Friday, April 25, 2008

Point-Counterpoint: Divide and Conquer

Eliot Brown has an intriguing post on the Observer web site on the possibility that the city may pursue a two-phased development strategy. He sites a portion of the EIS: "The alternative plan, studied in the draft environmental impact statement, calls for acquiring the land and building the project, in two phases. The plan includes acquiring the land on the western portions of the site first, where most of the smaller automotive-related businesses are based, while the owner-occupied businesses on the eastern portion would have more time before they sell their land. The plan would be the same in size, though the first half would be done by 2013, according to the plan studied, while the second half would be done by 2017."

If true, this would mean that the city was going to go after the most vulnerable of the smaller businesses, taking them out so that it could create a momentum that would eventually put the larger "owner-occupied" firms in an increasingly untenable position. A classic divide and conquer strategy that the smaller businesses need to be aware of if they're gonna survive this process.