Thursday, February 10, 2011

One of the continuing myths of this regime...

Is that economic prosperity in Lake Worth relies solely on corporations landing in the Park of Commerce and with a rejuvenated Casino building.  The Mayor told us last night that "We are well on our way with the Park of Commerce."  I will grant that progress is being made, but as described here on these pages, any corporation landing in the Park of Commerce will be at least 5 years out - if it is meant to be successful.  Sure, it can be quicker if you allow smaller users of land to chop up the "park" - but then you wouldn't get the ultimate economic benefit of the availability of larger tracts of land this far east in Palm Beach County - near established transportation corridors with mass transit options.  Infrastructure improvements to the tune of $7 million are needed which involve storm drainage and roads.  Those will not be built tomorrow.  There are other impacts outside of the "park" that will involve other neighboring jurisdictions - perhaps the same ones that are suing us over our sewage billing practices.

The Casino building is about a 35,000 square foot building and it looks like the same tenants will be given preference due to promises made as part of campaigns.  What measurable economic impact this will have is questionable when looking at a citywide or county wide basis.  It's not like we are getting a beach - we are getting a new parking lot(s) and a new building (as it turns out.)  How much economic spin-off after the first two or three years is in question.

The downtown's now CRITICAL parking problem is un-addressed - as is any other area of the city including South Federal Hwy, Dixie Hwy and the area between the tracks and the traffic circle along Lake/Lucerne Avenues that is in dire need of redevelopment.  I guess not having reliance on the construction industry, another mention by the Mayor last night, means a de-facto construction moratorium?  Until then, we will celebrate the opening of a new sports bar in an existing retail building west of I-95 along 10th Avenue North as evidence of economic development.