Barry Real Estate agreed to pay $5000 a day for each day the condos were delayed. Some apologists insist that Barry Real Estate should not be held to this agreement because "no one could have anticipated the recession".
First of all, recessions happen. They are a contingency that responsible adults have to plan for. I don't anticipate having a car wreck today, but I have insurance and am willing to bear financial responsibility if it does happen. This is a matter of corporate accountability.
Second, since this "unforeseen" housing crisis is now taking place, perhaps the city should consider investing in something other than housing? Personally, I didn't think that this was a good idea even under ideal conditions. But now this is boiling down to basic economics: When demand is down and supply is up, it is a bad time to become a supplier.
The city should sell the lot. It's a great location. Potential buyers may be put off by the fact that it's in the middle of a political sandbox, with many influntial people holding strong and conflicting opinions about what should go there. The city can put those fears to rest by establishing a reputation for consistency: keep all promises, carry out all threats.