Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mas Manitas

Back from vacation, tanned, rested and ready to talk to myself on a web site.

Last we heard from the Perez Sisters, they were calling us citizens of Austin who had a problem with giving public money to a private business for relocation costs a bunch of racists. Needless to say, this went over real well.

Now we learn that they have decided to turn down the free money, because it wasn't free enough:

"We concluded that trying to operate a small business under (the proposed loan terms) is not practical or consistent with how we have successfully run our business for over two decades. We feel we would lose a lot of our independence. And that isn't an acceptable option."

Ah, so they wanted free money with less restrictions? Kind of the opposite of an unfunded mandate.

The Perez sisters want to keep Las Manitas open, but haven't determined yet where they will get the money for the renovation costs, estimated to range from $844,000 to $1.13 million, said Amon Burton, a lawyer who has been representing the sisters. The sisters will not apply for other city loan programs and they are also "not comfortable, from a business standpoint," with taking out a bank loan that large, he said.

Well, they want to move the restaurant, but they don't want the city loan and they don't want the money from a bank. Hmmm - sounds like they are up a creek, then. Maybe they are hoping for a visit from the money fairy?

I work a couple of blocks from the restaurant, but I haven't walked by there at lunch since the whole mess started. The somewhat cynical part of me (which is not an insignificant part) hopes that they've seen a downturn in their business, and that this is an attempt on their part to mend some fences.

But the really cynical part of me (a bigger part) thinks this is a setup for some future legal maneuvering to wrangle more money out of either the developers or the city (or both). They still apparently have some leverage concerning property ownership, and I'm not expecting this to be the last we hear from the Perezes.

Listening to: Chick Corea Elektric Band - Hounds Of Heaven

via FoxyTunes

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