DRW Illegal Trading Litigation? // Eliot Singer

City Center II Rendering

I can find nothing recent about the CFTB litigation against DRW for illegal trading. Months ago there was an article commenting on how long the judge was taking.

I would not expect this to factor into East Lansing government decision making. Ever since the Meadows faction hired Staton as city manager and gave him bonuses for development, the city’s ethic has been: give us your crooks, deadbeats, and cronies yearning for a free ride.

MEDC however has a legal requirement that any litigation be … Read more →

Possible Settlement with City Center II Developer? // Eliot Singer

City Center II Rendering

From the latest ELi story on the Project Formerly Known As City Center II, it appears DRW, the big-league Chicago day-trader, is going to settle with the former developer, in order to put an end to litigation and get those $10 million legacy MBT credits and brownfield money.

The MBT credits and 2008 brownfield were assigned to the lender and there is no evidence they were ever returned to PDIG/CCTP in the Cuyahoga settlement. There is also no evidence the lender assigned the credits … Read more →

Latest Tax Giveaway for Project Formerly Known As City Center II // Eliot Singer

City Center II Rendering

1) Revelation that DRW/Convexity was going to ask for a brownfield waited until after the vote on income tax.

2) There will be no money to pay for public services for the project for the duration of the brownfield (which could have been spread out longer, at 50/50 tax increment, if any tax diversion is warranted). I see there has been another shooting in the Grove St. garage, and with reduced property tax millage, the contribution toward public safety from the DDA TIF district … Read more →

Latest News on Lotto 1 Project // Eliot Singer

Center City Blueprint

In response to “ Fire Marshal Review Missing …”:

Failing to follow proper procedure is same-old, same-old, for East Lansing development projects. Council, city manager, city attorney, and planning department have long been way in over their heads trying to tackle big projects, especially since their number one objective is to get new buildings up, not to protect the public interest. Obviously, failing to check fire safety is incredibly irresponsible, but these are basically the same people (minus Triplett) who fast-tracked approval of St. Anne’s Lofts after the … Read more →

Selling Lot 4 and Dublin Square // Eliot Singer

Previous development plans involving the city’s foolishly purchased Evergreen properties (City Center II, Park District RFP) have also included Lot 4, adjacent to Dublin Square. Voters said no to the attempt to sell Lot 4 for the DTN/Strathmore project, because of anger over City Center II and suspicion Strathmore shell companies were still involved (which documents from the Cuyahoga trial confirmed).

It is too late to put selling Lot 4 on this November’s ballot.

 

– Eliot Singer

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More on serial tax delinquencies // Eliot Singer

Because it sounds like this Dublin Square thing is another hurry-up, no-scrutiny deal, I thought I’d better get the facts out faster than ELi can do a story.

For those who have forgotten or missed earlier episodes: No, not everybody does it. In my many years of perusing records, I am only aware of three would-be developers who use tax delinquencies as a cash flow strategy. One in Lansing, exposed by MLive if I remember correctly, admitted he used not paying taxes on time … Read more →

Refinancing the Evergreen Bonds // Eliot Singer

Something else that was mentioned in the ELi story about the Dublin Square project was the DDA wanting to refinance the bonds for the Evergreen properties.

We went round and round about this for years and years. City officials, with DDA approval, did something incredibly stupid issuing those bonds in 2009 to buy properties at 3 times market value when the economy was in collapse and with a developer who should never have been allowed within a million miles of public money. Rather than … Read more →

Another Developer with Persistent History of Tax Delinquencies Is Seeking a Major East Lansing Project // Eliot Singer

At the top of the list of reforms to make public-private development credible is preventing anyone with a history of fraud, tax delinquencies, mortgage defaults and foreclosures, etc. from receiving tax incentives or otherwise engaging in partnerships or dealings with government. This not only limits moral risk—remember East Lansing has done brownfield projects with developers who have committed fraud and had terrible tax payment records, a major reason for the city’s reputation for corruption and cronyism—business people with these factors in their profile are … Read more →

Meadows “just as surprised as everyone” // Eliot Singer

Mayor Mark Meadows wrote on July 24, “I was just as surprised as everyone to see that the developer was advertising the Grand River property as ‘student housing.’ The Grand River housing was approved as market rate housing and was to be advertised as available to anyone.”

https://eastlansinginfo.org/content/downtown-businesses-panicking-over-construction-related-downturn

Another wonderful example of an excuse-making professional politician having to choose between admitting he was in the know from the beginning or coming across as a moron.

Ruth Beier knew, she just doesn’t seem to … Read more →

Fiscal Options for East Lansing // Ron Fisher

I have already commented about the East Lansing tax proposal arguing that the imposition of a City income tax or an increase in the property tax are inherently limited as a solution to the City’s fiscal issues. The main point is that the City is relatively small and surrounded by similar suburban communities with essentially equivalent access to major employers, making it relatively easy for individuals and businesses to select locations outside the City.

The point of this comment is the City has … Read more →

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