LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Without anchor tenant, Electric Works not likely to fly
“A small group of people in position of influence and power… who are working aggressively to thwart the progress.” Are you sure?
Let’s get to the bottom of this. RTM, you don’t have an anchor tenant for the Electric Works redevelopment. The “smart” money people know this, and to bring it to attention doesn’t mean they do not want this venture to fly. They have supported RTM and the idea of the revitalization of the G.E. campus.
Just as an engineer must recognize the laws of physics to make an airplane fly, a developer must recognize the laws of economics to make this project fly. You do not have an anchor tenant and only letters of intent for approximately 10 percent of the space.
RTM’s Raleigh Durham project was saved from bankruptcy only after Duke University took 70 percent of the space. Who is going to save the day and take 700,000 square feet of Electric Works at premium rents? It’s a Southtown mall size space. The local hospitals, colleges and universities support the project but they are not signing leases.
Some anchors you do have:
1. By accepting for Historic Tax Credits, you have seriously limited your flexibility to modify your plan.
2. Inadequate parking;
3. Inadequate access;
4. Inadequate green space.
The “people in the know” know the current plan is not likely to succeed for a lack of an anchor tenant and the inability to modify your current plan. But, the good news is that the local area supports the rebirth of the G.E. campus. It will likely happen in baby steps. In its current form it requires a savior with big money to put down on a long shot bet.