Sunday, August 07, 2011

In This Months Business Monthly

In the song “Singin’ the Dinosaur Blues,” Jerry Jeff Walker observes that “life is mostly attitude and timing.” When it comes to the future of Columbia’s Town Center the timing of the redevelopment legislation last spring could not have been better.

A little over a year, when the county council unanimously passed the Town Center enabling legislation in early February of 2010, some community activists argued that the timing for this was wrong. They openly questioned the wisdom of moving ahead with a “bankrupt developer.” The prudent thing to do, they argued, was to wait until the company had resolved their financial issues.

It’s hard to imagine how different things would have been if that attitude had prevailed. When the developer, General Growth Properties, emerged from bankruptcy last fall, it spun off part of its holdings into a new entity called the Howard Hughes Corporation. The immediate impact of that for Columbia was profound. Instead of one company controlling the bulk of the redevelopment land in Town Center there are now two, and they are competitors. More importantly, they are competitors that now have to adhere to a shared vision and plan. In other words, they have no choice but to work together for the common good.

In other words, Columbia dodged a bullet, big time. You can read this months column here.
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