Monday, December 31, 2007

Bannister Petition Keeps Coming

More news today about the petition to save Bannister Mall from being redeveloped by Lane4 and the Wizards. Today comes the news that the petition has cleared the first hurdle, and that's get 100 valid signatures. The group had 148 out of the 191 that were on the petition that they originally turned in. 77% of the signatures were valid. If that holds true for the rest of their petition gathering, they'll have to gather just over 11,000 to really have the 8500 required by the city to force a vote.

Tolbert and the rest of the Save Bannister group are continuing to try and make this into a racial issue like they did back in October. "It is wrong to destroy an asset that could be valuable to the black community." It's funny he says that, when you read the comments for the past few articles that were posted by the Star on this topic, or talk to people that were at the city council vote. Much of the black community around Bannister Mall is FOR the redevelopment. They see it as a chance for the area to start over and become a good shopping area again. They claim to be fighting for the black people, when just as many black people seem to be fighting against them and this petition.

If anyone has a way to contact him, please send it my way, or ask him this. What is his plan for Bannister Mall? What will this group do to make sure the area becomes a strong shopping area like it was before? How are they going to fill the mall up with enough businesses to make it economically viable for the owners of the mall to reopen it?

These are questions I really want to know. Especially the first and last one. The only plan I've heard from this group is to just reopen the mall, cut the grass, put on a fresh coat of paint and people will come flooding back. The last question is also important. Bannister Mall is not a small building. It probably costs quite a bit of money to run electricity, as well as to heat and cool the building. I don't think that they can find enough local businesses to move in there to make it worth it for the owners of the mall to reopen it.

As I've said before, this isn't about the stadium for the Wizards as much anymore, as it is about redeveloping a part of the city that has become the butt of jokes, and become an eyesore on the city. I would think the black community in that area would want to try to remove some of the stigmas that there are about the area.

I'm serious about that contact information too, if you have it, please pass it along.

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