I have never met or spoken to Rick Caruso, developer of the Americana at Brand, or Ray Patel, owner of the Golden Key Hotel, which Caruso covets in his quest to expand his business.
I read in the Glendale News-Press in the form of news, and in full-page adverts signed by Caruso, that the latter "increased the amount of his offer to buy the hotel by 20% above the assessed value" (whatever this means), to $6 million. Patel still does not want to sell.
This presumably caused Caruso to enlist the help of the Glendale City Council/Redevelopment Agency to essentially force Patel to either redevelop his site or sell his hotel, setting a 45-day deadline for response.
The question in my mind is, in our present capitalist, free enterprise system, is not the price of a commodity determined by supply and demand, and a negotiated agreement between a seller and buyer? If the seller does not agree to sell, for any reason, be it the price or anything else, should he/she be forced to sell to another business person by the city?
Also, isn't the use of eminent domain by the government limited to results benefiting the community at large, such as the construction of schools, roads, public buildings, libraries, parks, etc.? How does all this fit in this case, and what moral, ethical and practical bases exist for our City Council to potentially take property from a business owner unwilling to sell and give it to another larger business?
Caruso makes bold statements in these pages
Rick Caruso has no doubt brought economic and scenic change to the downtown Glendale landscape. My wife and I along with many out-of-our-town guests who come as far away as Europe have visited and enjoyed the Americana. Pricey as it can be.
The message from Rick Caruso in a full-page advertisement in the Glendale News-Press makes some bold statements.
Creating new jobs during this economic down turn is indeed ambitious. How many new jobs? I wonder how Caruso estimates $800,000 in new annual tax "revenue" will be generated?
The Glendale General Fund needs dollars to support infrastructure. I just feel (as do those whom I speak with) that pay cuts more than just the 1.5% are in order.
I like that the expansion will be accomplished at no cost to property owners. That's good news for my neighbors and myself. What a relief! Rick's business arrangement with Golden Key Hotel owner Ray Patel is not my business, I just hope it is truly a fair one?
I would support Rick if he ran for mayor of Los Angeles. I feel he would be a great one.