Partnership Meeting

September 22, 2009

The following was received from Elyse Kalfus:

Greater Wards Corner Partnership Meeting
Thursday, September 24th, 2009 7:00 p.m.

Workforce Development Center (Next to Kroger)
201 E. Little Creek Road

We encourage members from all the Civic Leagues in the Greater Wards Corner Partnership Area to join us for our meeting this Thursday.  We will be discussing the importance of working together to get the change we all need and want to see in our area.  Since 1995 we have all sat and watch while other areas of the city have taken our tax dollars and been redeveloped.  We have listened to the promises and watched as our area fallen prey to more and more blight.  The time for action is now, and only working together can we make it happen.  There is no more Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan we need a new one.  Come and let’s discuss it your neighbors, what do we want to see here in our area.  The business district can’t change without the redevelopment of the ghetto first and we can make that happen together.

We hope enough people in this area are ready to get involved to bring this change about. The time is right, the time is now.

Hope to see you Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204 at the Workforce Development Center.


Dr. Robinson recommends an adjustment in Partnership’s direction

September 15, 2009

Dr. Brad Robinson,  not being able to make a special Wednesday morning  meeting of the Wards Corner Partnership, wrote the following email to give his input:

Unfortunately I cannot be at the meeting on Wednesday (patient care); so here is my input.  I know you all are passionate and dedicated to see this through, no one is more committed than me. No, I am not “proud” of Wards Corner as it looks today but I am a property owner and a home owner in WC and I will continue to work diligently for its improvement. What is holding Wards Corner back is the lack of a “Big Fish”; someone with deep pockets AND the desire to go in and take the risk of several million dollars to redevelop Wards Corner. Once the first fish comes in the others will follow.  Remember, Mrs. Dallas was offered 12 million dollars for her corner 10 years ago and turned it down.

 

I agree with you that things are not moving forward as fast as we would like but we must be careful not to gather a lynch mob against Barclay, Don and Theresa. Reading an inflammatory letter in a public setting was like an ill-advised intervention and is not going to change the city’s behavior toward us.  In fact, I’ve seen the results of that type behavior from previous Wards Corner leadership.  I would argue that is one of the reasons we have had such slow progress here and we are still may be paying for it.  Praise in public and chastise in private. If you have a beef with our council people get on the phone, make an appointment at their office or grab them after a meeting in private but not in a public setting.  No one wants to be “spanked” in front of other people.

 

I have no problem reorganizing the task force back to committee structures if you think that is the answer.  In my opinion there won’t be any major changes in the Wards Corner business district until the property owners decide to pull the trigger and sell or tear down the shopping centers and start over. According to Chuck Rigney, once a developer comes to them with a plan, the city will use all of its resources to see it happen. I believe him.  Unfortunately the current economic market makes this next to impossible. Unless the city owns the property there isn’t a whole lot they can do. 

 

As far as businesses moving out of Wards Corner, it isn’t because of the crime necessarily, it is because there are better opportunities elsewhere from a construction/structure stand point.  Businesses are offered only short term leases with little support from property owners (you have to do your own build out).  Look at the business that left; Wherehouse Music (that type of store is fading fast – see Virgin Records at Disney World…gone!), the Hispanic store on Little Creek (illegal activity), the rent to own store in the Perry Property (dying business), the real estate office on Granby, (market shakeout).  The reason the Sport Zone left had little to do with the prostitutes and gun shots;  they were plagued with shoplifters and they had a better offer in Ghent.  The stores on the Dallas side….. well, we know the problem there.  So get ready, it may get worse before it gets better.  Unfortunately, these are factors completely out of our control. 

 

What we DO have control over is reporting crime and code violations to the police and public works departments respectively. Then we have to hold their feet to the fire to rectify the violations.  I believe the continuous updates from the people in Denby Park led to the money currently being spent in Denby Park and Monticello Village.  We need to keep providing our opinions but in a more appropriate manner (to say NOTHING has been done in Wards Corner is disingenuous). 

 

I believe the beautification and infrastructure committees have done a good job creating workable plans for Wards Corner and the Wards Corner Now web site if utilized properly is a strength.  The city did buy the Alexis Apartments (paid way too much for them) and it would be nice but improbable for them to buy up large pieces of property in  Denby Park.  Losing Marcus to Richmond definitely set us back.

 

From my perspective, I’ve seen a lot of complaining and very few solutions from the citizens of the task force.  I would suggest you list your concerns and define workable solutions. Then communicate those desires firmly but professionally.  I know when I am nagged I am less likely to capitulate.  

 

A lot has changed economically and politically since the development of the WC Comprehensive Plan. We need to regroup and move forward in a positive fashion. Yes, there have been mistakes and missed opportunities along the way but whining about them will not change the realities of today. Don’t forget the comprehensive plan suggested we focus on the fringes first (DP and Tittustown) then the core will follow.

 

Lastly, if you believe some or all the council members need to be replaced; don’t talk about, do it.

 

Just my opinion,  I may be wrong.

 

Brad  Robinson, DC

Past President Wards Corner Business Association 

 


Partnership meeting cancelled due to weather

September 26, 2008

Eric Heard, Public Relations Committee, writes in:

With severe weather conditions, including flooding, heavy rains and gusty winds, the decision was made to cancell the scheduled meeting at the Work Force Center.  Every attempt was made to contact invested and/ or interested  parties as to the cancellation.  The guests and center were also notified.
The issue of knowing what was planned, what is happening, what will happen and what SHOULD happen in our largest commercial area is pertinent to the future of our lives and our surroundings.
Our apologies for any inconvenience that this issue may have caused.

Partnership Meeting, Thursday

September 23, 2008

Elyse Kalfus writes in:

Greater Wards Corner Partnership

201 E. Little Creek Road (next to Kroger)   7:00 p.m.

Rooms 202 & 204

September 25, 2008

Roberts Rules of Order will be followed

Agenda

1.  Introductions: Please stand and give your name and Civic League.

2.  Pace Reports

3. Guest Speakers: Frank Duke, Planning Commission

Mr. Duke will be discussing the Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan as it was originally presented to the people of Wards Corner in 2003.  He will be able to answer questions about the original plan and we will also take a look at what changes might better suit this area now and in the future.  We can discuss these changes and see what will really be the best benefit for Wards Corner.

Please come and join us for this very important event.  Be sure to bring pencil and paper, and if you have a copy of the original plan, take the time to go over it before the meeting and make notes.  The plan can be downloaded from the Wards Corner Now website.

This is a must attend meeting for all of you that live in this area who really have and interest in being a part of making a difference in the place you live and how it affects your future.

Look forward to seeing you all on Thursday, September 25.

4.  Taskforce Update

5.  Committee Reports

6.  Audience Topics for Discussion/ Questions & Answers

7.  Meeting Adjourned


WC Partnership meeting recap

January 29, 2008

The second meeting of the reinvigorated Wards Corner Partnership was held tonight at the Workforce Development Center. Across the front of the meeting room sat 10 current civic league presidents who together proposed an action plan to put more pressure on our elected officials to ebb the downfall of Wards Corner.

The action plan included:

  • Moving forward with the Comprehensive plan, especially redevelopment in Denby Park
  • Purchase of the Alexis Apartments
  • Wards Corner infrastructure improvements

The conversation tonight highlighted, once again, the lack of a champion for the Wards Corner Partnership area on City Council. A plan to let our concerns known was debated and letters to the editor, letters to the councilpersons, and this website were determined to be excellent tools to let the councilpersons and our fellow citizens know that we are fed up with the lack of attention to the blight in Wards Corner.

The Partnership members at tonights meeting are energized and intend to work until Wards Corner is no longer placed “on the back-burner”. Wards Corner Now.

To have your letters and articles posted on this website, email them to wardscornernow@wardscornernow.com


Comprehensive Plan meeting recap

January 15, 2008

Tonight’s meeting at the Workforce Center was a success that none of its organizers predicted.  With at least 100 people in attendance it was clear that the citizens of the Wards Corner Partnership area are unhappy with their representation on City Council.  Various civic leaders were in attendance and many voiced their dismay with the lack of action in the Wards Corner area.  Crime is soaring, blight is damaging our neighborhoods, and the best reaction we can get from the City is that we may get new crosswalks if their is money in the budget.

The frustration level was high as there are people who have been working on the same issues that confront us today for almost a decade.  People are disappointed that the City dropped the ball on moving forward with the Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan before the General Assembly took eminent domain away and they are equally disappointed that the city refuses to move forward with the plan now.

Crime was a large part of the discussion as most in attendance felt that the redevelopment of East Beach caused much of the crime and blight to relocate to the Denby Park neighborhood.  With reports that the St. Pauls Quadrant is where the city will be spending most of its money and resources, there is a great fear that once again the crime and blight of that area will end up in the Wards Corner Partnership area.

It was pointed out that there are five elected city officials that represent the Wards Corner Partnership area and none of them are champions for the area.  It was explicitly stated that most of the Partnership Area is represented by the Ward 1 councilman and that he is ostensibly ineffective in bringing home the bacon to the Ward.

The meeting was closed with a plan to meet again at the Workforce Center on January 29, 2008 at 7:00pm at which time an action plan will be formulated.  Frustration is high among the citizens, but optimism is causing the citizens to work for change.


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