That local jackass is David Anthony (previously covered here), who has now made good on his threat to obstruct Self-Help and Durham Central Market’s attempts to build a co-op grocery store on the corner of Kent and West Chapel Hill St.
Anthony, possibly operating in conjunction with a group of three people going by the moniker of “Kent Corner Task Force” (more on that later, perhaps), is making a concerted effort to make life hard on the would-be grocery store. Anthony outbid Self-Help’s original proposal to buy an unused parking lot from the city, and plans to keep screwing around:
“I have expanded and expanded ideas,” he said. “My most recent was to get a Durham tourist center, basically something along the lines of a welcome center.”
Anthony has until Monday to top Self-Help’s bid. He said he’s hoping they reach accord before then.
“If not,” he said, “we’ll extend the bid a little longer and raise the price.”
Because, sure, a bullshit welcome center next to a storefront church is a whole lot better than the community open space Self-Help plans to create with its acquisition of the parking lot. “Welcome to Durham’s scenic storefront church district” is certainly a unique hook.
It’s an interesting contrast to the 751 South development, which makes zero concessions and is going to get built come hell or high water anyway. DCM and Self-Help have been incredibly transparent and have made concerted efforts to engage the community throughout the process; indeed, it’s difficult for me to even imagine a better use of the property, which makes such opposition especially perplexing.
So, now you’ve got one dude with enough money to delay the project, who hopes he can make things annoying enough to… do what, exactly? Force DCM/SH to pull out completely? Abandon the green space in the site plan? Good job either way, jerkwad.
For his concerted efforts to obstruct a crucial revitalization effort, I’m giving Anthony the always stylish Jackass of the Week award.