Get ’em done

Published 9:29 am Sunday, February 18, 2007

By Staff
Although it’s nice to have at least 23 active development projects in or near Washington, it would be better to change the word “active” to “completed.”
Completed development projects generate additional tax revenues for the city, which could use the money. Completed development projects also mean more money for merchants.
At the risk of boring folks by listing those projects, here they are in no particular order: Moss Landing, residential development; The Fowle, residential and commercial uses; Turnage Theater complex, renovation of facilities; 1 Harding Square, restaurant and office space; Buoy Tender Station, condominiums; Warren Field Airport, new private hangar being built; Beaufort County Industrial Park, new industries and expansion of existing industries; City of Washington, second fire station; U.S. 17 Highway bypass, property acquisitions for project under way; Somerset, planned unit development next to Smallwood; Washington Center, mix of commercial and residential uses; Walgreen’s, commercial development; Beaufort County Hospital, expansion project; Bridge Harbor, condominiums on south side of Pamlico River and east of U.S. 17 bridge; Park Boat Co., condominiums and dry stack boat storage on former site; National Spinning, using an old building for dry stack boat storage; former Mason Lumber Co. site, residential development; Iron Creek, third phase of residential development project; former P.S. Jones Middle School property; possible residential, church-related development; Carver Machine Works, expansion; the former Whichard’s Beach property, condominiums and single-family residences; former Griffin’s Beach property, possible residential development; Park Boat Co., moved operations to former Pamlico Supply site on Fifth Street and Tar-Pamlico Terraces, condominiums in former Giant Discount store on West Main Street.
That’s a lot of active development projects. But there’s another one that needs to be added to the list, which was put together by city officials for the City Council’s planning session earlier this month.
This week, Jim Poteet and Norm Koestline announced they are renovating the building at the southeast corner of North Market and Second streets. Their plans call for commercial uses on the first floor and putting office space for professionals such as attorneys and accountants on the second floor.
These projects hold a lot of promises for the city, but it would be better for the city to see those promises turn into revenue sources, not only for itself but for the community. Once these projects that are residential in nature are completed, the people living at Moss Landing, Buoy Tender Station or Tar-Pamlico Terraces will need goods and services. Let’s hope they acquire those goods and services from local merchants.
The hospital’s expansion project, once completed, will provide local residents with improved health-care services. The expansion of Carver Machine Works and new industries coming to the industrial park will provide additional job opportunities for local folks.
The reality of two dozen active development projects in or near the city is cause for elation. The reality of a dozen completed development projects would be a cause for celebration.
To paraphrase an old proverb, a completed development project is worth two such projects in the planning stages.
Active projects have their blueprints, but completed projects provide the greenbacks. The city needs greenbacks to help keep it out of the red.
It’s time projects on the active development list move over to the completed development list.