Rod Thomson's column yesterday echoes the same points that we have been making about the Pineapple Square proposal. While it may bring needed retail to downtown Sarasota, there are lots of unanswered questions.
Thompson asks three questions:
City leaders have specifically said the next great need for downtown is retail. Two mega-retail developers are at the plate. But the questions remain: Can the area sustain two such huge retail developments, what role should the city play in helping them, and could they spell a downturn for St. Armands?
We have asked these questions, as well as questions about the high price the city is being asked to contribute to Pineapple Square (see yesterday's post), what effect will these proposals have on traffic, how will these proposals affect our current independent downtown retailers, and assuming this affect will be negative, is it fair to contribute such high funding dollars at the expense of the smaller, local retailers?
These questions need to be satisfactorily answered before deciding what, if any, contribution Sarasota should make toward these proposals.