Tuesday, December 04, 2007

More delays in riverfront office building

On Nov. 6 – nearly one month ago – we were told of the delays and apparent difficulties Akcess Acquisition Group and its partners were having in getting tenants to sign on the dotted line for space in the multimillion dollar office building to be constructed along the Fox River. I expressed my disappointment at the time, mainly because the developers had told the Common Council several weeks, possibly even months earlier, that they had tenants waiting to sign, just as soon as the Council gave its formal blessing to the project.

In hindsight, that may have been lip-service on the part of the developer or just plain old wishful thinking, because had the council not given its formal approval that night, then city attorney Warren Kraft had told councilors the city could be sued for breach of contract. So the “approval” given that night was really more ceremonial than anything else because the deal had already been formally – and legally – approved earlier in the game.

Fast-forward to Dec. 4 where the earlier projected groundbreaking date of October is about two months behind, there aren’t enough tenants to proceed and the developers are now saying they will start the hotel portion of the project without having the office complex component set to go. This, despite saying all along that they wanted the groundbreaking of the two projects to be within one week of each other.

According to the Talk to Tony blog this morning councilor Tony Palmeri intends to ask that the issue be placed on the upcoming council meeting's agenda under Council Member Statements, “so that we can have an open discussion of possible backup plans.” With things going as they are, this may be a good time to have such a discussion.


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