Thursday, Dec. 7, 2006 | If you’ve seen the movie “Glengarry Glen Ross,” then you must remember the Alec Baldwin character whose motto is “A-B-C”- always be closing. To be sure that his salesmen are A-B-C-ing, he threatens them with their jobs if they do not sell enough real estate. This is called creating urgency, which is a tactic salesmen use to close a sale. I know I am not the only one who knows this, because at last Monday evening’s meeting of the Grantville Redevelopment Advisory Committee, Councilman Jim Madaffer was A-B-C-ing for all he is worth.

According to the councilman, “We’ve got to” get the plans in place “to move forward” with Grantville redevelopment as soon as possible. This is an urgent necessity to him, because he does not want to see anymore “piecemeal” development projects sprout up in Grantville. These projects are progressing as Grantville redevelopment lingers. Evidently, in the councilman’s world it is imperative to have immutable plans in place immediately to guide Grantville through the duration of the forty-five year project.

But wait…Isn’t this the problem the Navy and Doug Manchester are encountering with the Naval Broadway Complex? NBC is hitting roadblocks, because the project is relying on environmental documents from 1990. Since then, things have changed. Rampant downtown development, as well as new geological surveys has altered the logic of a massive development at the foot of Broadway.

Similarly, Grantville plans created now may have dubious relevance years from now. Who’s to say that things will not change in Grantville over the next forty-five years? Perhaps there is a certain logic to a flexible, market-driven, piecemeal approach that trumps the government-driven, dictatorial method.

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