Simmering in the background for the last couple of years or longer, a final vote is scheduled today on the Bull Street revitalization project. It's a deal that is projected to bring a $1B plus annual economic impact to the city once it is completed in some 20 years or so. That is a big chunk of change for a project that we are told only requires an initial $31.5M of city investment. Sure seems like a no-brainer to me or is it?
Local business leaders would lead you to believe that if today's vote is postponed the developer will pull out. Find that a little hard to believe. Bob Hughes isn't investing in this project out of the goodness of his heart. He is a businessman and a money making machine. Despite the posturing I really doubt he would walk away from a deal that took so long to put together. After numerous delays on both sides, Hughes quickly agreed yesterday to changes in the proposal. He seems to be eager to make the deal happen.
Regardless, we should know later today what happens next. As far as it being a no-brainer, I think it probably is. I don't think for a second that all the numbers being thrown around are accurate, but I do believe that if this deal doesn't get done there won't be another one that could likely have such a big impact on the Midlands.
Let's hope this gets done!