San Bernardino City Hall

Sunday, June 15, 2014 – 09:30 a.m.

Could bankrupt San Bernardino use the shuttered Maruko Hotel for the homeless?

It’s an interesting question that proves a point.

The downtown hotel and convention center have been closed for the better portion of a decade or longer. Prior to the Maruko name, the hotel carried the Radisson label.

For years, city officials and business leaders have acted as if both structures were invisible. I’m not even sure if the convention center is structurally-sound any longer.

Regardless, the situation in the city’s downtown is dire.

The following buildings have essentially been vacated for years.

  • The Maruko Hotel (E Street)
  • San Bernardino Convention Center (E Street)
  • Carousel Mall (2nd Street)
  • The Woolworth Building (E Street)
  • The Harris Building (E Street)
  • Partially-Vacant Andreson Building (E-Street)

Even Stater Bros. Markets had to throw in the towel, last year, and close its 4th Street location. After all, a business can only eat losses at a location for so long, before having to finally pull the trigger and get out.

If one were to actually take out a map, draw a two mile circle around City Hall, then proceed to count the number of vacant and abandoned buildings (During daylight hours-only of course), reality would quickly set it.

The business and political leaders who, for the most part of the last thirty years, helped blead the city dry need to take a hard look in the mirror. Many of them have moved from the area.

Some people did try to do the right thing. But many didn’t.

Let’s hear the standard line. “The bad economy wrecked the city. It wasn’t us!”

Well the bad economy didn’t sink Riverside, California. You know? That neighboring county seat that continues to flourish…….