Sunday, August 03, 2008

Foundry Floundering

This one is not Doug's Fault

In an article in Sunday's Times, Meir Rinde reports that the Mercer County Improvement Authority (MCIA) has given Performa Entertainment Real Estate Group until late September to complete the financing of the estimated $40 million dollar mixed use project. Should Performa fail, the MCIA may remove the developer from the project.

It's about time!

As noted here and here, Performa is having troubles that go beyond the acknowledged tightening credit picture.

Contrary to the image it tries to project, Performa is not the ultra-successful developer of Beale Street in Memphis or entertainment districts elsewhere.

Fact is, Performa was retained by the non-profit Beale Street Development Corporation (BSDC) to manage the Beale Street entertainment district in 1982. The BSDC and Performa are now involved in litigation regarding some $10 million in proceeds that Performa allegedly owes to the BSDC.

And beyond Memphis, Performa's track record is less than stellar.

City authorities in Shreveport, Louisiana booted Peforma for failing to successfully lease out and manage the Red River Entertainment District.

Jackson, Mississippi's Mayor is frustrated with the ongoing delays in Performa's Farish Street project there.

And now Performa's shaky financial picture may cut them out of Trenton's Foundry project.

while we've seen this coming for some time, and it is another "failed" marquee project for Trenton, this one doesn't rest on the shoulders of Doug Palmer or his henchman, Dennis Gonzalez.

Performa was brought into town by Bob Prunetti's administration when he was County Executive. The current county administration maintained the relationship. And public funding was obtained from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Authority.

It's about time that our government officials realize this project and Performa are a no go. Cut them loose and move on.

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