Observing from beyond the solar system, a cultural outsider looks in.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

BDC's July 20 RFP Draft for The Senator

I have obtained the July 20th draft of the RFP for The Senator Theatre and converted it to HTML. You can read it here. This is the second draft of which I'm aware.

Now I'm going to brag about my track record.

I predicted in early February that the City was "at least as likely to bring in a developer or a national chain as to create a community-owned nonprofit" for The Senator. While we don't know the end result, we know the city's steering committee recommended against a non-profit in April.

I suspected in January that the City's steering committee would recommend against The Senator becoming a non-profit, which they did in April.

I predicted in early March that the City would let The Senator go to a foreclosure auction to "clear the debt."

I predicted various times, starting in mid-March that the City's actions, including CHAP restrictions and various attempts by City officials to talk down the value of the theatre would confuse potential buyers and scare bidders away from any auction, which ended up happening, according to restaurateur and caterer Eddie Dopkin, who registered as a bidder at the auction:

Dopkin would neither confirm nor deny that he made a bid. Auctioneers would not say who besides the city placed a bid, citing confidentiality.

But Dopkin did say that if the city does issue an RFP, “I would seriously look at it.”

Dopkin said that questions about parking and other issues may have limited bidding.

“I don’t think a sensible person would buy it without knowing all the answers,” he said. “I think it limited all the bids.”

This obfuscation of the situation by the City seems to have been intentional and in my opinion essentially resulted in a rigged auction situation, where the City was able to take The Senator very cheaply.

The reason I'm bragging about my track record is, this is not over. If the auction is ratified (which it might not be), the city will then control The Senator through their RFP process. If I start predicting what will happen with that, or with the larger picture in the Belvedere Square district, just remember that I have a track record, OK?

What I'm hearing is that the City's plans don't just involve The Senator, but the entire Belvedere Square district. As I hear more, I'll be reporting on it. I'm saying right now, there is a larger plan afoot.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you say, "Cordish"?
Quoted twice in print, that I've seen, so far as 'not interested in owning, but would like to run it as a non-profit'.
I also understand his buddy, Embry was in on the recent CHAP move that scuttled negotiations with TWO potential buyers... Coincidence?

July 31, 2009

Blogger Laura Serena said...

To the other anonymous who tried to leave a comment here, and who I can't contact directly, because they're hiding behind an anonymous post.

First, yes it's true. I do moderate comments and I don't publish comments that are insulting or can't be supported by any evidence that I'm aware of. That's why I didn't publish yours. Please note that the city's position is well represented in most of the major media in Baltimore, and until recently, almost the only position represented in any media. I do not feel obligated to give it a forum here, as this has been almost the only source of the other side of the story.

It's insulting that you accuse me of "city bashing" and not being logical, when actually, I have fairly solid evidence for everything in this post from (at this time) off the record sources. I'm not bashing. I'm reporting. There's a difference.

I try to have solid evidence for everything I report, and I have usually been right. Do I sometimes get emotional about the fact that some officials within the City of Baltimore have gone out of their way to harm real people that over the past few months I have come to care about? I think I would not be human if I didn't.

So, please don't tell me to back off or try to get me to shut up about what is actually happening here. Thanks.

I will add that the Anonymous above has cited good reasons why it might be Cordish that will eventually control The Senator, but that would be purely speculation at this point.

July 31, 2009

Blogger Laura Serena said...

Also, for the record. I don't have an opinion yet on whether the City's larger plan for the Belvedere Square district is going to be good, bad, or indifferent. I don't know all the details of the plan. I know there is one, from multiple sources in the neighborhood who have seen bits and pieces of it, or who know people who have. So far city officials are not being transparent about it. I will be continuing to monitor it, as time permits.

July 31, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Laura,

This is fun. Takes me back to my days as a student journalist.
May reply in greater detail if/when, but for now, I ask in all seriousness, what Koolaid are you drinking when you say you are not bashing but reporting? (Ok, not so respectful, but we are enjoying this, right?)

What exactly was that 'squid' post, or that "hellhole" stuff? Or...too many examples.

You don't report. You editorialize. You attempt to share facts but you do so in tandem with judgments about whatever information you collect.

And, given the number you've done on Bill Henry, why would any sensible person share their identity with you? I'm not hiding. I'm taking advantage of the option you provide to offer my views devoid of the potential of personal attack.

Again, in seriousness, I do appreciate the effort you make. Heated discourse is good, differing opinions good. I've been where you are on other issues at other times, but, with age, I've come to regret the times I crossed a line, especially into making broad, negative assertions about entire systems and/or individuals.

I have come to see far less black and white and to view the holy fire of "us v them" as destructive and polarizing.

Kudos for being willing to wield a big sword. Be careful to use it well. What you do counts.

Anonymous #1

July 31, 2009

Blogger Laura Serena said...

I have not said anything about Bill Henry or anyone else that they have not invited by their actions.

Yes, I editorialize. I also report facts that are not being reported anywhere else. Maybe I should say "were" not being reported anywhere else, since now some of the other media is starting to pick up on the fact that there is a side to this story that does not come from the BDC.

July 31, 2009


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home