Northfield News mishandles the Community Resource Bank move story

ScreenHunter_01 Sep. 05 08.17 Today’s Northfield News has a story titled, Community Resource Bank move on hold. In July, the paper ran a story titled, Bank moving south on Division, and included a photo with the caption “The building at 618 Division St., pictured here in 2008 with co-owner Randy Lutz, will soon be the new home to the downtown Community Resource Bank.” A July 31 editorial stated “An opportunity arose this week in the form of Community Resource Bank deciding to relocate to the Phoenix Building at 618 Division St.” (continued)

I’d been following this story for a while since the owners of the Phoenix Building, Beth Closner and Randy Lutz of Construction Consulting Partners, are clients of mine. While they confirmed back in July that negotiations with the bank were ongoing, a lease wasn’t signed. The paper ran its July story based on a building permit.

I’ve not talked with Beth or Randy or anyone from Community Resource Bank or First National Bank of Northfield about this latest development but it seems problematic to me for the paper to run a story about a real estate transaction when it hasn’t been finalized. It’s not so much that the public might be misinformed. It’s more that the publicity can become part of the psychology of the negotiations, inadvertently or not, stated or not.

I think the paper owes the parties a public apology. And the online versions of the July 27 story and the July 31 editorial should include corrections.

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