Last Updated 09-26-04
We've got lots of courthouses, lots of government, plenty
of regulations...what's missing? Hey, what happened to the
Goodbye, Tuscaloosa; Hello, Federal Security Zone!
mysterious and secretive "federal complex," has finally
come out into the light. On this page, I will attempt to link to
all news stories concerning this project, as well as putting in
updates about any news I hear locally.
council passed the plan with little notice, catching most of the
businesses in the area by surprise. As far as I can tell, there
were never any public hearings or attempts to get input from the
public on this project. Funded by millions of federal tax
dollars, it coming anyway. It should be noted that Sen. Richard
Shelby, who landed this monsterous pork appropriation for T-town
(or rather, on T-town), owns property adjacent to that
which will be redeveloped, and it is reasonable to assume that
this will enhance his property values.
the only warning any of the business owners had was when a few
friends and I distributed printed copies of my earlier essay on the mysterious project. It seems it
was too late for them to do anything--this deal was undoubtably
done months ago in the backrooms. There was never any intention
of deigning to ask lowly citizens or mere property owners what
they thought about all this "redevelopment."
course, many people who don't own businesses in the area will
be fully in favour of the idea. A lot of ordinary people have
little regard for other people's rights, so long as
they think their own are secure. People who think that an auto
glass or muffler-repair shop looks "trashy" next to the
multi-million dollar shiny new copper-roofed munici-palace that
is Tuscaloosa's City Hall Annex will have no qualms about
using the armed might of government to force property owners out.
You know this "property values crowd" [PVC]. They'd
beat you to death in the street with a hammer if they thought
it'd raise their property values, and the same goes for
anyone who paints their house a colour the PVC doesn't
(arranged in chronological order)
- Senate approves appropriation for project
Tuscaloosa News, 01-25-03.
I dug this story up recently. I did not notice it when it first
came out. Apparently, no one else did either. The project was a
near-total surprise to the property owners in the area.
This is my intitial article on the subject. I distributed this as
a printed flyer a few days before the project hit the front
- New park at 15th and Queen City Ave.
Tuscaloosa News, 07-06-03.
This is a nearby, related project to the main downtown project.
It will also be paid for with money funneled down from the
federal trough by Richard Shelby.
- City Council approves $80 million downtown
Tuscaloosa News, 07-08-03.
$50 million of the total will be used to construct a giant new
federal building to house more swarms of officers to harrass and
eat out our substance.
- Downtown Tuscaloosa due for a makeover
Tuscaloosa News, 07-09-03.
This is the MUST-READ article on the project.
This lays it all out. The little kids have something the big kid
wants, so he's going to take it. Your government in
“It's bull, and I don't like the idea," said
Ronnie Harless, owner of Auto Trim and Tire on Sixth Street.
“They just spent a $3 million facelift on the federal
courthouse on Greensboro [Avenue]; it's ridiculous" . .
. .“It's a big money project, and they're doing
this for the doctors and lawyers. They need to look at the
business downtown. We stay covered up with customers."
Councilman Lee] Garrison said he was not aware some downtown
businesses were against the proposed project: “The
city's bold and ambitious plan for the riverfront and
downtown area will be welcomed by many, but we'll also have
individuals who are hesitant about these progressive
- Downtown Authority mulls options for
Crimson White, 07-09-03.
More "planning" is on the way. I wouldn't want to
own a business anywhere near downtown Tuscaloosa right now.
- Business owners concerned about renovation
NBC 13 News, 07-10-03.
"We're not trying to push people out of business but you
will have to relocate," Cunningham said. "But we want
the business. We'll make sure everyone is taken care
- Downtown businesses embittered by project
Tuscaloosa News, 07-10-03.
"Andrea Andrews, spokeswoman for Shelby, said he supports
the construction of the new federal building to address the
future needs of the Tuscaloosa community. 'The current
facility is fast becoming too small for the many offices located
within it, and the building’s security features will
eventually be insufficient to support its growing federal
presence,' she said of the current federal building on
Just what we need--more fedgov parasites, snoops, and regulators
in our midst. A "growing federal presence," hmm? Sounds
like a disease--as a matter of fact, it is.
- Shelby’s lot is West Alabama’s gain;
Senator has been able to acquire millions for state projects
Tuscaloosa News, 07-13-03
Downtown plan shows big dreams for Tuscaloosa
Tuscaloosa News, 07-13-03.
How generous of the News to suggest that the city hold a public meeting to get some input on this project. There haven't been any yet, and the thing is already a done deal. I guess the opinions of mere property owners are of no consequence to the planners. Contrary to the assertions of the News, this project was kept under wraps, and was a near-total surprise when announced this summer.
- Panel recommends consultant for downtown
Tuscaloosa News, 07-16-03
- Redevelopment may chuck The Chukker
Crimson White, 07-23-03.
The Chukker will be displaced to make way for a federal duckpond. Geez!
- Chukker forced out of business by City of Tuscaloosa
Montgomery Advertiser, 10-06-03
Early-closing laws and the threat of an imminent eminent domain action conspire to close Tuscaloosa's most historic bar.
- Downtown redevelopment contracts will be presented to council next week
Tuscaloosa News, October 29, 2003
- Downtown project revised
Tuscaloosa News, December 19, 2003
It's being made even larger.
- City approves conceptual plan for downtown,
Few merchants show up to oppose demolition plans
Tuscaloosa News, September 10, 2004
the Federal Project