She told you so

Speaking of predictions, faithful readers will recall that in our predictions issue, hot-shot land-use attorney Tina Thomas predicted that the city’s rail-yard dream would be derailed, at least for a while, by lawsuits.

“Unfortunately, the rail-yards project will also become mired in litigation filed by, among others, labor unions.”

And that’s just what happened. Spooky, isn’t it?

The rail-yards plan was hit last week with lawsuits from Moe Mohanna, Westfield Corporation and some guy named Kopper with ties to local labor unions.

Each alleges, more or less, that the rail-yard project is a retail-driven boondoggle masquerading as an “urban village.” Mohanna’s suit charges the project is “nothing but a huge new 1.1 million-square-foot regional shopping mall.”

While any of these lawsuits might be written off as self-interested mischief, it is true that there’s little more than a whiff of housing expected in the rail-yard project for over a decade. It’s a retail-first deal, with the housing to come—;keep your fingers crossed—in later phases.

To put in the roads and other infrastructure needed to build the thing, the city is counting on getting more than $150 million in bond money that the state has set aside for “infill-housing” projects.

You might recall voting for those bonds in the form of Proposition 1C a couple years back, when they were called the Housing and Emergency Shelter Trust Fund Act of 2006. Anyone want to predict our chances of landing that money?