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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Madison Marquette: Poop Or Get Off The Pot

Tuesday night is the showdown
Enough Is Enough

We keep waiting...year after year for mall developer Madison Marquette to make a development proposal for the empty land north of the Bay Street mall and they won't make a move.

But from their perspective, why should they?  After all, this is a freebie for them.  They get to enjoy exclusive negotiating rights to this extremely valuable piece of land along Shellmound Street for as long as they want.  They get to keep this bestowal in their vest pocket for some later date that suits their particular intrinsic corporate stratagem.  So from Madison Marquette's vantage point, if the city council is so smitten with  them and willing to keep re-upping this free ride, why wouldn't they take it?

Enough Is Enough
After almost six years of sitting on this land that could be earning us much needed revenue, now Madison Marquette wants to add another two years while they dilly dally.  The council is doing Madison Marquette's bidding and will not allow any other developers to even make proposals for this important land.  Bearing all this in mind and the fact that that other developers over the years have proposed development there and conceded to meeting with residents to craft a better project, something Madison Marquette refuses to do, we now say enough is enough.

First Choice
The city council has to start working in our interests, not Madison Marquette's.  This valuable piece of undeveloped land needs to be put to work for us now and Madison Marquette doesn't seem up to the challenge.  We call on the City of Emeryville to end the years of special favors for Madison Marquette and open up this land to competition from many developers so we can select the best option for us, the residents.

Second Choice
If this city council cannot change it's stripes and stop the iniquitous give-a-ways to Madison Marquette due to some unseen force acting on them, then at least they should charge Madison Marquette a fee to continue to hold the land for them.  This is the absolute minimum that needs to be required at this point.  It is not in the resident's interests to give this away for nothing when our budget is in crisis.

We need to start the revenue stream from this land NOW.  Eight years is too long to wait with nothing to show for it.  Tuesday night, the council is going to have to move outside of their comfort zone and place our interests before Madison Marquette's interest.

Please show up at City Hall and weigh in on this important topic.  The council has shown they will listen to the residents if enough show up and speak out.  Tuesday night December 7 at 7:15 PM at City Hall.


  1. Who owns this land and if it is owned by the city, Why? Our government should not be in business trying to sqeaze money out of developers to fill the city's coffers. If the city owns the land, let us pay for and make a park or a nice local historical museum. It is not likely we residents will be shopping at, nor sleeping at a hotel there. When it comes down to it, the residents here need places of our own for us to enjoy, and we will pay for it, but not for schemes and pipe dreams to pay for the governments highly paid employees.

  2. The land is owned by the Redevelopment Agency (the city). It was taken by hostile eminent domain from previous owners who were running profitable businesses there; you may remember the Flower Mart. The city paid to clear the land and decontaminate it from toxins and now it is to be given to Madison Marquette in another subsidy (most likely).

    A city-wide survey from last year shows that you are correct that the residents mostly do not use the existing Bay Street mall, it is used by people who drive into our town from throughout the region.

    As to the appropriateness of government taxing business, that's a matter of personal opinion.