The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority's grand $500 million scheme to relocate the port to East 55th Street continues to take on water and looks like it could be sinking for good.
Port board chairmen Steven Williams says that port leaders have doubts about the relocation project after the messy split with now-former port CEO Adam Wasserman, according to the PD. Wasserman abruptly resigned earlier this month and left with at least $330,000 in severance pay (for all the sordid details, read Scene's story "Sunk"). Williams and other board officials also revealed that the port's budget is $458,000 short and layoffs could happen next year.
Williams says the board's main objective now is to raise $158 million to help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers construct a dredge storage facility off of East 55th Street. If this doesn't happen by 2015, the city's harbor might have to be closed, the Army Corps says.
Something stinks at the port, and some bloggers, like Roldo, are reacting to the news by focusing on port board member John Carney. In "Sunk," writer Mike Roberts points out that Carney has a conflict of interest in the port relocation plan because he owns four properties in the Warehouse District. If the port vacated and transformed its current site into a mix of attractive housing and retail, Carney's property values would increase 20 to 45 percent, according to an appraisal commissioned by a downtown developer.
No matter how you look at it, it's been a season of upheaval for the struggling port. Just two months ago, Wasserman and port officials were aggressively selling the relocation plan, and city leaders were buying it.
So much for confidence in our leaders. — Damian Guevara