Scientology plans control of downtown Clearwater for retail makeover

Discussion in 'Breaking and Major News about Scientology' started by CommunicatorIC, Mar 7, 2017.

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  1. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Scientology plans control of downtown Clearwater for retail makeover.

    Tampa Bay Times: Scientology plans control of downtown Clearwater for retail makeover

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/scient...wntown-clearwater-for-retail-makeover/2315501

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    The Church of Scientology is maneuvering to control all downtown real estate to create a master retail district that will operate under its management and oversight.

    The plan, according to two city officials briefed by Scientology leader David Miscavige, requires all property from Osceola to Myrtle avenues between Drew and Pierce streets being bought by the church, its parishioners or others willing to participate.

    The concept involves recruiting a few major national retailers to anchor the district and filling the grid with handpicked businesses all at one time, similar to how an outdoor mall is established, said Community Redevelopment Agency director Seth Taylor and City Manager Bill Horne, who in October were shown renderings of the retail strategy by Miscavige but not given copies.

    The plan does not require approval from elected officials or voters but is a vision the church has already started implementing with the help of consultants and an aggressive acquisition of downtown property.

    Along with the more than $260 million in property Scientology has acquired under its name since arriving in Clearwater in 1975, and later establishing its international spiritual headquarters downtown, the church has been buying parcels in the central core for the past several months through anonymous LLCs.

    Scientology spokesman Ben Shaw did not respond to an email or phone call requesting comment.

    But since Jan. 31, businesses registered to Scientology attorney Robert Potter bought two blocks of vacant lots along Myrtle Avenue between Drew and Laura streets for $9 million; the Sage venue at 22 N Fort Harrison Ave. for $600,000; and the Trickels Jewelers building at 714 Cleveland St. for $1.9 million, according to property records.

    Through companies registered to Ybor City real estate broker Fred Edmister, the church bought the city's landmark, all-glass office tower at 601 Cleveland St. for $13 million on Feb. 1 and a nearby auto garage on Laura Street for $1.7 million on Jan. 13, Taylor confirmed. Edmister also registered 700 Cleveland Street LLC in November to buy the Clearwater Mortgage building at that address.

    Alabama-based Retail Strategies executive vice president Wade Robinett said Scientology hired his firm three years ago "to reach out to retailers," but he declined to comment on specifics of the plan. The church also hired Tampa-based Gensler architects to design a facade overhaul for property along Cleveland Street.

    Horne said he expects Miscavige to make a public presentation in the near future. He said he believes the plan has stayed relatively secret so the church could acquire real estate quietly and avoid property owners inflating the prices.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
     
  2. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    Is this something like the first steps of a mafia "going legit" in Las Vegas? :confused2:
     
  3. Mimsey Borogrove

    Mimsey Borogrove Crusader

    More like the ideal city. But really - finding a who and a why are relatively easy:

    The Who is Tom Cruise

    The Why is to make an ideal neighborhood for him to live in.

    Remember the field of daisies for him and Nic to hold hands and stroll through at int?

    Remember Tom complaining to David the org's weren't upstat enough for him to bring friends to?

    That gave us the Ideal Orgs, my bosom buddies.

    This, my dear friends, is 47X the field of daisies.

    This is (drum-roll) The Ideal City of Clearwater. (Trumpets blaring)

    Yes, Tom can jet in from a far flung movie set, with his Hollywood Honcho friends, go out on his double penthouse balcony, and look down on the sparkling lights of the Ideal City of Clearwater.

    My, my, my. How sweet it is.

    Mimsey
     
  4. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    I think this may be the start, or continuation, of a more fundamental long-term strategy.

    If I recall correctly, Tony Ortega proposed the theory of the Church of Scientology falling back and making a last stand in Clearwater. This makes some sense politically.

    A large number of Scientology voters in one city would have an significant political influence. If the local Mayor, Congressman, etc. were not completely "owned" by the Church of Scientology, they would likely not cross the COS, and would listen to and be influenced by it. (We already saw this in fomer Congressman David Jolly.) Such power would only be enhanced by the COS essentially owning the downtown commercial district. I believe the Church of Scientoligy's model may be the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) in Salt Lake City.
     
  5. Mimsey Borogrove

    Mimsey Borogrove Crusader

    Are they going to have a crabby apple choir as well? I was in SLC one time and toured it - that is rather interesting building - they dragged all the stone from a quarry up in the mountains by ox drawn carts. There was no oak available - so they built all the pews etc. from local wood, pine I think, and faux painted it to look like oak. If you are in SLC, it's worth the time to check it out.

    Mimsey
     
  6. I told you I was trouble

    I told you I was trouble Suspended animation



    It looks as if they've finally realised that they won't be "clearing the planet" anytime soon and have settled for "[STRIKE]clearing[/STRIKE] buying a couple of streets" instead.


    :biggrin:
     
  7. I doubt this will be a big deal.

    We know the "regular" slaves, Sea Org, etc. don't have time (100-hour weeks) or money ($5 paychecks) to even afford soap or shampoo. Will there be enough non-culties and wealthy Scientologist whales/dilettantes coming in for services who have time/money left over to shop? I suspect national retailers will demand clauses in their leases that let them leave if the location is not profitable. National stores that come to Clearwater won't be profitable, and will soon leave. Forget Sak's Fifth Avenue or Macy's. Clearwater might have to settle for a J.C. Penney or K-Mart for a year or two. Then low profits will let the stores end their leases early, close quietly and leave town.

    If someone did set up a "handpicked business", it would have to be a WISE member, right? These small merchants will be sucked dry by the cult, just like a mafia-owned comedy club -- they'll be allowed to stay open, but not KEEP any profits. They'll be sending the absolute maximum amount of money uplines. Think "Kirstie Alley's Organic Liason Vitamin Shop".

    Can the cult manage a REAL for-profit business that doesn't involve coercion to purchase books and videos at highly inflated prices and lots of outright donations? When some whales will buy up more land parcels, will they donate them to DM's real estate empire? And who decides what business will go where? DM? Will the businesses spend all their time on WISE and Scientology? With Scientology charging high rents as the landlord, and many potential customers being too poor to afford soap or shampoo, how will this business model work? Who will be dumb enough to operate a storefront business under those conditions?

    After the national retailer(s) close and leave big, empty buildings, you'll have a few brave shopowners staying open. DM's collection of large, empty buildings will be a little bit larger, that's the only difference I can see.

    (Of course, I am a never-in, and all I know about the cult is what I read on the Internet. So I could be completely wrong.)

    Please tell me whether I am wrong about all of this.
     
  8. George Layton

    George Layton Silver Meritorious Patron


    Can't they just send him to Target Two? hubbard should have that presentable by now.
     
  9. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Clearwater city officials to hand economic development over to Church of Scientology.

    Tampa Bay Times: Trigaux: Setbacks at Enterprise Florida, in downtown Clearwater deliver one-two punch to job recruiting

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/busine...lorida-in-downtown-clearwater-deliver/2315556

    Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    Florida business recruiting: We have a problem.

    Make that two.

    [SNIP]

    A more unusual complication is emerging in Clearwater, where city officials are about to surrender responsibility for economic development and business recruitment in much of the city's downtown. As reported in the Tampa Bay Times, the Church of Scientology has a plan to control a large swath of downtown real estate and create a master retail district that will operate under its management and oversight.

    City manager Bill Horne tells the Times he's willing to let Scientology officials take the lead on recruiting businesses in the hope they can find the economic solution that has eluded the city government.

    "We have to try something," Horne said. "We haven't been successful on our own."

    That much is true, though there are pockets of successful technology businesses in the city's downtown. What's left unsaid, of course, is whether the years of slack response to downtown business recruiting is largely due to the dominating presence of Scientology.

    The Tallahassee and Clearwater setbacks this week are a one-two gut punch to the traditional approach of recruiting companies and their jobs to the state and the Tampa Bay metro area.

    [SNIP]

    While smaller in geographic scale, the decision by Clearwater city officials to hand economic development over to the Church of Scientology is perhaps more stunning.

    In the larger world of business recruiting,the Tampa Bay metropolitan area is viewed as one region anchored by three larger if unequal cities: Tampa, the emerging business center; St. Petersburg, the arts and entertainment hub; and downtown Clearwater, an uninspired spot for many heading to vibrant Clearwater Beach. Now one of the three city legs of that economic stool is abdicating control of downtown development to a controversial church.

    Scientology may attract businesses. But as the plan stipulates, business will be subject to church oversight. And that will be viewed with suspicion in the larger economy.

    Large corporations that analyze the dynamics of metro areas where they may want to expand will look at what's happening in downtown Clearwater and pause. It may make little difference if those companies are looking to grow in Tampa or St. Petersburg, or Hillsborough, Pasco or other parts of Pinellas counties. To companies, Tampa Bay is one metro area with one workforce.

    What Clearwater's' government is doing — empowering an already influential church to become an economic decision maker for the city core — may send ripples across Tampa Bay's broader aim to attract new and better jobs to this region.

    Contact Robert Trigaux at rtrigaux@tampabay.com. Follow @venturetampabay.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
     
  10. mistii

    mistii Patron


    WOW! Please tell me this is Fake News......Please.....
     
  11. Mimsey Borogrove

    Mimsey Borogrove Crusader

    The thing about this plan is that it is completely off policy. Hubbard was really down on orgs trying to raise money through selling any thing other than Scientology. So here you have a church buying up scads of property, pimping them out, and then leasing them to various businesses that they hope to lure into the area.
    I dunno - would you have the CofS as your landlord, telling you how to run your business? Can you see the Landlord Org wanting stats by 2 pm thursday from these businesses? Wanting them on org boards? All joining Wise?

    In a way, letting Scientology go out on a limb, could be a stroke of genius. They could bleed a lot of cash before they realize (if ever) their folly. Cash that the city doesn't have to pony up. And when it all implodes, they could make a Disney style theme park out of downtown Clearwater - Come and see the Scary Ideal Morgue. They could decorate the place with clusters of BT's & Zombie Sea Org Staff staggering about - pretty scary stuff.

    Actually, kidding aside, if Flag does go belly up, The city could foreclose on it all and sell all those newly renoed stores. Karma baby. Karma.

    That said, I still think it's genus is making Clearwater appear upstat for Tom Cruise.

    Mimsey

    Edit - actually I think there's some part of the div 7 green volume that talks about the world being on Scientology's org board - they just don't know it yet.

    I can only hope the locals give the city council a piece of their minds. M.
     
  12. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    The Church of Scientology hasn't followed that policy for years, indeed decades. The multi-level IAS, increasing statuses for Ideal Org contributions, etc., are all in violation of that hoary policy.
    "Foreclosed" is the wrong word, but they could be seized for non-payment of property tax if the stores went bankrupt or left, the property laid empty, and the COS didn't pay the tax.
     
  13. Mimsey Borogrove

    Mimsey Borogrove Crusader

    Yep, that's the word that escaped my synapses.

    Mimsey
     
  14. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Mafia

    ///
    The rise of power that the Mafia acquired during Prohibition would continue long after alcohol was made legal again. Criminal empires which had expanded on bootleg money would find other avenues to continue making large sums of money. When alcohol ceased to be prohibited in 1933, the Mafia diversified its money-making criminal activities to include (both old and new): illegal gambling operations, loan sharking, extortion, protection rackets, drug trafficking, fencing, and labor racketeering through control of labor unions. In the mid-20th century, the Mafia was reputed to have infiltrated many labor unions in the United States, most notably the Teamsters and International Longshoremen's Association.[6] This allowed crime families to make inroads into very profitable legitimate businesses such as construction, demolition, waste management, trucking, and in the waterfront and garment industry.[28] In addition they could raid the unions' health and pension funds, extort businesses with threats of a workers' strike and participate in bid rigging. In New York City, most construction projects could not be performed without the Five Families' approval. In the port and loading dock industries, the Mafia bribed union members to tip them off to valuable items being brought in. Mobsters would then steal these products and fence the stolen merchandise.
    ///
     
  15. HelluvaHoax!

    HelluvaHoax! Gold Meritorious Sponsor

    ...

    Well, for starters the COS could lease one of their buildings to CCHR to erect an IDEAL "Psychiatry: Industry of Death" museum. That'll pull huge numbers of tourists and families every day of the year--just like Disneyland, right? LOL

    Seriously, as Scientology's death grip on downtown Clearwater continues to tighten, it is a certainty that it will become a ghost town--with the only remaining survivors being the planet clearing cult.

    WHAT MAJOR ANCHOR RETAILER IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD BE CRAZY ENOUGH TO LOCATE A BIG-BOX STORE--OR ANY STORE--IN A NEAR-DEATH CULT-CONTROLLED LAZY SOUTHERN TOWN THAT HAS NO PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC?

    Even if someone theorizes that customers will drive there, who would do that. Why would someone drive downtown Clearwater when they could shop at the multitudes of stores on Gulf To Bay, all with abundant parking and no creepy culties lurking around with their bizarre naval costumes and unblinking TR-O eyes?

    Downtown Clearwater is dead. End of story. It ain't coming back.

    The only hope that Scientology ever had for a "flourishing and prospering" downtown Clearwater was back in the 80s/90s when Scientologists began to move there, buy homes, set up local small businesses, et al. Scientologists and their "senior management" were totally certain that they were going to "BOOM" downtown Clearwater, by sheer numbers of Scientologists moving there en masse.

    After Scientologists do what Scientologists do (attack each other until they are enturbulated, disaffected & blown) the locals began to move AWAY FROM Clearwater. The majority couldn't make their businesses run locally and/or they got fed up with non-stop vulture regging of the locals. There is a saturation point of how many "Command Intention Orders" you can give to public Scientologists and they eventually just wanted to escape and lead a normal life where people were not constantly calling them and ordering them to attend "Briefings" and dozens of other bait-n-switch scams.

    Now that the Scn population of Clearwater (non-staff) has badly dwindled, what kind of store could possibly generate enough sales in downtown Clearwater to be viable. They already have coffee shop(s) and some convenience stores and are vitamin-ed to death, so those business opportunities are long gone.

    And businesses require either a high volume of pedestrian traffic OR they have to be able to pull large numbers of shoppers to their establishment. That is typically done by major/national chain stores who invest massive numbers into advertising and rely on mega-volume at deeply discounted rates. Even Target stores, the darling of retail investors for a long time, experience a 30% drop in their stock price (and corporate value) in the past 12 months. That's WITH massive advertising and massive base of customer support!

    Nope, that place is on life support.

    Scientology is hallucinating if they or anyone in city gov't thinks they can revive it. There is NO DEMAND for that retail space.

    Scientology has no slightest concept of "NO DEMAND" by customers. They just "by-pass" it and proceed to overwhelm customers with coercion and threats. That doesn't work with wogs.

    If Scientology knew the first most basic thing about retail, their own "Ideal" orgs would have lots of customers in them. But they don't. They have dead space, after spending 20 million dollars or more per building. They literally go out on the street and try to BEG people to come in with various gimmicks. And even still, people on the street are creeped out and don't go in.

    Scientology, as usual, has "TOTAL CERTAINTY, NO KNOWLEDGE" about how life and business works. All they know is how to sell their con. And that's why 99% of Scientology's customers blow.

    Bye Bye downtown Clearwater.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
  16. AngeloV

    AngeloV Gold Meritorious Patron

    That's my take, too HH.

    The SO 'employs' thousands of people...but from a business perspective, they are the poorest of the poor. They have zero disposable income to spend. They have nothing to shop for...no televisions, no clothing, no books, no furniture, no home improvement items, no jewelry, no computers (gasp!). They don't need gyms, banks, doctors or CPAs to do their taxes. And they don't need restaurants, bicycles, or toys.

    Who will use these retailers? Like you said...no pedestrian traffic = retail bankruptcies. Before any intelligent business person opens a store, they do a survey of the area to determine the demographics of potential customers.

    Scio buying up property is shuttering businesses not creating them. Stupid cult.
     
  17. HelluvaHoax!

    HelluvaHoax! Gold Meritorious Sponsor


    Scientology senior management would regard your post and mine as critical, low-toned "natter" indicating that we:

    --have misunderstood words on what Ron said

    --have been "3rd Partied" on Scientology with "black PR"

    --have overts & withholds​

    Those same senior management execs regard themselves as GENIUSES at making huge profits. Thus they are totally certain that they know how to make a retail store (or retail district) a huge success.

    REASON THEY THINK THEY ARE FINANCIAL GENIUSES: Because they think you can just make up insane prices and customers will pay it. Because they think they can hire store employees who, like Sea Org members, will work over 100 hours per week for an average weekly salary less than $50. Because they have done these things so successfully; like paying a Class XII $50 for the week. A Class XII who audits 40 hours of "L's" auditing @ $1,000 per hour. Thus, the elite Scn management exec sees how easy it is charge $40,000 and only pay $50 to the person who delivers it. And, since they pay no taxes, that's a whopping $39,950 gross margin of profit!

    And That's why they are so positive their genius will easily allow them to turn a dead downtown Clearwater into a booming retail district. If challenged, they can even do a clay demo to prove how all this works. LOL
     
  18. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    I think it's a great idea that the cult openly control retail in downtown Clearwater. It will be clearly seen that the cult will spend millions, maybe have glittery stores for a while, and it will be a total economic disaster.

    Result: more terrible PR for the cult!

    Paul
     
  19. Enthetan

    Enthetan Mutant

    "Subject to church oversight" has long meant "Having their profits sucked up by Scientology".

    Flag used to heavily pressure wealthy public to buy "mission packages" and contribute by opening up a mission. Now what will happen is that public will be pressured to "flow power to Command Intention" by opening up a business in Clearwater. WISE will ensure that profits are eaten up by "WISE consulting missions" and IAS donations. Being located in Clearwater will make it easier to monitor them.
     
  20. George Layton

    George Layton Silver Meritorious Patron

    It amazes me at times the way two or more threads will blend together here sometimes. Now here I'm referring to that perfect reflection mock up thread going on and this one.

    What has happened is scientology has mocked up the perfect downtown Clearwater while at the same time already having it and presto, made it disappear.
     

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