"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
Time Warner Cable Arena…
The U.S. National Whitewater Center…
The NASCAR Hall of Fame…
And now, Eastland Mall movie studios?
Recently, it was announced that the City of Charlotte will pay approximately $13.5 million for the Eastland Mall property.
Okay, but given our recent track record with Public/Private partnerships, let's make sure we are going into this venture with "Eyes Wide Open."
Are we paying fair market value or a premium for property that the private sector cannot capitalize on?
Has the proper due diligence been performed?
Did an outside source review the business plan to ensure it conveys a realistic scenario?
Did the powers-that-be follow the proper protocol for a decision of this magnitude?
And perhaps most importantly, what happens if the proposed studios fail to materialize?
It appears that this deal happened pretty quickly.
We're not against progress and proactive management of our resources for growth.
But is it too much to expect a certain level of transparency on decisions that commit our tax dollars to these ventures?
In fairness, the funds are coming from bonds that voters approved specifically for Eastland Mall improvement.
And, maybe the next Hunger Games will be filmed in east Charlotte.
Or, we could be looking at another Whitewater Center or NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Let's hope not.
If you have questions, contact your city council person and get some answers.
Tell us what YOU think. SpeakOut@wbtv.com.