Wednesday I questioned whether Madison's sale of the old Rosebud property to Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership (ICAP) was really the best use the city and the Lake Area Improvement Corporation could come up with. Chief of the civic cheer section (not to mention former LAIC president and board member) Jon Hunter thinks the city and LAIC did a heckuva job, Brownie, in striking this deal:
The ICAP board of directors decided it should own its own facility after leasing for the last 44 years. ICAP intends to build an environmentally-friendly, efficient structure.
The new structure will be great for ICAP in that it will better meet its needs and not have to move far. The new facility will dramatically boost the value of the property and keep the 40 or so workers within walking distance of downtown restaurants, stores and services. Everybody wins [Jon Hunter, "ICAP Investment Is Terrific for Madison and Downtown," Madison Daily Leader, 2008.12.03].
That's funny: When the city and LAIC wanted to push Rosebud out to the industrial park, I didn't hear our man Hunter saying it was "terrific" to keep Rosebud's 67 employees within walking distance of downtown restaurants, stores, and services.
ICAP's move isn't so much a situation where everybody wins as one where nobody loses... except maybe for whoever is currently collecting rent from ICAP. We're replacing an old building with a new one (plans for which remain to be seen), but we're not adding any jobs, not adding any new customers, and not adding any new retail to downtown. Stopping a loss doesn't merit quite the same rah-rah sis-boom-bah as scoring a win.