Letters to the Editor

Will a civic center make money? | Federal Way letters

I can’t believe that the Federal Way City Council voted to proceed with the purchase of land for a performing arts center (PAC). We have heard that the city can’t afford to have all the police officers that it needs, but the council feels that we can afford a PAC.

Are you kidding me? They want to provide a place to entertain our citizens ahead of public safety.

If someone wanted to build a PAC, or an office or retail building, unless the developer was super rich, he would have to borrow money or attract investors. A lender or investor would require that the developer provide a written business plan including evidence that the building would generate enough cash to pay them back. They would require copies of purchase or rental agreements showing that a major portion of the building would be rented or sold after being built. They would not just accept the verbal assurances of the developer that everything would be OK and that there are lots of potential renters and buyers out there.

Our city council does not have a business plan showing how a PAC would make money. What they have are verbal assurances from various people that there are organizations that they think would use the PAC. They have not required potential users to sign an agreement that they would rent the PAC if it’s built. They don’t have anyone under contract to use the PAC.

That would not be good enough for any individual council member to invest in a real estate venture, so why is it good enough when they are using money from me and the other citizens of Federal Way?

If we can’t afford cops, then we can’t afford to make an investment with an unknown return.

Don Dennis, Federal Way

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