Hypocrisy or Good Business? You be the judge here. Bob Berry and Lew Ward, owners of the Broadway Tower attempted to sell the tower at auction on Wednesday. The auction was cancelled and “entered into private negotiation” according to the Enid News & Eagle (source: http://enidnews.com/localnews/x426441005/No-sale) 20 minutes after the auction was scheduled to begin. I attempted to reach both Bob Berry and the auction company to get any additional insight, but emails were unturned.
Before my next step here, I want to interject some opinion. As I said in private email to Bob Berry. I really, really hope that a good buyer for this building can be found and the cancellation of the auction was a good thing, rather than a bad thing. Despite some things that have been said in the past, myself and The Route 60 Sentinel have no ill will towards Bob. I personally think Bob has done a great deal of good for our community both now and in the past. I hope he continues doing that in the future. I enjoy friendly communication with Bob and Eli occasionally and hope that continues.
However, as I was doing research for an article that I assumed would be about the sale of the historic Broadway Tower, I discovered something. Something that I did not really expect to find. The man who has thrown lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit at the City of Enid, Bob Berry, in the name of the Renaissance Project downtown, was actually using that project as a selling point for the Broadway Tower. See this ad here, that was obtained from the auction house’s website and was labeled as “WSJ Display Ad”, so I assume that it was ran in the Wall Street Journal to attract bids.
''Ad Placed for Sale of Broadway Tower in the Wall Street Journal (Click for fullsize)
Here is a blown up version of the section dealing with the Renaissance Project:
So, here is the question: Is Mr. Berry trying to have his cake and eat it too? On the one hand, challenging the City on the project continuously at every front. On the other, using the project to sell and hopefully profit from the project.
For this article, I emailed both Bob Berry and Bud Blinick to ask about specifics about the ad and how it was used in marketing the sale of the building. As of this typing, I have not received a response. I also emailed the City of Enid for a response and I got nearly an instant reply, as usual, from City Manager Eric Benson:
I salute his good judgement. The Renaissance is indeed a strong selling point for any downtown property. I think Bob and I will agree on that all day, any day.
Eric BensonCity Manager
I happen to agree that it is good judgement and good business on Bob’s part. But I’ve talked to some people who find it a bit hypocritical. I’m wondering what you think Route 60?
Is the use of the Rennaisance Project to sell the Broadway Tower hypocrisy or good business? (We had to eliminate over 70 votes because someone was cheating. Don't cheat.)
Mark was born not in Enid, America but rather Okeene. At a very young age, his family transplanted to Enid and he has lived his entire life here except for a 4 year stint in the Kansas City area.
Mark was brought up listening to the jets roar overhead and sight of wheat trucks hauling in the harvest to some of the world's largest grain elevators. Mark strongly believes in Enid's potential and is currently raising his family here based on that belief. He also still believes in Santa Claus so take that for what it's worth
The Route 60 Sentinel is an online news blog for Enid and the rest of Northwest Oklahoma. The Sentinel is entirely comprised of volunteer bloggers and citizen journalists. Its a website with stuff on it. Sometimes its news. Sometimes its humor. Sometimes its nothing. Our mission is to provide a news source and online opinion outlet for all of Northwest Oklahoma.
For now, we focus mainly on the Enid and Garfield County areas. News, humor, and opinion. You'll find it all here.