Building Trades Union Throws Support Behind Renovation Of The Q

Terry Joyce addresses union members in support of Q plan. [Matt Richmond / ideastream]

The debate over whether to use public money to finance a $140 million upgrade to Quicken Loans Arena is picking up steam this week. The current plan has Cuyahoga County providing all the upfront financing through a bond sale. As ideastream’s Matt Richmond reports, the local building union has announced its support.

Building Laborers’ Union Local 310 business manager Terry Joyce addressed union members at the local’s headquarters on Monday.

“I think we the owners of that building have to pony up some money to keep that alive and vibrant in downtown Cleveland," said Joyce, to a hall full of cheering union members.

The union’s public support comes a week after Greater Cleveland Congregations and members of the Cuyahoga Progressives Caucus announced their opposition to the plan as it’s currently conceived. David J Wondolowski of the Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council focused on the role downtown and the Cavaliers have played in revitalizing the city.

Wondolowski1 ”Some people look at this as just a one-time job but the reality is it drives the economy and the city and we need these jobs," said Wondolowski.

With interest, Cuyahoga County would be on the hook for about $282 million by the end of the 17 years it’ll take to pay off the proposed bond sale. The Cavaliers have agreed to pay higher rent for those 17 years. The City of Cleveland has offered to chip in from its share of a tax on tickets sold at the Q. Opponents of the project called for investments in struggling parts of the city either instead of or along with the building where Dan Gilbert’s Cavs play. County Council is considering the bond sale this week, and Cleveland City Council will also take up the project before it moves ahead.

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