What Corporate Welfare Looks Like

Via Matt Welch, a story from the Whittier Daily News that makes the blood boil:

The city spent $1.6 million in federal grant money to bring Borders into the Pico Rivera Towne Center and to help pay its rent for nearly eight years. Now the bookstore at 8852 Washington Blvd. is among the 200 Borders stores closing by April in the wake of the company filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

But the city still faces paying rent on the soon-to-be vacated 18,100-square-foot site, along with other costs associated with 2002 agreements it made with Borders and with Vestar Development Co., which owns the Towne Center. If Borders leaves, the contract with Vestar requires the city to pay the company $33,932.91 a month for 72 months until a new tenant comes in. Vestar will get the money on the condition it is making "commercially reasonable efforts" to secure a new tenant for the site, according to the wording of the agreement.