Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Star Touts $15 Million Publicly-Funded Parking Garage For Mayor Ballard's Political Crony

Regular readers know just how much I despise the $6.5 million public subsidy Mayor Greg Ballard gave to one of his largest campaign contributors, Ersal Ozdemir, to construct a new commercial real estate building in Broad Ripple that is fronted as a public parking garage to alleviate the lack of public parking spaces in the Village. If this was Chicago, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office would have launched full scale investigations by now, but this is Indianapolis where quid pro quos are standard operating procedure so nothing happens. The Indianapolis Star, which ceased being a legitimate newspaper after it was acquired by Gannett, naturally loves the deal. It has a story touting the start of new construction of the so-called "parking garage," which the Star tells us without any substantiation will cost $15 million.

It's really not a parking garage because the developer added ground level retail to the project after learning how willing Mayor Ballard was to line his pockets with taxpayer dollars to construct it and let him keep all of the revenues the project will generate. Mr. Ozdemir must have gotten really intimate with the Mayor when he accompanied him on those overseas junkets funded by DevelopIndy. The new retail space will consume a significant portion of the 300 parking spaces that will be a part of the parking garage component of the project. The only public paperwork filed to date suggests the cost of constructing the building is $8 million, not the $15 million the City and developer have claimed without substantiation. The developer fought a zoning requirement that it be built to certain standards because it resides in a flood plane because he claimed it would make the project's cost prohibitive.

As readers of this blog know, I want to uncover corruption where it exists. I believe this project highlights the extent of public corruption in this city. I appreciate receiving tips from readers. On that note, cryptic messages received through the mail are intriguing, but I don't have the time or the resources to spend cracking the secrets hidden in coded messages. If you have reliable information you would like me to follow up on, then simply provide the information. You don't have to identify yourself if you wish to remain anonymous, but there is really nothing I can act upon when I receive nothing more than unsigned, coded messages.

1 comment:

Salim Reza said...

An additional concern for RBR was that the last garage was so close to the white line marking the pit exit that
its drivers were not able to accelerate up to the speed limit before crossing it, which created a small disadvantage at each stop.
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