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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

NorthSide Discussions

McEagle Properties made an unprecedented and commendable move for a developer: the company launched an interactive discussion board for its "NorthSide" project. The idea was that rather than hear rumors about the project, citizens could get their questions and concerns answered directly and publicly by the developer.

As someone who complained for years that McEagle was avoiding all public engagement, I was pleased. Of course, not everyone concerned about the project spends time online, but many of the most vocal critics do. The discussion board is at least a start at dialogue.

However, so far the discussion board has generated a scant 12 posts, and questions and comments directed at McEagle going back to July 7 have been left unanswered by McEagle.

Meanwhile, the discussion board of the newly-organized North Side Community Benefits Alliance has been home of much discussion among many different people. There have been 56 posts, and the threads read like conversations.

Of course, most conversation is happening offline -- at City Hall, block parties, neighborhood meetings, non-profit board meetings and even at the neighborhood saloon. McEagle has certainly generated a lot of discussion, but little of it has turned up online.


David said...

Linked your post to their forum: http://northsideregeneration.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2&p=13#p13

Tim said...

A community benefits agreement is a good idea. But I doubt that North Side Community Benefits Alliance will be at the table. Barbara Manzara, Sheila Rendon and others on the board have been so overtly hostile to the project that it is hard to take seriously the notion that they are ever going to support the North Side project under any circumstances.

Anonymous said...

A community benefits agreement is a good idea. But I doubt that any residents who have not already been paid off to be part of Paul McKee's public relations team will be at the table. Paul McKee, Francis Slay and others have been so overtly hostile to meaningful public participation that it is hard to take seriously the notion that they are ever going to support any sort of agreement with community members under any circumstances.

barbara_on_19th said...

Tim, I am just about as involved in Northside redevelopment as a person can be -- as a concerned resident of the neighborhood. We were a community under redevelopment before McKee arrived and will be one long after he has gone. We have seen so many different ideas and developers come and go, we feel it is time to start setting some community standards around these guys and sticking to them. You are welcome to join us at our very public meetings and discussion forum.

north side resident said...

Tim, please read the North Side Community Benefits Alliance information at the website Northsidecba.org . With a little research you will see that this is a concerted effort to steer the Northside regeneration organization. Not to block them.

samizdat said...

Methinks "anon" is mocking "Tim", no?

Unknown said...


You obviously do not know me or Barbara. Our position on development is the same as day one. Development and resources are needed on the North side we welcome a respectful and dignified development process that includes a PLAN that is community centered, community inclusive and equitable, and comprehensive in nature. We have yet to see that in Northside regeneration's "vision." I would like to invite you to our website. Our information is open to the public.

My family has lived in this neighborhood for over fifty years. I am fourth generation in my home. I served the 4th district for 7 years as a patrol officer in St Louis Place. I want to see this community changed into a better place than it was when my friends and I rode our bikes over the hills of rubble in PI without access to a community center, library, pool, or a decent park. The next generation deserves that. There is nothing hotile about that.

What I find hostile is an attempt by Northside regeneration to assume 2400 additional parcels of land including but not limited to property owned by LRA, current residents, churches, and local employers all with the threat of eminent domain hovering if they refuse.

If you want to know more about my position you are welcome to attend our meetings. Transparency is not a catchy buzzword in our world.

Anonymous said...

You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar. This is the 21st century ladies, me thinks you both, Sheila and Barbara, are HOSTILE and worst than being HOSTILE, you are FEARFUL. I don't want either of you representing my interest and I do live in the area just like you. Have for over 30 years.

Your strategies could use a little tweaking...it's kind of bad when you may have legit concerns but become perceived as *hit disturbers. We all have to communicate effectively. I think we all agree that its past time for SOMETHING to be done.

Tim, based on their modus operandi, I wouldn't want them at the table representing my interest. You're on point.

This project for once, is so massive, it's about time, that compromises are going to have to be made to create a win win situation, TO CREATE NUMEROUS WIN WIN SITUATIONS. Well, you can't take for granted that everybody is familiar with The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People can you.