Well, so much for that bright idea. Mayor Will Wynn made an 11th-hour attempt to stop the destruction of the Intel building shell and sell it off to developers, but the federal General Services Administration just shot down that idea. In a slightly peeved press statement that had a strong hint of "WTF?" GSA Southwest Regional Administrator Scott Armey (yes, son of former congressman Dick) said, "To turn back now would cost the taxpayers millions of additional dollars, deprive the citizens of their badly needed new courthouse for at least two more years and could potentially jeopardize the construction funding in the future. … Therefore, we are proceeding as planned and will hold the implosion as scheduled."
Bring on the dynamite!
(Click on "continue reading" for the full text of the press release)
Press release from the Greater Southwest Region office of the federal General Services Administration:
February 7, 2007
Intel Shell Implosion
(Austin, Texas)--"When the U.S. General Services Administration purchased the Intel site almost 4 years ago, the city and Downtown Alliance were very grateful that we could provide a positive solution to a critical problem they had downtown. With the overwhelming support we've received over the years from our customers, the City and the community, we've made great strides in advancing this project for the taxpayers.
To turn back now would cost the taxpayers millions of additional dollars, deprive the citizens of their badly needed new courthouse for at least two more years and could potentially jeopardize the construction funding in the future.
GSA has received no communication requesting or suggesting a change in course for this critical project. We did recently receive an unsolicited offer to buy the site which, quite frankly, we did not deem to be a serious offer given the financial and time commitment the federal taxpayers have already invested in the new courthouse.
We certainly understand the City's desire for more economic development. However, to request that the Federal government shut down a Courthouse project that is this far along and start over is just not possible.
This United States Courthouse project has been in the works for over 10 years. The site was acquired almost four years ago and the design is well underway for this current site. With all the millions of taxpayer dollars already spent in site acquisition, design and plans for the implosion, it would be fiscally irresponsible to start over now. Therefore, we are proceeding as planned and will hold the implosion as scheduled," said Scott Armey, Regional Administrator for the U.S. General Services Administration.
U.S. General Services Administration
819 Taylor Street
Fort Worth, TX 76102
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