The developer behind a multi-billion dollar resort and entertainment district planned for Berkshire Township in Delaware County has warned local officials to expect an increase in homelessness and despair as a result of the development.
“It’s inevitable with something big and idealistic like this, unfortunately,” said David Glimcher, the visionary behind the 350 acre entertainment district.
“We’re going to generate a lot of low income jobs, attract thousands of misguided people, create an economy none of our employees can afford to live in or enjoy, and ultimately churn out a lot of homeless people who will depend on the local community for survival. We have run several analyses and do not believe it will get in the way of me getting fucking rich for the eighth or ninth time, and that makes it a situation worth dealing with from our perspective. We wouldn’t want other people’s quality of life considerations to get in the way of our progress.”
Asked how he planned to help with the impending problem, Glimcher said the resort won’t have the resources or space to deal with the homeless problem because all of the rooms and attractions will be reserved for paying customers.
“We’re building too much stuff and won’t really have any room to deal with the failures who can’t cut it in paradise. That problem will have to be relocated to another part of the county,” Glimcher said. “My hope is that the community can see how big of an investment we’re making here and agree that a few thousand homeless people lining the streets and panhandling in downtown Delaware will be a small price to pay in return for living so close to something amazing that I created and was gracious enough to bless them with.”
Delaware City Councilman George Hellinger is concerned the city of Delaware will get the short end of the stick when it comes to realizing an economic impact from the resort and may actually lose money as a result of dealing with the homeless problem.
“This is going to be a fucking nightmare,” Hellinger said. “The County is going to earn all of the money and we’re going to be cleaning up shit and arresting all of the vagrants.”
Delaware County Commissioner and former banker Jeff Benton agreed that not everyone will benefit from the development and explained that’s how life works for poor people.
“Obviously with something like this, most of the bribes and financial benefits go to the county officials, and there isn’t much left to share with the little local chumps. But they should attract enough aid from non-profit homeless organizations to offset the costs they incur,” Benton said, chuckling and winking at fellow commissioner Barb Lewis as she exited the building and drove off in her new Mercedes C-class sedan.
Main Street Delaware Executive Director Susie Bibler said her organization would try finding a way to integrate the new homeless population into downtown Delaware’s vibrant business community and monthly First Friday celebrations.
“They’re going to loiter, harass people, and smear shit on the shop windows down here whether we like it or not,” Bibler said. “We’ll just have to find a way to make the best of it. I always thought a tent city would add a neat bohemian/urban vibe to the Auto Parts District on Spring Street behind Clancey’s and Ross Art Museum, and we could always use new volunteers to help us sell gourds and OPA Gift Cards at the weekly Farmer’s Market. We’ll find a way to make it work as a community.”
Local resident and downtown shopkeeper Charles Williams did not share Bibler’s optimism.
“This is going to be a fucking nightmare.”
Watch the official Planet Oasis kick off video below: