Corporations are people in this country, huh? If so, they're the assholes of the group.
For more than 100 years, the Anna Louise Inn in downtown Cincinnati has been a safe, serene place that thousands of struggling women came to know as home.The fight between the Anna Louise and Western and Southern has been going on since 2011. W&S wanted the property and sued the city to stop the non-profit organization from renovating it. W&S officials criticized the renovation as a "Taxpayer Bailout". Wow, way to show some compassion there.
But after losing a two-year fight with a Fortune 500 company [Western and Southern] determined to buy their beautiful, 104-year-old property and turn it into a boutique hotel — even though it wasn't for sale — the women of the Anna Louise Inn have to leave the neighborhood.
For Wendy Gonzales, 25, the Anna Louise has allowed her to escape an addiction to methamphetamine and an abusive husband who she said forced her into prostitution.
"I thank God for the Anna Louise Inn. Without it, I don't know where I would be," said Gonzales, who now works as a housekeeper at a hotel within walking distance. "It's quiet, it's peaceful. Looking out here, you don't see your average thugs walking down the street. ... It's just nice to walk out and know that you're safe."
Officials with Cincinnati Union Bethel [the nonprofit who runs the Anna Louise] said Monday on their website that their tax credits through the Ohio Housing Finance Agency were due to expire at the end of the year, and they could not be renewed if litigation was in process.Basically, they fought as long as they could, but W&S used bullying and delay tactics to eventually get what they wanted in the end.
Under the deal with Western & Southern, the women living at the Anna Louise will stay there until a new building for them is finished, in about two years. It will be located in a shabby neighborhood on a busy street 2 miles north of where they are now.I hate how corporations use corporatespeak to try and make terrible things look good. From Western & Southern's press release:
."...a new hotel at the site could generate up to $400 million in economic development over 30 years. This truly is a win for everyone, and will make Lytle Park a destination like no other. It will become our most distinctive neighborhood a new special area, which will help the City attract people downtown.”Ugh. So they're saying it's OK they bullied their way in and kicked these women out, because the economy. By attracting "people" downtown, they mean tourists with disposable income to stay at an expensive downtown hotel. Poor folks need not apply.
Western and Southern wanted this property because it's prime real estate.
It's within walking distance of the riverfront, and the Reds and Bengals stadium, and downtown attractions. They saw dollar signs and didn't give a damn about who stood in their way. The location was a big part of the reason that Anna Louise was a good place for these women, many of them worked within walking distance. But no more.
As part of the deal, Cincinnati Union Bethel will have 2 years to build a new facility at the Mt. Auburn neighborhood, about 2 miles north, across from the United Way building. So the residents of Anna Louise will be forced out of their their nice downtown neighborhood with a park and close proximity to work. Once again, the rich win and the poor lose.
Yay. Corporations are so great, aren't they? Y'know, job creators. Don't you dare tax them.