Don’t say city didn’t try [UPDATED]Published 9:37am Wednesday, August 22, 2012 Updated 1:39pm Wednesday, August 22, 2012
The council’s latest decision to approve a marketing plan for the Regional Treatment Center by brokerage firm Colliers International is a good one. The firm appears to be reliable and resourceful and may be the best chance the city’s seen in a long time to find a developer for the former state hospital complex.
Let’s be clear: no one wants the Kirkbride torn down. The Friends of the Kirkbride don’t, the city council doesn’t, and we don’t.
As long as redevelopment efforts don’t hurt the timeline for demolition if the city needs to go that route, the city can and should be making every effort to find a buyer, someone who can turn the site from a landmark into a destination.
The council has gotten a bad rap from a lot of people over their handling of the RTC, but that’s not really fair.
While critics can point to initial refusals to filmmaker requests and less than stellar marketing support in the past, the city has considered several offers for the building, from the Chinese school developers to the follow-up from Campus Development Group to others who have wanted to turn the building into a non-profit hub, a rehabilitation center and the heart of an ambitious multi-use enterprise.
For monetary, feasibility or other reasons, none of these ideas have worked out. Maybe Colliers will find an idea that will. But don’t say the council has demolition on the brain. Nobody does.