Re:”Years of big travel over for UPlace Town Center” (TNT, 5-29).
It would be a real shame if readers were to lose sight of the long-term vision of what Town Center and University Place can become. By picking apart the financial decisions our civic leaders made years ago, in a completely different economic climate, The News Tribune risks fueling momentum that could result in a compromised version of our city’s future.
Town Center has not been stalled because a few city officials flew to Las Vegas, but because the country suffered an economic downturn and banks refused to lend. These tough economic times will pass, but the decisions we make today will have lasting impact.
It would be a shame if UP build a sub-par town center that mimicked every other strip mall, solely from impatience. Right now we lose 80 percent of our tax revenue to surrounding communities when UP citizens go elsewhere. A first-rate town center will not only serve our citizens, but will draw shoppers from the larger area.
Big-picture thinking demands recognizing that a quality town center will fill our coffers with more of the tax dollars we need. It is important to stay committed to the belief that University Place has a bright future. We have the chance to build something truly special.
I am proud of our leaders, what they have accomplished so far and how close they have already brought us to the finish line. It would be a shame if we sold out now and sacrificed our chance to achieve our full potential.