In 1993, when the Retirement System of Alabama* purchased the building at 55 Water Street in New York, it cost them $203 million.  Today it is worth $1.4 billion, is paid off and generated $70 million net profit last year alone.  

At the time, the building was full of asbestos and devoid of clients, but RSA’s head David Bronner saw the potential and made the acquisition.  “When something is very bleak, we’ve often had great success with it,” said Dr. Bronner.

I believe that the City of Montgomery is hoping for a similar scenario with its downtown. The central city is in serious need of revitalization.  Calling it a ghost town would be kind.  In reality, parts of it are more than vacant, they are dilapidated and in need of great repair.  Example:

(note the presence of sunshine inside the building!)

Is having a vision enough?  Where does reality come in that says having a dream should remain just an idea and not be pursued?  The right answer to this question is what separates the leaders from the managers, and the wrong answer is what gets them fired!

More on this tomorrow…

— beth triplett

*See Blog #733, June 4, 2014

Source:  2013 Annual Report

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