The city of Cleveland operates a public grocery store called the West Side Market. It boasts organic foods, unique specialty items, and personal service (the DMV boasts that too, you have to deal personally with them). It looks quite nice from the pictures. But typical of government it is only open for 4 days a week, and less than 12 hours each of those days. And given that it doesn’t have to keep the lights on very long, and it is such a totally cool and awesome and ethical place to shop, it should be obvious that the city manages to … lose … money on the market.
And because the czars in central cities think they know anything about economic redevelopment, any grand idea they think up must certainly revitalize the city. My old hometown of Pittsfield, Massachusetts spent $10 million on an old fashioned movie theater. Let’s see how much that sparked resurgence. In Cleveland, the city is spending taxpayer money on a medical convention center that will turn Cleveland into a “Disney World” for doctors! Remember this?