Sunday, October 07, 2007

Now What?

It looks as if a compromise on the Plaza tower has fallen flat. According to this story in today's Sun, "a three hour meeting failed to produce a compromise...".

Not that I am surprised. I'm not sure how WCI can can make the tower shorter without incurring significant costs (loss of revenue from fewer units, re engineering the design, etc.) and according to the story Alan Klein "said he might reluctantly agree to consider a height up to 180 feet."

Some spirit of compromise, eh?

There were even some theatrics. Lloyd Knowles apparently walked out of the meeting to protest the fact that it was a closed door meeting. How very mature. Tell me Lloyd, how do you expect to get parties this far apart to come together in an open meeting?

Closed meetings are much better for hammering out compromises. They provide less opportunity for grandstanding than open meetings do.

And this notion that somehow General Growth should just go and buy the property back is ludicrous. Let's assume for a moment that WCI would even be willing to consider this (and there is no indication that they would). If I am WCI I want more than the land price back. I would want all of my costs so far covered as well including all legal fees, architectural and engineering fees, marketing fees and so on. I suspect that this makes any buy back cost prohibitive from the get go.

In my opinion, WCI should just go full speed ahead with construction with their already issued building permit. If the county council passes Mary Kay Sigaty's legislation and it becomes law WCI can then come back and sue the county for all of its costs and more. My money says WCI wins that one.

The taxpayers would be the losers. Thank you Alan Klien.