Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Let's hope for a better scheme than the last...

For the second time today I had a call from the local media asking who might be the buyer of the Summerside Waterfront Mall and for the life of me I couldn't imagine... About 15 years ago we offered $6,700,000.00 for this property as we were working on a deal to expand the former Towers space and convert it to a larger Zellers but the local Crown Agency weren’t interested in working with us... we moved on to buy the Met Mall which we converted into a strip mall... shortly thereafter the retail market moved to North Granville Street and the Waterfront Mall slowly lost its appeal for National tenants most of whom moved to the North of the City... in 2006 Richard Fitzgerald a Dentist from Ireland bought the mall and produced one of the biggest hair brain schemes that ever crossed the Northumberland Strait in the form of 7 storey condos on top of the mall http://www.timbanks.ca/2009/08/hair-brain-idea-or-money-scam.html

I took another tour of this property on September 10th as I heard they were looking at seriously discounting the price... I was shocked at the vacancy rate which was pretty scary and you'd pretty much have to add a magician's shop to the tattoo parlour that's already there to make any sort of retail mall operations work there... but what would I know so I'd like to be the first to wish them luck on their new proposed venture as it's always great to see new investment with fresh vision coming to PEI... let’s hope it’s a better scheme than the last one put forward and that the deal goes through... here’s what the realtors were asking
http://waterfrontmallpei.com/ and I'd suggest that it went for significantly less...
Deal reached for Waterfront Mall
Journal Pioneer
Published on September 28th, 2010
Mike Carson
SUMMERSIDE – An offer has been made and accepted for the purchase of the Waterfront Mall in downtown Summerside.
Michael Poczynek, Century 21 Northumberland, said the offer was made over the weekend.
“We have for the last month been working with a party who I’m not going to reveal for his privacy, but we finally have an offer on the table,” he said. “They viewed the mall for the first time on the weekend so it’s sold pending their due diligence period.”
The offer is from an off-Island firm.
Mall Operations Manager Tina Mundy said she is optimistic about the mall’s future.
“It’s all very exciting and it will be very, very good for Summerside,” she said. “What he has shared with me is that the deal came across his desk. He decided to come and see what it was all about and he was really impressed with the mall. He had some great vision and he loved the location.”

Monday, September 27, 2010

Who's on First? Ballem I think...

Well there were a couple of editorials in the Guardian on Saturday talking about the upcoming PC Leadership race and what I don't understand is why these writers just don't come out with their predictions... they seem to just want to skate around what they think will be the real outcome, which is sort of like how some of our politicians like to talk, in circles... what's wrong with just being out there and giving us their view, why be afraid to tony up as I don't think anyone is going to spank them? When the race first started I thought Olive had it locked up as Jamie Ballem was late off the mark but like I said on Twitter I'm now predicting that Ballem will win and just maybe on the first ballot...

Although I have no inside lane in the PC party (as I'm a big liberal) here's what I think the delegates will or should have on their minds.... the Party may not want to hear this but none of the 5 candidates will overcome Ghiz in the next election so they have to consider a leader who "may" (carefully used word here) have to step aside for Ghiz's third crack at it and anyone whose dealt with Olive knows she wouldn't... where on the other hand if Ballem lost to Ghiz the first time out it would be pretty easy to buy him off with an appointment and get a fresh dynamic face against what would then be a third term Premier... and the delegates just have to think back at to where they were with Pat Mella after the 89 election and it's not hard to let Ballem take this bullet

The other thing playing against Olive is the rumour that the PC Party “establishment” is against her and personally I think the idea that there is such a controlling crowd in any party is just nonsense at best... but she did annoy a lot of people over the PNP file which doesn’t even rear its head on top 10 issues facing Islanders and there are a lot of Tories who are now concerned that she won’t “listen” their way... Mike Currie supporting Ballem says a lot!!!

I also think that Ballem was smart to offer up an original “idea” on energy saving not that I think it will work but it sure sounds good, possible and positive, something I’ve not heard coming from the others....

I guess my last comments will be left with the rumour that Olive has all the others on the second ballot but my thinking is the other three are looking for something afterwards and they may get it from the Ballem style of politics but never from the Olive branch... so my bets on Ballem on the first and if there’s a second then he’ll still prevail... at least Ballem is a creditable known identity and if he can’t win a seat next October then it’s no big deal to start fresh for 2015! Who’s on First?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I'm Stunned... at this grasp for power!

I go away for a couple of days and POW... breaking news Buy Maritime Electric!!!! I'm still stunned at the headlined and obviously the Tory candidate that suggested this is "totally stunned" and in my thinking is one of the crazies ideas ever floated by a potential party leader here on PEI... I'm reckoning with these kind of promises Mr. McCardle should garner about 63 votes out of the potential 3,000 candidates... the sad thing is that there are a few in the Liberal party that are of the same mentality so thank God that they didn’t appoint Allan Rankin to a Commission that had control over Maritime Electric or we’d all be singing the “blues” with acoustical guitars... I’ll certainly have more to say on this subject but I’m off to the “Bush” to experience another well oiled public corporation at work losing money...
Buy Maritime Electric: Tory candidate
Thursday, September 16, 2010
CBC News
A candidate for P.E.I.'s Progressive Conservative leadership is calling for the province's privately owned electrical utility, Maritime Electric Co., to become a Crown corporation.
Fred McCardle says a provincially owned utility could keep power rates down.
"As leader of the Progressive Conservative party and as premier of P.E.I. after the election of 2011, the province of P.E.I. will purchase the shares of Maritime Electric and end this charade of rate hikes that's crippling our economy," McCardle said at a leaders' town hall meeting Tuesday night.
On Thursday, McCardle said he didn't know how much it would cost to buy the company from Fortis Inc. It is regulated by the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission.
He said he's confident government ownership would lower rates.
"We can't attract industry," he told CBC News. "These rates have people, senior people, they're threatened by losing their homes over this power rate."
The most recent rate hike from the utility happened over the summer, with monthly electricity bills for the average household increasing by $20 to $25.
Government purchase of Maritime Electric is not a new idea. In 1994, then-Liberal premier Catherine Callbeck tried to buy up all the company's shares and nearly succeeded.
McCardle's suggestion has reignited the debate among other leadership candidates.
"Electricity rates are too high," said Olive Crane, another leadership hopeful.
"To purchase the shares of Maritime Electric though, at this time, when you think the Ghiz government has us in a deficit situation … it's really not possible."
Leadership vote Oct. 2
Jamie Ballem, a former Tory energy minister, agreed the system needs to be changed, but not by buying the utility.
He said Maritime Electric should continue to distribute power, and the government-owned P.E.I. Energy Corporation should take over purchasing that power.
"The energy corporation could go out and be the agency that buys the power. Goes to the best market," said Ballem. "Let us, let the government or the public agency turn around and sell the power to Maritime Electric for the best rate."
At least 3,000 delegates are expected at the Progressive Conservative leadership convention on Oct. 2.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Funny CBC Headline....

This headline "Storm keeps thousands from festival" kind of strikes me funny that this so called "storm" (Earl) kept people away from the festival... I think the headline "CBC keeps thousands from festival" would be a better way of putting it as the folks at CBC Radio had most Islanders scared to come out of their bunkers over the weekend.... surely the next time they could tame it down a bit for the older crowd as their coverage was a little overdone....
Storm keeps thousands from festival
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
CBC News
Only about 100 people attended the Acadian Festival in P.E.I.'s Abram-Village Saturday, as people battened down the hatches for Tropical Storm Earl.
The festival normally attracts thousands, president Jeanette Blacquiere told CBC News.
"Some of our campers left early because probably they wanted to be home at a time like that," said Blacquiere.
"Of course people who come from outside the area didn't show up either, so we had very little attendance on Saturday."
Crowds were much better on Friday and Sunday, she said, and final numbers will be tallied in the next few days.