Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Needless, Senseless, Heartless Destruction

A friend sent this shot from today...likely the beginning of the end for a fantastic 3-bay shotgun on S. Galvez Street.

I would like to fire off a volley of choice words to all those complicit in the UMC plan, all those who have caused the mass demolition that continues to destroy a neighborhood in a national historic district when less destructive alternatives abound.

But I won't.  I'll simply lay out the stark realities for the thousandth time:

- The UMC does not have the money to build the proposed hospital.  There is still a gap of over $400 million in necessary financing and there's no clear indication of how that will be overcome.
- The UMC is now saying that the entire hospital complex design may have to be re-worked.
- The pre-application for HUD mortgage insurance, which may have overcome the gap, has been withdrawn, likely due to the reality that HUD would never approve it.
- The UMC still does not have a business plan in place and won't have one until at least September.
- There are over a hundred lawsuits regarding property expropriations (government takings) underway.
- It's unclear if the arrangement with the UMC Board as the private entity end-user of the expropriated lands will even be found legal.
- It is unclear how the operating expenses of the proposed hospital (estimated at over $100 million annually, plus ramp up costs and offset for legacy debts) will be paid for at this point.
- There are no plans for the vacant Charity Hospital and former VA Hospital complexes in the CBD and various developing parties have actively worked to cut out public participation in the adaptive reuse process.
- Not a single usable, renovated, historic building has been moved off the site.
- As has been clear from the very beginning, the UMC as proposed does not need anywhere near the entire 37-acre site that it continues to destroy.

Somehow, the facts have absolutely no traction in this fight, though, I've found.

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