The definition of insanity
A deal for a New York company to buy the Downtown Lazarus building has fallen through, and one wonders if the sale wasn't scuttled because of the Urban Redevelopment Authority's insistence that it should control the use of the building:
Jerry Dettore, acting executive director of the URA, couldn't be reached for comment yesterday. Dettore said earlier in the week that the agency is "trying to achieve a quality re-use of the building."
Dettore had said the URA was "exchanging draft language" for a lease with J.J. Operating, and hoped to restrict use of the building to "something that is compatible with the quality of Downtown."
The "quality of Downtown"? Do the shuttered buildings the URA owns throughout the Fifth-Forbes corridor reflect the quality of Downtown? The URA and its friends in city hall are elitists who care little for what really works in a city and care a lot about hanging onto their prescious political power. They claim to love the city, but they hate what make cities unique, what makes them succeed. They want to turn Downtown into an outdoor suburban shopping mall. How else to explain Lazarus and Lord & Taylor? A "quality re-use"? Let the building be sold to someone who knows what to do with it. The market will decide what is and what isn't a quality use.