Today’s article on the Vince Whibbs Sr. Community Maritime Park in the daily newspaper ( Park backers: Plan still delivers) has me wondering why the proposed change in plans that eliminates the DeVilliers Street extension and moves the project a little more to the east such a big deal to certain members of the African-American community.
Of all the issues – deaths, overcrowding and staph infections in the county jail; diabetes, STDs and other diseases in the black community; functional illiteracy; teen births and income disparities – there are those who want to focus on a minor part of the plan.
The longer the project is delayed, the longer it will be before this community will see any new jobs and the economic benefits from this project. The delays don’t hurt Quint Studer. They directly hurt the African-American community and its new Contractors Academy.
If the CMP is not built, Studer saves millions. He won’t have to build a $12 million office building downtown. He won’t have to hold his conferences here – that bring 1000-1500 people to the area in the off-season every year. He can move his team to another community that will build the stadium and give him a much better lease agreement without guarantees or secured with life insurance policies. In fact, he can move his entire company – to a city that will offer incentives for him to relocate and give him an office building at a low price…just like we do for call centers that want to come to Pensacola.
Wake up, Pensacola!