The big deal is that City Hall should not be in the business of giving away public land to private interests because those interests don’t like people exercising their 1st Amendment rights. And if giving away that public land is the only way to save BayWalk, then let BayWalk fail.
Our 1st Amendment rights are more important than a movie theatre and a Johnny Rockets. I remember when there was a pro-Palestine protest outside of BayWalk after Israel shelled Gaza, so I showed up to support Israel. The scene at the protest and counter-protest was loud, exciting and maybe just a little dangerous. But it was a scene. And no one was slowed for one second from going to Dan Marino’s or Muvico.
And it’s not as if the market hasn’t responded anyway. Because BayWalk has failed — due mostly to its antiquated design and its own mismanagement — Beach Drive and Central Avenue and University Village have flourished.
The City Council should vote against giving away our land.