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Monday, August 31, 2009

Lessons Ignored But Predicted In Leland Report

The Downtown Caldwell Revitalization Strategy Phase II Report was officially released to the public on October 25th, 2006. The report cost the city of Caldwell $140,000 and was prepared by the Leland Consulting Group, Mc Kibben & Cooper Architects and Urban Designer and Planning Management Services. In short, a lot of expertise in resurrecting and revitalizing rotting downtown's.

Mayor Nancolas, the City Council, The Urban Renewal Agency of Caldwell have chosen to ignore caveats and recommendations outlined in the report handed to the city leaders of Caldwell in 2006. Thousands of community volunteer hours of labor and meetings were put into this study. Mayor Nancolas chose to not have Mr. Leland present the report to the community and summarily tossed it into the dust bin of Caldwell history. Their collective answer was to give the Oppenheimer Group $50,000 to go in yet another direction and ignore $350.000 in studies and citizen efforts.

Team Garret has still not figured out a detailed strategy or plan for how the public investment will couple with and effectively leverage private investment in downtown Caldwell. (pp 3 Leland Report)

"There is the distinct possibility that if you build IT, IT will just sit there and be a beautiful waterway that has raised property values on either side of IT, yet not necessarily triggered private sector investment." (pp 4 Leland Report)

"Implementation of the rest of the Indian Creek waterway should be directly tied to private investment projects that are desirable and directly in line with the vision of revitalizing downtown. If the Creek has to be built in phases or held off until the right partnerships are formed, that is better than having no private investment or a bad project fronting this outstanding public amenity." (pp 4 Leland Report)

"Care should be taken such that the public investment is not squandered." (pp 5)

"Make a great plan. A great plan is one that combine market based potential with a community vision for the downtown area. A great plan is one that excites , motivates and enlivens the community and private investment to take action. A great plan demonstrates commitment to community." (pp 5)

"more than one project is needed from the private sector to successfully trigger more and continued commitment. Remember, a single project is very vulnerable and at great risk of failure." (pp 7)

THE GUARDIAN is providing the above information as some food for thought to those who will get to pay the bills. The wisdom in both the R/UDAT study and the Leland Report of 2006 are the product of a tremendous amount of 20/20 hindsight by the people sharing their wisdom and direction with us. Meanwhile, the Mayor and Caldwell Urban Renewal Agency choose to ignore both of these studies and throw millions on projects that will not spark an economic turnaround for downtown Caldwell.


  1. THE GUARDIAN received a comment about all the references to a new city hall in the Leland Report. The writer of the post apparently does not realize that there are no current plans for a new city hall in downtown Caldwell at the present time. The need for a new city hall was given up in favor of an even more un-needed project TVCC in downtown.

    We would like to point out the site currently occupied by a law office is in the Leland Report as a city hall site. Slow action on the part of the Urban Renewal crew and Team Garret and this site got away from them.

    Now they want to clear off the soon to be departed SW District Health Dept offices into an open air market.

  2. Disingenuous.

    You know you've railed against a downtown city hall on this site. Then you tout the infallibility of the Leland Report.

    When your hypocrisy on this issue is pointed out you point to "no current plans for a new city hall" (which isn't exactly true, they've been postponed) as a reason for not posting the response questioning your ability to justify your worship of the Leland Report?

    Again, disingenuous.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?


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