Legally speaking, we’ve all heard the all-too-familiar advertising line: “For the people.” Call this one “For the city.”
A partnership that includes members of the Bush, Ross, Gardner, Warren & Rudy law firm owns the downtown building on Franklin Street that currently houses the aptly named Club XS. As in XSive violence. As in XSively bad, visitor-deterring image across the street from the Tampa Convention Center.
As in, however, a short-term lease.
As a result, convention officials see an opportunity. Condemnation scenarios are too Byzantine. Now they are asking for an extra $140,000 from next year’s city budget to cover the annual rent paid the partnership by the club. The officials and the partnership have talked. Other prospective tenants, including a new theater group, are looking for downtown space.
Here’s a suggestion to Bush, Ross, et al partners. Stop talking and just do the right thing. Do your part in ridding the convention district of an establishment that’s been responsible for, among other forms of mayhem, three fatal shootings since 1998 and a stabbing earlier this year.
This is a rare circumstance: the opportunity to combine civic duty, favorable public relations and profit — even if you throw in an arts’ discount. How’s that for a win-win-win scenario?