GE neighbors put off vote on project
The Packard Area Planning Alliance on Thursday evening put off voting on a resolution proposed by community activist Jim Sack that is critical of the financing structure for Electric Works, the two-phase redevelopment project for the defunct General Electric campus.
The Alliance, consisting of 10 neighborhood associations around the 40-acre former factory site on Broadway, met to discuss the resolution at the Volunteers of America building on Fairfield Avenue.
“We had an hour-and-a-half discussion, and the consensus was that we should not do anything that would cause concern for the progress of the project. Nobody wanted to cast a negative light on the project,” said Sack, president of the West Rudisill Neighborhood Association.
Sack said he thought the $65 million of local money demanded by the developer, RTM Ventures, was at risk of being lost if a bankruptcy or foreclosure occurred.
The $65 million would come from the city and county.
However, Kevin Erb, a local spokesman for the developer and a member of the Illsley Place Neighborhood Association, said the developers were firm in their demand for the money. The $65 million is the linchpin to getting major money lenders to commit and is typical of these kinds of developments in the U.S., Erb added.
RTM Ventures is committed to a July 1 groundbreaking, Erb said. The cost for the first phase that includes the buildings on the west side of Broadway is expected to be $220 million.