Shorewood like many other communities involved in state supported community development has a serious and significant lesson to learn.
That lesson is that “community development” means community improvement and not merely tax base expansion.
Tax base is the result of community and not the other way around. .
The Sunrise proposal at 1111 E. Capitol Drive was not necessarily going to add more to the community than any other type of development. In fact the project as it has worked out seemed to have created an artificial increase in the value of this property.
And now we're in an economy that will show its true market worth rather than the overstated super value.
The question that should come first in considering these proposals is what is the proposed development going to do to improve the community and then, secondly can it pay its own way, not the other way around. For the improvement of the tax base does not justify a negative community type development.
In fact the subsidies that come with these projects should give us superior type community improvements, greater than what might have been achieved if we hadn't intervened in the market process..
For example our intervention in the improvement of the facade of the building on Edgewood and Oakland (where Sherwin Williams paint store is located) would not have been of the high quality that we see today, had it not been subsidized.
So what did we get for our subsidy and intervention in the Sunrise proposal that was good for the community?
Had the project not been canceled, (something some of us suspected would happen), what would we have gotten beyond an undetermined increase in the tax base?
“Community development projects' ” primary purpose are the improvement of the community and their secondary requirements are to provide assurance that our intervention in these improvements might pay off in the long run.
Now after the cancellation of the Sunrise project on Capitol at the riverside, we need to make sure that we achieve the appropriate community improvement on this site. We need to fully control what takes place there.
It now becomes necessary to purchase this property at today's real and reasonable price, which under these conditions is much lower than the past established value.
Sale to another potential developer, if this occurs, will likely be at a lower price and will call for even a more inferior-type development.
Therefore Shorewood must purchase this property and we must come up with our own proposals for its development.