The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

2 April 2004

Buffer zone

Along Southeast 29th Street, north of Tinker Air Force Base, there's a stretch where it looks like something used to be there, but isn't anymore. No mystery, really: development in this area was halted, and existing development actually removed, in an effort to reduce encroachment on Tinker, and to deprive the BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) folks of an excuse to close the base. ("You've got houses right along the flight path, fercryingoutloud.")

Apparently even more area is going to be cleared: the Powers Nissan dealership at 8021 SE 29th has been condemned by County Commissioners after Mr Powers balked at their $2.5-million dollar offer for the property. District 1 Commissioner Jim Roth suggests that Powers, who originally had been leasing the property, timed his acquisition to maximize the possible take; he bought the tract two years ago for $2.15 million on the same day as the bond election held to raise money to acquire properties for an expanded clearance zone.

Powers says he'd take the offer right now if he had a place to go, but he's having problems finding a suitable new location. The commissioners want the space cleared off by summer.

Disclosure: I bought a car from Powers' dealership some years ago. Nothing in the transaction suggested to me that there might be weasels in the boardroom; I've always considered them straight shooters.

Posted at 7:21 AM to City Scene

Things sure have changed. As a ninth grader I once stayed overnight at Tinker AFB, on the way back home from Philmont Scout Ranch. This was in the early 60s, and if memory serves, there wasn't any development for a half hour's bus ride on any side of the base.

I guess NJ doesn't have a monopoly of runaway (as opposed to runway) development.

Posted by: The Proprietor at 3:23 PM on 2 April 2004

Times have changed. Midwest City, established around 1950 as a bedroom community for the base, has grown from one square mile to 22 and now has a population of 54,000 or so. Little townlets on the fringe are now incorporated cities. And Oklahoma City itself has ballooned to over 600 square miles and borders the base on two sides and part of a third.

Posted by: CGHill at 4:01 PM on 2 April 2004

It's a car dealership. There are *always* weasels at car dealerships. You can't avoid them. Surely some have connived their way to the board. Matter of fact, they're the ones usually filling it.

Terkish Payne, on the magnificent mile of weasels

Posted by: Terkish Payne at 10:29 PM on 2 April 2004

Well, some of the tactics in the used-car department struck me as something less than entirely forthright, but inasmuch as they were tactics I expected and knew how to counter, I didn't grouse too much — and once the sale was made, they were diligent about disclosures and efficient with service.

Let's say they could have been a whole lot worse.

Posted by: CGHill at 10:36 PM on 2 April 2004