One million dollars: That's what rival developers, on both sides of the Neiman Marcus battle, have spent since January in their fight over bringing this upscale retailer to Walnut Creek.
There is little over a month left to go before Walnut Creek voters go to the polls to decide on Measure I, which says "yes" or "no" to the 92,000-square-foot retailer coming to Broadway Plaza.
The anti-Neiman-in-Walnut Creek force, Taubman Centers, has spent $571,042 since January trying to defeat the measure, according to campaign finance documents filed September 24 and reported today by the Contra Costa Times. Taubman Centers had been hoping to defeat Walnut Creek's chances of winning the Neiman Marcus so that the Texas-based retailer would build a store in San Ramon's long-awaited new city center.
Meanwhile, the yes-on-Neiman-in-Walnut Creek force, Macerich Co., which owns Broadway Plaza, has spent $536,272 in support of Measure I. Macerich authored the Measure I initiative, one of the many controversial matters in this big, messy controversy.
Most of the money on both sides has been spent on lawyers, consultants, pollsters and mailings, the Times says.
Mayor Gary Skrel, who supports Measure I, says the amount spent on this battle is "staggering, especially when there are many causes in need of funding," the Times says.
No kidding. I'm sure each side will blame the other for how heated and expensive this battle has become. I just hope that Taubman and its local citizen representatives won't get in the way, via another lawsuit, with this election taking place November 3.
And I hope that each side will accept the results of the election.
I hope Taubman especially gets this message--if the results of the election don't go its way. We need to get this question of whether or not Neiman Marcus is coming to town resolved as soon as possible.
Taubman probably won't get the message. Sigh. Or Grr. The Michigan-based company has a long, nasty history of pouring lots of money into fighting rival retail developments.