questions:
- Has the city talked to other grocers about the location- or a smaller footprint store (or asked Kroger to go with a smaller store).
- Has the city offered the same financial support to competition?
- Has the city looked at other locations for Kroger competitors?
- Has the city learned anything from the failed Midland/Atlantic attempt to aggregate the properties 4 years ago?
- How much has the city asked for in earnest money from either Kroger or Midland/Atlantic?
- Is the city prepared to go after Kroger for the neighborhood devaluation caused by their failed attempt and no earnest money offers from 4 years ago?
Apparently- we’re not supposed to question them.
When residents asked about financial assistance programs for relocation, back taxes and assessments, interest rate assistance (they may have fixed 5.25% loans on current homes- and can’t qualify for an 8% variable now because of the sub-prime crisis)- they were offered no concrete answers. Hardly an inspiring pep talk.
As in the Arcade, the Arcade Tower, the Cit Fed tower- the city still doesn’t seem to have a clue about how to effectively do a real estate deal. Reality is- they shouldn’t be in this business in the first place. If they are going to try to be developers- they should hire real developers to do the work. I like Ms. Dickstein- but she doesn’t seem to have the skills to pull this off without taking one in the keister.
I’ve presented ideas previously on this subject on this site- I don’t see any change in the position. We’ll still have hold-outs, and we won’t have a way to address them.
In the mean time, Kroger sits back comfortably, in their current shit-hole location, paying month-to-month rent, giving a substandard Kroger experience while the taxpayers get hosed. Make them put up some cash- or sue them for causing the decline of a neighborhood and get on with it.
Have we really asked Target, Meijer, WalMart if they are willing to do a small market urban store on the location? Have we offered them $3 million? I don’t think we have- and that’s part of the reason this deal ain’t going to happen anytime soon.
What do you think? Watch tomorrow’s Dayton Daily for an article- with a probable quote from me.