Monday, December 19, 2005

Kelly Doran: Cry Baby

Do you remember the fun snowball fights we all used to have as kids?

They were harmless until someone threw the dreaded iceball. Some kids took it in stride and kept playing. Others would either go home crying or tell the teacher. Either way the fun was over.

Kelly Doran is that kid and it seems that his cry baby steak has continued well into adulthood.

Recently, Doran has been attacked by his fellow DFL gubernatorial candidates for his past contributions to a Republican candidate and his overall lack of contributions to Democratic organizations and candidates. Thinking this is unfair, Doran went crying to DFL Chair Brian Melendez in a letter about these attacks.

Doran's cry baby tendencies can also be seen in his professional life.

When competition to one of his shopping centers moved in, Doran cried foul, saying that this new development by Opus, which would be very close to his own, would disrupt traffic patterns, negatively impacting his business. Doran went as far as to sue the city of Woodbury over this new shopping center.

In his suit, Doran alleged traffic disruption and environmental impacts.

The reality is that Doran was mad that the Opus project attracted many of the tenants he wanted for his project. And, like a cry baby, he went with tears in his eyes over to the court and cried foul.

Below is the text of the article (anything bolded is my emphasis).

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FIRM SUING CITY OVER MALL DEVELOPER CITES HARM FROM WOODBURY LAKES

Megan Boldt

A development company that has built up most of Woodbury's retail shops is suing the city, claiming Woodbury officials approved a new high-end retail development without adequately studying the environmental and traffic impacts.

Robert Muir Co. filed the lawsuit Thursday in Washington County District Court. Muir officials claim their Tamarack Village, a shopping center on Radio Drive, will be harmed by congestion if the new Woodbury Lakes project goes ahead as-is at its Hudson Road location. The company is asking a judge to void all city approvals on the project and order a more extensive environmental study. Opus Northwest is developing the 393,000-square-foot mall, which it describes as the east metro's first "lifestyle" center. The trendy, open-air malls with specialty retailers are popping up across the nation.

Kelly Doran, an executive with Muir, said Woodbury's studies of the Woodbury Lakes project failed to mention potential traffic backups on Radio Drive that could significantly affect access to Tamarack Village.

"We sincerely believe that there are unresolved adverse traffic impacts to our property at Tamarack Village," Doran said. "And we feel the process ... was deliberately constructed to avoid studying those impacts and resolving those problems. It's unbelievable how corrupt this process has been."

Doran remains adamant that Muir's lawsuit against the city's decision on Woodbury Lakes has nothing to do with its failure to get the right tenants to turn its Oakdale Village project -- just across Interstate 94 on Inwood Road -- into a lifestyle center.

He said the bottom line is that the Woodbury Lakes project was hammered out behind closed doors and studies were altered in Opus' favor without public knowledge. As a result, property owners near the site will be harmed.

City officials have said the approximately $10 million in road improvements they have planned will accommodate Woodbury Lakes and future development. Opus is paying about $6 million of that expense.

Hudson Road will expand from two to four lanes between Radio and Woodbury drives, with turn lanes and traffic lights to be added where necessary. Radio Drive also will need improvements. But Muir claims it would cost about $30 million to meet traffic needs.

If Muir prevails and an environmental impact study is required, the Woodbury Lakes project could be delayed by approximately six months. Opus planned to break ground on the project in August, with Woodbury Lakes opening in September 2005.

Tim Murnane, vice president of real estate for Opus, said the city has been reviewing the project for 18 months.

"We anticipated (the lawsuit), but again we thought the city did a thorough job," Murnane said. "We view it as a competing developer trying to stop our project through the court system."

Mayor William Hargis said Woodbury plans to defend itself vigorously.

"Personally, I'm very disappointed that they chose to go this route," he said of Muir. "We feel they were given ample opportunity to respond. They've been a good corporate citizen in Woodbury ... so this is disheartening."

Hargis said the taxpayers are the ones who ultimately will pay.

"They're really suing their customers," Hargis said of Muir officials.
(Source: Pioneer Press, July 23, 2004, page B5)
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MDE has a great post on Doran as well today.

1 Comments:

At 3:10 PM, Blogger North Star Politics said...

"Some kids took it in stride and kept playing...Either way the fun was over."

Umm...do you read what you write before you post it?

 

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