I have steadily reported for East Lansing Info on the Center City District project from the day it was introduced, on many occasions with my colleague Chris Root. We have spent a lot of time using FOIA to document what has happened (and not happened) with regard to the public financing of this project. Today I sent the attached letter (below) to the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority about their meeting which happens tomorrow (Thursday, July 9) at noon. I share it with readers of Public Response … Read more →
I see in ELi that some members of Council are (finally) questioning the continued use of the bond attorney. I would add, they also need to get rid of Baird as the city’s bond agent.
Better yet, time to stop allowing DDA/BRA to issue bonds and to stop allowing the city to issue bonds unless approved by voters. Just a reminder, the DPW building was built without voter-approved bonds (with cost overrun) after voters were promised, in approving sale of the old building, there would be no … Read more →
Ah, nostalgia, to quote the great storyteller, Gamble Rogers.
I see the DDA is finally giving up on Yeadon. I still maintain, if the city gave up on the DDA, eliminating staffing costs and reducing it to paying its existing debts and bills, it would save more money than trying desperately to make good on the idiotic 2009 decision to borrow to buy the Evergreen properties. By time any big new project is completed, the debt of the bonds for City Center I will be … Read more →
With a new Council and an apparent willingness to look beyond the DDA for solutions to the Evergreen properties quagmire, I am going to revive my analysis from several years ago that it is not financially imperative to sell and redevelop the city’s Evergreen properties, which were originally bought with the intent of tearing them down and replacing with a massive parking garage.
Recall that the properties were bought 10 years ago for more than 3 times their assessed market value, at a time … Read more →
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 →
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 →
I am trying to push state legislators on development authority reforms, using East Lansing as the poster-child for how to do public-private development wrong.
One of the key reforms needs to be requiring all brownfield projects or DDA expenditures provide a detailed breakdown, including financials, of what the public purposes are in relation to tax diversion and other costs, and also requiring a strong procedure for objective assessment. Currently, all government has to do is wave a magic wand and say, there’s a public … Read more →
I looked at the PR for public input on city financial woes, and it appears they still want to blame others, without acknowledging any financial mistakes by city government. These mistakes, some outrageous, have come at a cost of tens of millions of dollars. Even if what is done cannot be undone, unless city officials are willing to admit these mistakes and take measures to prevent recurrence, they have and will recur.
1) More than $50 million in unfunded debt service for the DPW … Read more →
I purposely wrote a technical piece without offering concerns and interpretations. I hope ELi will be able to obtain a copy of the Bond indenture with numbers filled in, at which point it will be easier to ask questions and offer interpretations.
The balloon payment I alluded to is speculation. We don’t know how Scottsdale Capital, associated with the father or the Harbor Bay principal, came up with $25 million to purchase the bonds. As far as I have ascertained, this is not someone … Read more →
1) The East Lansing parking structure for Center City is going to cost ~$33,000 per space, according to the contractor.
The Carl Walker Parking Structure Cost Outlook for 2017 report shows construction cost per space of parking structures in various cities around the country. Detroit was $19,873, Chicago, $23,634, Cleveland, $19,085, Minneapolis, $20,818, to give an idea about midwest cities.
2) The development project in which Harbor Bay is involved that most resembles Center City in East Lansing is The Hub in … Read more →