January 22, 2009

No more big trucks on the mall site

Tired of seeing a handful of large trucks parking overnight at the former downtown mall site, the city is cracking the whip.

After city Councilor Ken Cockayne complained recently that the 17-acre site “looked like a truck stop,” Mayor Art Ward said he was already on the case.

He said that public works employees were making signs barring overnight parking on the city-owned property – signs that are now posted.

Before the signs went up, Ward said, he was growing increasingly irritated.

“I looked out my window and saw a truck depot,” Ward said.

 With the truck problem dealt with, city officials are eyeing what to do next to revitalize the site the city bought almost four years ago for $5.3 million. It has spent about $8 million on the property, counting the demolition of the mall, hiring lawyers and consultants, and shelling out for the operation of the nonprofit Bristol Downtown Development Corp.

City Councilor Frank Nicastro said he plans to prod Ward into arranging the promised workshop session between the council and the seven-person BDDC to talk about what’s next for the property.

“We would like to know what’s happening,” Nicastro said.

The BDDC sought last year to find a developer, but wound up with only a single offer, from a Florida get-rich-quick real estate course seller whose offer fell well short of what officials hoped for. He was quickly dropped from consideration.

The nonprofit plans  to seek more development prospects, this time without laying out in any detail what it’s looking for on the site. That effort is slated to begin soon.

But officials have said they understand that given the rough economy and the difficult in lining up financing for projects, it’s unlikely that a project will get underway on the site, tagged Depot Square, anytime in the near future.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Concerned Conservative said...

It looks for like a squandering of the tax payers money to me.

It looks like a bunch of over zealous, naive and clueless politicians (Democrats, some no longer holding office), mis-managing their power and resources.

What a shame. But thank you Ken Cockayne anyway for your efforts.

Anonymous said...

What a Joke!!

Ward already on it but only after Cockayne brought it up!!


Concerned Conservative said...

I do give the great Democrat of Bristol, Art Ward some credit for trying to make chicken soup out of the chicken s___ he was handed by less fiscally conservative and astute Democrats (whom the majority is of).

I'll Referee said...

And Nicastro jumps on the bandwagon!

Does Ward get along with anybody on the Council???

But then, he didn't work with the last mayor or council either.

Anonymous said...

How about a dog park there?

Egotist said...

why doesn't nicastro get off his butt and attend some of the BDDC meetings - no headlines?

Anonymous said...

Ward is making chicken soup out of his own chicken s___. He was Couture's right hand man and supported the mall debacle every step of the way.

I Was There said...


Ward was part of the administration that bought the Mall Site, he was part of the many secret meetings that took place.

He is significantly responsible for that fiasco.

Sick of the self-righteous said...

We all have 20/20 hindsight. The mall "fiasco" might have turned into the mall "bonanza" had the economy not taken a nosedive. I wonder if you people who are so fond of pointing fingers and playing the blame game would be as quick to give credit as you are to condemn....

Anonymous said...

Sick of...

and I I just had 5 more numbers I would have won Powerball lotto!!

Anonymous said...

Ward....working for the best interests of the Unions!!

Keep up the good work Ward!

P Drucker said...

Good Managers consder " What If" in their decision making.

Our Dollars at Work? said...

Why doesn't Nicastro ask for a meeting between the Council and BDA to find out what is happening at the new Business Park (nothing)?

Nicastro and Ward should notlet the fact that Rosenthal was and is a supporter and fundraiser for them

Fuso Trucks said...

Glad the mayor did something about it.