Sunday, September 03, 2006

Blues Quarter or Courthouse?

According to today's editorial in the DDT, it has been 18 months since the announcement of the "Blues Quarter" project and we still don't know much more today, than we did then. We do know that several downtown property owners are adamantly opposed to the eminent domain issue. We also know that several other Delta towns are rapidly competing to "cash in" on the Blues.

I hardly think that the straightening of Washington Avenue is going to have any significant impact of the worth of downtown properties. It seems a rather large waste of taxpayers dollars, albeit, not the first for Greenville.

With the old Stein Mart gone, we have cleared the way for one of two building projects to begin. The Blues Quarter project indicates that this lot will be the hub of the new entertainment district. On the other hand, this same site is reportedly the location of the proposed new Federal Building.

Now, I believe in diversity of interests, but I fail to see the logic behind building a Federal Courthouse in the heart of an entertainment district. Someone needs to choose. Obviously, there is no shortage of property for sale in Greenville, so lack of availability should not be a problem.

I would like to hear from someone in the "know" about both the viability and potential for conflict that these two projects pose. Surely someone knows what is going on in our city hall... and is willing to share with the rest of us.



Local Reflector said...

I'll concur, after defending the renovation of Washington Avenue - that the road project probably isn't money well spent if the Blues Quarter is simply what everything else which Greenville politicos tout - a good idea vaporized into the hot air of rhetoric.

Also, your logic is sound on building on the old Stein Mart location something other than entertainment-related interests. However, Walnut Street would make an equally great blues quarter because a foundation is already there, the police are, or can be nearby, and the wonderful building on the corner of Main and Washington could use a tenant as it feeds the gambling aspects of local entertainment.

The problem is a shrinking population of people with disposable income or income they're willing to part with elsewhere than a slot machine. That may be real hang-up. If there was demand for a Blues Quarter from a marketing perspective, you could argue it would already be here.

And, VERY NICE work on your recent writing. The topics are worth community discussion for those walkng the streets and those who wish they were closer.

Anonymous said...

Which begs the question: WHY was Washington Avenue destroyed MONTHS AGO, with no further progress made since? Nor any word of such progress published in the local news outlets? WTF??? Is someone deliberately trying to destroy Greenville?

It's been my experience that local leaders have always stepped forward when times were tough. We have plenty of those here. Of the nationally-known variety. Ambassador Retzer? Sons of Senator Dyer? Chairman Reed? Mr. Cox? Mr. Alexander? Mr. Hafter? BILLY PERCY????? Many have the influence to affect changes in your hometown. PLEASE HELP US NOW.

I am here for the duration. I have no choice. The above-mentioned gentlemen differ in religion and political party affiliation, yet they all call Greenville HOME. DO SOMETHING.QUICK.