Newcomb, Final Fire Thoughts

The building is down, the streets are open. As we move forward I want to take stock in what has happened over the past week.

Again, we have some amazing emergency services personnel in this community. As the demolition crew removed the upper stories of the building and you had the opportunity to see the devastation inside, you realize that the situation could have been far worse were it not for the amazing efforts of the Quincy Fire Department.

I want to take a brief moment to talk about the property owner. I have been debating what to say for a few days. How do I convey my anger without being mean? Do I even care about being mean to someone who could obviously care less for our City ? This owner is a prime example of what we do not want to see in Quincy. Someone who didn’t want to develop the property (at least in the time since I have been here), who didn’t care to get the property into the hands of someone else, who wasn’t paying taxes, insurance or the mortgage. Someone who in four plus years of attempts to contact him wouldn’t return an email, phone call or letter. A “developer” who was a drain in many ways on City resources. I don’t know if any property owner has gotten me this viscerally angry in my time back in my hometown. I just hope the City can foreclose on the property quickly and be done with this individual. We don’t need to be in partnership with people who have no interest in our community. I could go on and on with opinions and facts about this individual but at the end of the day he has shown repeatedly that he doesn’t care. Despite how much we care here locally, he probably won’t give it two thoughts. Therefore, I suggest we all pay him the same courtesy he has paid our community and move on from him as soon as possible.

Going forward, I have high hopes for this location. It’s very early in the process and still have a lot of input to gather but the possibilities are endless. I’m excited to hear people’s suggestions and ideas, and to work with the City to develop an RFP to get the best possible outcome for the property. I will share thoughts and comments as we go forward about the site, the progress and more.

Finally, the fire has been the talk of the town. Since Friday night it has been all anyone has wanted to talk about. Tuesday was particularly rough knowing the new developers were scheduled to be in town. Hopefully the talk of the fire will fade and focus more on all the positive things that are occurring in our downtown. Hopefully we can talk about a 93% occupancy rate, new businesses moving in, a bustling economy or any number of positive things that are happening. Hopefully we can use this tragedy as a springboard to prevent future losses by cracking down on negligent or absentee property owners. We are eager to move on.

-Travis Brown, Executive Director