The saga continues, with The Virginian-Pravda editorial board sounding off this morning. http://hamptonroads.com/2008/05/reasons-pause-town-center-bridge
First of all, this should have been a straight-forward Budget item: simply pay for it out of the Town Center TIF. First the City proposed paying for it out of the General Fund. Now they come up with an equally nutty idea: a TIF on the north side of Virginia Beach Blvd. to pay for it. Who in the heck has ever drawn up a TIF simply to pay for a friggin' pedestrian bridge?!? I have three arguments I haven't heard anywhere yet, so I wish to post them.
First, am I the only person who sees something terribly wrong with the government dictating to a private company what their capital budget should be? If I was running a business, I wouldn't want to be told I had to make a "substantial" reinvestment in it.
Second, working for a business in Pembroke Mall, I know the place is in flux: the Mall Manager and Marketing Director left, long-time tenants are being forced out, other tenants are being put on very short term leases, small shops are being shuffled like cards, etc. Part of the City's due diligence should be to get a firm grasp on where Pembroke Mall is going. I have a front row seat and am perplexed by some of the moves Mall management is making.
Third, how does this all fit in with the Pembroke Area transportation plan, a work in progress? A couple of the options change the configuration of Virginia Beach Boulevard between Town Center and Pembroke Mall, so that would affect the need.
Finally, the City owes the public an explanation about why they refuse to pay for it out of the Town Center TIF. If it's like a couple other things surrounding Town Center, it's could be a mess.