Prince John Magruder's Peninsula HQ at Lee Hall is getting some new neighbors. It's a tragedy in three acts.
City officials want hundreds of millions of dollars worth of construction around two historic attractions -- Endview Plantation and Lee Hall Mansion -- to boost real-estate tax revenue and to offer higher-income families bigger, newer houses that are hard to find here.
Supporters say the city should move while interest rates are low and developers are interested.
"These conditions will not last forever," said Allen Jones, chairman of the city's Economic Development Authority. "Business is cyclical. We must act now."
Development opponents, who spoke during a night meeting, were disappointed that council members had decided in the afternoon to end talk of preserving the land as open space.
"It was a done deal before we came here," said resident Ray Steveson, a Civil War re-enactor.
Each developer has spent more than $100,000 to this point, Frank said. Vice Mayor Charles Allen considers that kind of spending a flaw. Allen had wanted the city to hire experts to draft its own plan. He said that plan would have been defined foremost by the city's interests, not the developer's profits.
"There's no turning back when you have people spending this kind of money," Allen said. "We have to pick somebody because of the way this process has gone about.