Here are the documents MMPI and Forest City fired at each other this week about where to build the Medical Mart. Anyone looking for a candid final debate about the pros and cons of the two sites will find it here.
MMPI to the county -- recommending the Mall site
MMPI to Forest City -- rejecting the Tower City site
MMPI's response to PD editorial about the Mall site (click here for the editorial)
Forest City response to MMPI
Forest City consultants' response to MMPI
Lots to read, but I'll paraphrase.
MMPI: The Mall has plenty of room. It's cheaper. The low ceiling under Lakeside won't be all that bad. We'll have a huge "glass curtain" window looking out on the lake! There's plenty of parking close by. We can use tunnels to connect to hotels. 270,000 square feet is enough exhibit space. We'll have higher ceilings and way fewer columns than the current center. We'll only elevate the Mall plazas a little. We'll restore Public Hall, not degrade it. We can book trade shows there within 13 months.
Tower City's site is too narrow. A convention center there would be weirdly tall and thin. We think contractors will run from it screaming. Moving the riverbank could scuttle it all. Your ceilings would be too short. Your view of the river and Flats is ugly. Your exhibit space will be smaller than you think -- you forgot to make room for behind the scenes stuff. Your meeting rooms are lame. Your truck dock is sloped and won't work. Yeah, our site's underground, but yours would be under Huron Avenue! We don't believe your suddenly slashed cost estimates. Cost overruns could be huge. Your site costs too much.
Forest City: Our site is cheaper! We have a contractor who loves it. It's more marketable. Our architects know convention centers and are smarter than you think. Other cities have tall convention centers too. We're just going to move the river's bulkhead -- we can get permission for that in a month. We'll have windows on every floor. Our ballroom is better. Our meeting rooms are fine (or we can change them around).
Why are you rebuilding such a lame, failed old center? You didn't count all the costs at the Mall. None of your parking is on your site. Your meeting rooms are even lamer.