After Court Case, City And Area May Be Labeled Losers
The dispute between the owners of GPatti Inc. and Jamestown Brewing Company LLC ratcheted up another notch last week with the filing of an eviction notice by the developer against the brewers in state Supreme Court in Erie County.
If there is any hope to resolve the situation amicably, it is this – that the public support for Jamestown Brewing Company is so strong that it is impossible for the company to be evicted. Supporters should continue frequenting the business until they can no longer do so. Pickets and Facebook messages won’t do the trick. The only way to show the community’s support for Jamestown Brewing Company is for business to be so brisk that the company can make a serious dent in the back rent and payables included in the lease between GPatti Inc. and Jamestown Brewing Company.
It is that simple.
This whole mess is disappointing given the optimism the public has shown toward the Jamestown Brewing Company project from its inception, through the lengthy construction delays and then last year’s snafu with the company’s liquor license.
Also disappointing is the mess this dispute likely creates in the future between state economic development officials and developers asking for state money. One can disagree with the wisdom of state economic development programs and the way those programs are paid for and structured, but if they are available then Jamestown should do all it can to get its share of that money. How will state officials look upon sending Jamestown developers money after this mess?
The initial lawsuit by Jamestown Brewing Company, with its claim of misspent Downtown Revitalization Initiative money, sent a bad enough message about Jamestown’s ability to deliver on its promises. GPatti Inc.’s countersuit sends an even worse message — that there isn’t enough activity here to make the state’s investment pay off.
There are sure to be many more twists and turns in this story as the court battles play out. Someone will emerge victorious in court — but the Jamestown area as a whole ends up as the big loser regardless of Judge Timothy Walker’s decision.