Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What should happen to Phoenix Center?

The Phoenix Center complex in downtown Pontiac was built in the 1970's as part of the Pontiac Plan.  While there are multiple parts that make up the Phoenix Center, the main section is the parking garage and ampitheater.  The ampitheater, which opened in 2004 and has seating for 6000, has had its share of decent concerts, but also controversy.

In 2004, the Phoenix Center went under a $22 million renovation with assistance from Oakland County on the loan.  The city is still paying off this loan and will do so for approximately the next 15 years.  Now the emergency financial manager is requesting a study to see if the complex is still safe and useable, if not it will come down.

So some questions I have include: if it is unsound, how and why has it deteoriated so quickly after renovations?  Who is going to pay for the demolition and why has it taken so long to be done?  Why was this not one of the first projects?

What I would like to see done if it is not beyond repair, is offer the complex to an entertainment group, like Palace Sports & Entertainment or Olympia Entertainment.  If an entertainment group wants to take it over they can handle all of the operations and management and the city could just take the parking fees.  I think it really lacked decent attention, marketing, and operating when being ran by the city.

I think it could be a win - win situation for everyone involved.  Crowds coming back downtown and filling parking lots, clubs, bars, and restaurants.  The increase in people might lead to more businesses wanting to open and start bringing more life back to the city.  I know there will always be those against it, but if its not too badly damaged, lets give it a shot.

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