City can afford to be patient [UPDATED]Published 9:06am Wednesday, May 22, 2013 Updated 11:09am Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The news that two developers are interested in repurposing the Kirkbride facility into a luxury spa, hotel and medical facility, and the Legislature approving an extension to 2016 to use up to $5 million in demolition funds for the RTC, certainly is good.
City officials have said the two companies interested in redeveloping the RTC— Colonnade Design Group and Historic Properties, Inc. — are indeed legitimate.
The two property owners say receiving historic tax credits will determine the project’s fate. We would support such credits.
The state has not paid property taxes for the RTC since it was built in the 1800s anyway, and the benefits of creating a destination site and preserving the Kirkbride far outweigh any tax benefits.
However, it’s hard not to remain skeptical. Even with both time and tax credits in place, past experience has shown the chances seem slim that the Kirkbride will become a facility everyone dreams about.
But at this point, the community has nothing to lose. The worst-case scenario is that the newest developers decide they can’t make the project work, and the Kirkbride building stands as-is for three more years and then is demolished.
Showing patience at this point seems worthwhile.