Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Going Uptown?

As we have mentioned before, the decision by the Bloomberg administration to pull the plug on the Uptown USA project in response to community opposition was a definite first for the mayor and his economic development team. EDC listened carefully to the folks who were concerned with both the size and the scope of the plan.

Now, however, it is up to EDC, Councilwoman Mark and BP Stringer to help craft a plan that will more clearly reflect the needs of the local community. It seems to us that part of this new plan needs to be the inclusion of local businesses and, possibly, a minority development team. Ever since EDC scuttled the efforts to include the Fernandez brothers on the Bradhurst site at 145th Street we've been waiting to see if any attempt would be made to increase the role of minority firms in the city's economic development plans.

So far not much has happened in this area and what we've seen is best described as "patricianage," the aggrandizement of well-heeled developers and the failure to include the new set of minority entrepreneurs that are waiting at the gate. Uptown would be a great place to "set aside" the patricianage trend.