Rapid Response

November 29, 2011

By Contributor

The developer of the latest retail complex proposed for the Issaquah Highlands is seeking public money to complete the project. Should the city provide funding for the project? What other economic development projects should be considered for city dollars?

No. If the development is a good investment, then private investors would put their money into it and not need to ask for taxpayer funds.

Paul Stewart, Issaquah

No to the Regency Centers! Perhaps at some time we will have to consider offering tax or other incentives to an enterprise in order to entice them to come here rather than to another city seeking their presence. However, we would have to consider the wisdom and implications of such a move based on a hard-nosed cost/benefit analysis.

Ray Extract, Issaquah

Absolutely not! The Issaquah Highlands development is a business and the taxpayers shouldn’t bail it out. We have already sacrificed more than enough.

Hank Thomas, Issaquah

Public-private co-opts have a murky history — for example, our sports stadiums. A developer would not risk capital if it wasn’t certain of profitability and in that case the public should not have taxpayer dollars in jeopardy to prop up capital ventures. Surely, we’re all tired of government bailouts of private entities by now!

Mark Bowers, Issaquah

Surprise! Another business lining up at the public trough. How far will our City Council bend this time, and how do I get on that money train?

Bryan Weinstein, Issaquah

Absolutely not. Developers pay to develop. That is their business. We should not be begging for developers. On the contrary, I would like to see Issaquah take the position that it is a privilege to develop in our city and anyone who submits a proposal should be prepared to meet our (hopefully) stringent standards and requirements.

Barbara Extract, Issaquah

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2 Responses to “Rapid Response”

  1. Adam Pond on December 2nd, 2011 4:45 pm

    I think that the phrasing of this Rapid Response is fairly disingenuous and is meant to illicit negative responses.
    Those familiar with this issue and with the development in the Highlands know that Regency Centers came to the CIty Council with a plan for development. The City/Council rejected that proposal because they felt that it was too much of a strip mall and that they wanted Regency to do more to encourage walk-ability. So now Regency came back with a new proposal that better fits what the City/Council wants but it is at an additional cost that Regency hasn’t budgeted for. Regency has stated that they “intend to use the public money to reconfigure streets and traffic signals, and create a public plaza near a proposed cinema. The initial plan calls for changing Northeast Park Drive and Northeast Federal Drive from one-way streets to handle traffic in both directions.” This is hardly an “incentive” or “bailout” like people seem to be describing, but rather is an area that the city would usually handle/contribute funds to anyways.

  2. Amy on December 10th, 2011 4:25 pm

    Well said, Adam. Those that are close to the situation know that the City/Port Blakely requested things above and beyond what Regency should expect to pay for. This is a BENEFIT to all citizens. There are more people FOR this than against. They just aren’t as vocal as the nay-sayers.

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