Thursday, October 25, 2012

Another Cruise Ship To Be Docked On Mass Ave Courtesy Of The Taxpayers

If you liked the cruise ship-style building Schmidt & Associates designed and docked at Mass Ave and New York Streets, which effectively destroyed the historic flat iron building fronting New York Street, then you'll like their latest docked cruise ship with a splash of color they've planned for Mass Ave and Michigan Streets. The bow of the ship will feature a giant, Times Square-styled video screen. I'm not sure what the historic preservation folks will have to say about a flashy video wall in the middle of a historic business district, but it should provide for an interesting debate. The plan announced by the Ballard administration today hinges on relocating Fire Station #7 and the Indianapolis Fire Department headquarters, along with a credit union, from their current location at this site. The Ballard administration decided it would move the fire station to College and Michigan Streets in the heart of the historic Lockerbie neighborhood without bothering to consult with the neighborhood or its own fire department. The neighborhood recently voted unanimously to oppose the proposed site for Fire Station #7.

The Ballard administration also sought to minimize the public cost for this project. A press release gives you the impression the City is only kicking in $3 million from the downtown TIF district for parking for the 235 market-rate apartments planned for the site, along with street-level retail and commercial space. The City's press release claims the developers, Paul Kite and J.C. Hart Company, are purchasing the land for $5.4 million. The developers are actually placing that much money in escrow, which it can then access in its entirety to construct its new development. The City only gets to keep the money if the project doesn't come to fruition. These costs also don't take into account the millions of dollars that will be needed to relocate Fire Station #7 and the Indianapolis Fire Department headquarters.  The administration boasts that the new develop will generate $500,000 in property taxes and $275,000 in income taxes annually once the project is completed; however, all of the property taxes revenues will be captured by the downtown TIF district, which is used as a slush fund by the Mayor to hand out tax dollars to developers and contractors who bankroll his campaign, pay for his overseas junkets and lavish him and his wife with gifts and free country club memberships.

No comments: