Goodness, one would think that the opening of a liquor store at the corner of Kings Highway and Gilbert Drive is equivalent to the apple from the tree of knowledge that both Adam and Eve consumed.
That was the pitch of twenty plus speakers at the Tuesday city council meeting. Centenary College will lose enrollment, residential property values will plummet and a two block area along Kings Highway will become a virtual den of iniquity.
Not that the sale of beer at the Circle K on the other corner of Kings Highway and Gilbert Drive or the sale of beer and wine by the Brookshires a little further west has not already opened the floodgates to the evils of the world.
What none of the speakers acknowledged–much less mentioned–is the plight of the property owner. The Caddo tax records identity this poor soul to be Chris Casten.
At one time Casten had a lease with for a Circle K store. His property has now been vacant for two years now. That means property taxes of over $5000 per year had to be paid, along with other costs for maintaining his property.
This property could have been purchased by many of those that complained to the council—or a group of them. The comments that it was over priced or not well suited for development when arguing that Casten should not be able to lease or sell it to Bernie Woods who wants to open a liquor store just don’t pass muster.
It’s hard to have any real sympathy with the financially well-heeled crowd crying wolf over a business deal that they passed over. Seemingly market economics does not resonant with them–at least it did not when they had the opportunity to take the property off the market.
This group needs to "man up", open their collective pocket books, and buy their way out of the problem that consider to be deadly. The fact that the price for the property and to buy out the option fo Bernie Woods has gone up is due to their inaction, including trying to smoke out Woods with litigation expenses, etc.
Lets go back to the fundamental premise of free enterprise. Land owners and business owners are entitled to make a profit. And property owners seeking to "protect their investment" should look to their check books, not government, to bail them out of predicaments.