In a surprise move, Station Square announced yesterday that they had an investor to re-open the Chevrolet Amphitheater previously closed because of confusion over the new casino. How much is it costing to re-open this venue? $50,000. That's a far cry from the $12 Million entertainment complex being planned on the other side of the city.
The North Side hotel-entertainment-dining fiasco has caused a lot of grief among North Side residents, but Governor Rendell is almost begging to add $4 Million to their pot-of-plenty in spite of this mind-numbing recession. I expect he'll recommend legalizing and taxing prostitutes to pay for this project.
Certainly seems suspicious to me that Rendell is so eager to hop on-board this latest North Side boondoggle. Is it because of pay-to-play politics? Is it because he's distracting us from the truly evil deeds he's playing over in Philly? If anyone knows, I'm sure they've been paid off. But I'd sure feel better about it all if there was some reform in Harrisburg ala the GOP. Maybe then we can have realistic projects like the Chevy Amphitheater that add value to the city while not costing the region an arm and a leg. In the meantime, we'll be subsidizing Toby Keith's new restaurant.
Don't get me wrong. I believe the more venues/hotels/restaurants the better. Let the people decide. But I also believe that if you can't afford it, you shouldn't build it/buy it/rent it - unless of course you're giving major kickbacks to the residents and raising their quality of life. Now is the time for Rendell to listen to the North Side residents and insist on a landmark community benefits package ala the new arena.
Urban Renewal and Innovation Districts
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