Friday, May 30, 2008

Visions of Sugar Plums, Dancin'

Painful as they are, market corrections do at least expose idiotic thinking.

I've been trying to wrap my brain around this paragraph in the Bulletin's front page article today:

"Pepsi first started looking at Juniper Ridge land about two years ago but was told it's warehouse didn't fit the city's vision...."

Huh, what?

I thought this was supposed to be an industrial park?

No?

Nothing so mundane. Juniper Ridge was supposed to be a "university-centered research and development park..."

"....Juniper ridge will grow in the coming decades to hold a university, research and development park, neighborhood shopping areas and thousands of homes."

So we've fallen back to earth and will accept Pepsi as a tenant.

I think this would be the equivalent of my saying to a good customer:

"I'm sorry. You only buy Superman and Batman. I'm looking for customers who have higher tastes -- who will buy expensive graphic novels and independent art comics. You don't fit my vision of Pegasus."

But what puzzles me was that the 'vision' was of a huge complex, surely with more than enough land to accommodate any legitimate business. Which just shows how pie in the sky the whole project started to become.

Even the argument that it wasn't creating 'new' jobs seems rather ludicrous. What part of the word "Expanding" doesn't the city understand?

I'm afraid, the city of Bend has managed to go from pick and choosing, to beggars can't be choosers rather quickly.

I would basically table the Juniper Ridge Vision -- hell, banish the word 'vision' altogether. Call it an industrial park. Look for tenants. When you've accomplished that, then go back into the drawer, pull out the 'vision' thing and look again.

Because until then, we risk missing the boat completely.

I leave you with this comment to mull over, by Andy Moore, President of Bend Pepsi:

"It should be somewhat a wake-up call to the Bend business community that there are local businesses that need real estate to accommodate expansion opportunities.

"That's not a healthy long-term situation for the economic climate, and hopefully there's a sense of urgency within the city and within the community to ge that resolved."

2 comments:

timothy said...

It seemed like we went at it without any sort of rational plan.

Did anyone look at Stanford or Raleigh's Research Triangle to figure out how to do it right?

What you need are one or more world-class universities. Then just let them brew for 50 or 100 years with incentives for the businesses you want. It's easy.

Bend Economy Man said...

I don't see how you're going to have a warehouse and loading facilities sitting out there among Segway trails in a high-tech corporate/university campus. Probably the news about Pepsi is the first public floating of the idea that the Juniper Ridge concept is dead, and the "master plan" can be flushed down the toilet.