Reader proposes turning former Crestwood Plaza site into ‘TIF Park’


Letter to the Editor

To the editor:
This is a response to Executive Editor Mike Anthony’s Dec. 21 “Call the Tune” column headlined “Specifics remain elusive on redevelopment of mall.”
I have come to the conclusion that we are going to be left with a big pile of mud where Crestwood Plaza used to be. I do not think UrbanStreet Group will be able to find any tenants — not that this is a worse-case scenario.
I have always worried that the mixed-use redevelopment would siphon off sales from local businesses, forcing them to close, leading to less taxes going to the city, leading to a decline in our schools, fire department, police department, et cetera. But what should we do about this big pile of mud?
I have an idea. I think we should turn it into a park: Plant some trees and bushes, create some walking trails and add a few squirrels and birds. And I even have a name for the park: Tax-Increment Financing Park, or TIF Park. It will serve as a cautionary reminder to other communities that want to blight areas of their community to make room for economic redevelopment.
Hopefully in the middle of the park will be a statue of Crestwood Mayor Gregg Roby, who ultimately realized the evils caused by tax-increment financing and championed the creation of the park so that we could all move on from this divisive issue.
Michael Nolan