Thursday, April 15, 2010

Positive News for Downtown - but wait...

Although it was by sheer accident, real downtown revitalization took a major step forward yesterday.

CURA, who has a history of creating "economic development" opportunities by creating vacant lots, paved the way for the re-opening of the former Quarrier diner by agreeing to sell a 12' strip of land to the new owners of the Quarrier Diner building. I say it was an accident, because it was only because the FBI decided against the next door site for their new office building than enabled CURA to make the transfer.

The Quarrier Diner is a beautiful Art Deco building that deserves preservation and the downtown is in desperate need of after hours dining options, so this is a win-win for downtown.

But hold on: Mayor Danny Jones is concerned -according to the article in today's Gazette - about parking for the restaurant. Come on, Mayor; most people who will eat there for lunch are already parked downtown, and the dinner crowd will have no competition for parking any night of the week. There are dozens of on-street spaces and there is a parking garage on the next block. Please, Mayor Jones, do not start your anti-business bellyaching and run these investors off before they even get started!

One might suspect that the library fundraising people will not be happy that the Quarrier Diner will remain to mess up their $30 million facade. The names on the library supporters list are also major supporters and allies of the Mayor. Could it be that his parking objections are the first indication that the administration will do whatever they can to torpedo the Quarrier Diner project?

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