How big a loss to the Bull City is Assistant City Manager Alan DeLisle's departure? An e-mail from interim finance director Keith Herrmann gives a good overview.
DeLisle oversaw some ofthe city's signature projects. Jim Wise reports in this morning's News & Observer (reported on this blog yesterday afternoon) that Minor League Baseball has concerns with the pace and quality of renovations to the Historic Durham Athletic Park. "Someone has to replace Al as the point person to nurture this relationship and ensure MiLB stays committed to Durham for the long term," Herrman writes.
The Greenfire developers, who envision remaking the center city as a place where people can live, work and play, is an even bigger concern. Greenfire has bought more than 25 properties in and near downtown. Its 17-year, 13-property project of building and renovation inside the Downtown Loop alone represents an investment of $295 million. But the public-private partnership deal is complex, Herrman tells City Manager Tom Bonfield. "Who takes ownership of the various agreements?"
And then of course there is the Durham Performing Arts Center. Cool building, no doubt about that, but naming rights are lagging. The city can force the developer to pay 60 percent of whatever comes up short, but it's on the hook for the remaining 40 percent, plus interest on anything that later comes in against the developers' share. "Who takes over the City leadership of the DPAC oversight committee upon Al's departure?" asks Herrman. "We need to designate a 'theater persn.'"
DeLisle is leaving Durham to take over the Downtown Development Corp. of Louisville, Ky. He starts his new job Feb. 2.