Furst Draft: Wojcik's chat with Fresh Thyme
Last week, I noted that Rochester City Council Member Michael Wojcikwouldn't confirm or deny whether he'd talked with people in the home office at Fresh Thyme Farmers Market . That's the natural foods grocery chain that developer Javon Beahopes to bring to Rochester as part of his Miracle Mile project.
Today, Wojcik posted on his Vote Wojcik blog that in fact he did "reach out" to Fresh Thyme, and he has interesting things to say about his conversation. He doesn't say who, how many people, how many times, etc., but he says they have "some great people on their team."
As usual, he bashes Bea, "a city administrator" -- Steve Kvenvold -- and "some council members" for trying to "force the project through without addressing reasonable concerns, despite the large concessions he was asking for. The irony is not lost that people who want to pretend to be consensus builders; made no attempt to work towards consensus." (This is unedited.)
He accuses Bea of making "false statements" of various kinds, and he says the Oronoco businessman (and also leader of the Kahler Hospitality Group and CEO of a multi-billion-dollar health care company) "failed to communicate neighborhoods concerns to Fresh Thyme."
I wonder how typical it is for a developer such as Bea to communicate these types of fine-point neighborhood concerns to a national retailer -- I'm guessing it's atypical.
Wojcik also says he's "not sure why the hearing was continued," though he himself said on social media prior to that Oct. 17 meeting that he was going to ask for it to be continued, ostensibly because of the big council agenda that night. Could that have been part of Bea's thinking to ask for a continuance? The hearing and any council action now will happen after the election.
Anyway, this post is illluminating and should be required reading for understanding what's going on with the $25 million-plus Miracle Mile project.