So, one of the BMG people (the group seeking to buy the Wells Fargo building downtown) said "the building could be a centerpiece for downtown Albany." Where have I heard that before? Oh, yes, the Carousel was supposed to be "the centerpiece" and make Albany rich and famous.
And the "centerpiece" of BMG outfit getting the nod from CARA (Central Albany Revitalization Agency) is that the elite restaurant, Sybaris, is moving to the Wells Fargo building. That doesn't translate to more people shopping and eating downtown; only the 1% can afford $50 for a meal at Sybaris.
The sensible thing to do would have been to sell the building to Linn County for housing the County Clerk's Office. Now Linn County will be forced to erect a new building, and it will cost the taxpayers of Linn County, including Albany, a lot of money. I will remember that when I pay property taxes and blame Mayor Sharon Konopa and the council, who are one and the same as CARA.
Before I sign off, Mayor Konopa: Your saying (in the June 20 Democrat-Herald) that "BMG Partners' proposal also would benefit the nearby St. Francis Hotel building, if that is redeveloped," made me choke! Albany turned down a developer who wanted to redo the St. Francis into apartments. You wanted a fancy boutique hotel, remember? The ship has sailed on the St. Francis Hotel being rescued from decay, I'm afraid, and you, Mayor, council, and CARA, are responsible for that.
Albany (June 25)