The city gave the Sports Corp. the properties known as Square 88 in 1986, in exchange for a 30-year agreement restricting development on the plaza. The agreement said the requirement to maintain a “first class urban plaza” could be waived after 20 years if the owner paid a $3 million, inflation-adjusted fee to the city. But late last year, the city agreed to reduce the protected portion of Pan Am Plaza from 88,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet without any payment, citing minimal use of the plaza and decaying infrastructure.For an unelected bureaucrat, it's just the way business is done. "Enforcing the payment could have stalled a great redevelopment opportunity, said Maury Plambeck, who has served as director of the city’s Department of Metropolitan Development since 2002." To activist attorney Paul Ogden, it's scandalous. Schouten gives us his take on the smelly deal:
But the waiver doesn’t sit well with local attorney and activist Paul K. Ogden, who is preparing a lawsuit challenging the move. His question: Why should the Sports Corp. get the fee waived because it failed to maintain the plaza?
The fee, if enforced and adjusted for inflation, could add up to $6 million to city coffers.
“Basically, the Sports Corp. owes money to the city of Indianapolis,” Ogden said. “It’s a tough position to take that the taxpayers shouldn’t have gotten anything out of the deal.”
Here's the part of Schouten's story which really enrages me. Schouten writes, "Kite owns 85 percent of the partnership that acquired the remaining Sports Corp. holdings. The purchase price for the four-acre site was not disclosed." Are you kidding? The ISC is allowed to selle off this publicly-dedicated land, and we don't even know what the sale price was? Only in Indianapolis would a group of elitist insiders be allowed to get by with this kind of crap. I say full speed ahead to Ogden's lawsuit. Somebody has to teach these people a lesson. Our public assets aren't your little playground to enrich your buddies who invite you to all their private parties and entertain you in their suites at Conseco Fieldhouse and now Lucas Oil Stadium.