What shall the future of Long Beach be? Can smart development pave the way for a sustainability wonderland by the sea? Should we look at tourism to help keep our taxes down and businesses up? Or just live in status quo and accept the trend of growing expenses in an aging city?
Development vs. Tourism vs. Status Quo
This topic has been blogged to death (see: /?tag=what-do-we-want), but I feel it’s worth entertaining again as our city appears to be in the mist of a
Many want Long Beach to not grow – no gimmicks on the boardwalk, they fear development because of parking and traffic (there is traffic?) and seem to be ok with the surplus of nail salons, pizza and bars. Others feel it’s essential that Long Beach grows. Reason being: Our city is aging, taxes are going up, expenses are going up, we need a lot of $ to fix our aging infrastructure, want more variety in stores/restaurants that can only be achieved with some sort of population growth (more residents or tourists).
My two knocks against status quo are as follows:
I fear the vacancies. I fear high taxes. I want a more lively downtown with more variety. I also want more things to do here in the winter. That is why I think Long Beach needs some sort of shot in the arm – be it though tourism, smart development, BIDS, etc. (Hey, whatever happened to the Local development Corp?) Oh the so many things I blogged about before that I w’d love to see here in Long Beach: Performing Arts Center/ Music venue, quaint downtowns, marina and so forth. To me, status quo will give us none of that.
I recently heard about three local restaurants that are up for sale. While I’m not at the liberty of saying which ones, it is a trend to be concerned about. There are so many theories why businesses could struggle here: high rent (which includes high taxes, insurance, maintenance), not enough pull from the rest of Long Island or they have to resort to alcohol as the only means of survival. Hmmm…. If that is the case, status quo does nothing, but make the situation worse since expenses, taxes, rents are going nowhere, but up.
How do you folks feel? Am I overacting about status quo? Do we need growth? Development? Tourism? Discuss…
Leave things alone, but prepare for higher rents, taxes, expenses and many of these signs: