So, I can’t help but feeling a little like a 17-year old girl stood up for prom. UWI courted us all with their big promises and big money and all we have to show for it is a sad crumpled pink dress and runny mascara.
Why, UWI? Why? (imagine fists thrown up in the air, kneeling on the ground in the rain…sort of like the scene in the Shawshank Redemption only minus the crawling through football fields of sewer)
You made us all long for the green village from a brownfield of dreams…or something like that and now you are poof…gone. Back to your sky scraping structures and underwater hotels. And this is what we are left with, a “Dear John” letter (or I guess in this town, it would be a “Dear Dave” letter because of the sheer number of Davids floating around):
“After careful review of the requirements that are unique to our development model, we have come to the conclusion that the transaction structure is inconsistent with our needs and those of our team.”
As reported in the SF Chronicle:
…Assistant City Manager David Brandt said that while UWI’s proposal sounded good in concept, it lacked details, and it was difficult for city officials to verify much of the information about the company, which is headquartered in the United Arab Emirates.
In particular, city officials were uncertain about the sources of the company’s funding.
“As best we could determine, it was wealthy Mideastern individuals or holding companies,” Brandt said.
The firm also provided only vague descriptions about some of its past and current projects around the globe, he said…
Some people have asked, “what the heck is a transaction structure?” and what does that word vomit actually mean? It’s pretty much Greek (or in honor of UWI, Arabic, to me), but here are some sites that talk about transaction structure. My guess is that they would rather put their model green village somewhere in the world where they can pretty much swoop in and do whatever they want. Maybe the idea of all the community meetings they would have to host was just not what they wanted. Although they did indicate they would be able to front all the money and money seemed to be the least of their concerns, maybe that was the posturing of a company who was puffing to make their proposal seem better. They probably couldn’t “make it work” in the immortal words of Tim Gunn.
And regarding the question, who is this Vafa Valapour character, the only thing I turned up on a google search is a posting on…ready for it…on a Madonna mailing list website and an article from 1993 from the University of Pennsylvian about the Ba’hai faith.
The one thing UWI leaves us with is the other developers a lot more focused on the idea of green development, as mentioned by other commenters. At the rate developers are fleeing the Alameda Point project, one would think that we as a town has cooties. At this point, we can only hope that whoever ends up being selected as the Master Developer will capture some of the spirit of UWI and work with some of the groups that UWI had pulled together as part of its team.
So why do I still feel a little bitter?