Thursday, August 02, 2007

Highland Square Updates and an Information Request

The peasants are revolting.

The Highland Square Neighborhood Association has amped the rhetoric against the city and against property owner Albrect, Inc. Now they are posting bills on utility poles all over the city referring them to a new website "Where's Our Grocery Store?" They are not content to be merely discontent. Now they are waxing conspriatorially. After noting that Albrect is trying to charge $25/square foot for space in the new buildings, they spin the theory:

    The argument could be raised that Albrecht is following his more long-term goal to control both the north and south sides of Market Street in Highland Square. A few months of empty units on the north side doesn't compare to the profits that he could gain if he owned everything on both sides of Market. Keeping the units on the north side empty may mean less foot traffic for businesses on the south side, putting even more of a stranglehold on them. Once landmarks like Dodies and the Theater fall, it is much more difficult to launch a good argument for defending the Bucket Shop and Platinum Dragon. In the end, Highland Square could become formed in Albrecht's image, like Walhaven a few blocks up Market Street.
Um, yeah. Lots of arguments could be made. Perhaps we should stick to the ones that actually make sense.

The HSNA had a "Town Hall Meeting" last night about the issue. I've heard that Albrect was planning to attend. So here is the information request. I'm looking for someone who a) attended the meeting and b) is at least open to the possibility that Steve Albrect is not spawn of Satan. If you fit both descriptions and are willing to entertain a few questions, drop me a line: pho197[at]hotmail[dot]com.

We should note that not everyone is on board. Resident and School Board Member James Hardy sent a strongly worded email to the Association. Needless to say when it was posted on the Association forum, the comments were not friendly.

Meanwhile, the Library is set to open Monday August 27, with a neighborhood ice cream social scheduled for Saturday the 25th. And yes, that is the same date as Art in the Square. And Plusquellec is rumored to be coming. Should be fun times.


redhorse said...

Ice cream, HSNA, and the Mayor? I'll bring extra videotape...

Village Green said...

Don't like the tone of Hardy's email at all. It's very much of the "I play with the big guys and we're going to crush you" kind of response.

Fact is, elderly and low income folk in H Sq have been forced to bus it to Albrecht's Acme #1 when for years they could walk to the friendly and convenient Star Market. Not a good thing.

The remnants of the old Food Co-op are stashed at Acme #1. It would be lovely to see it resurrected at the Square. Healthy food for all the radical artists! Heck, I'd be tempted to move back there -- if I could only afford it.

Dave P. said...

I hope someone posts a good report of the meeting. Amy and I are out of town and couldn't make it.

As a newcomer, it's hard to know what make of the HSNA's efforts. On one hand, I appreciate local activism. On the other, their tone is a bit off-putting, especially the more conspiratorial elements of it.

Anonymous said...

Whats with all the Wallhaven bashing? Hang it up, HSNA!

fwiw- Albrecht is kidding himself if he thinks he can get 25/psf in that location. But then, who knows where HSNA got that figure from.


Mencken said...

I heard the Douche Amigos were asking twenty something a square foot plus 3% of the gross for
the Dodies space. Those guys make Albrecht look
downright altruistic.

Anonymous said...

HSNA is run by a bunch of urban design fundamentalists. They view Wallhaven as evil because of its compitulation to evil cars. They are out of touch with most of the rest of Akron.