Monday, June 17, 2013

Indianapolis Will Spend As Much On Redevelopment Of One Block Of Mass Avenue As It Will Benefit From New Development

The Ballard administration was very proud of its plan to redevelop a prime block along Mass Avenue which currently houses a fire station, IFD headquarters and the firefighters credit union. The City announced that by relocating the fire station, IFD headquarters and credit union it would make possible $43 million in new development in the 400 block. City incentives for the project are valued at about $4.7 million, not counting the value of the land donated to the developer. That represents only a fraction of the cost of the overall  project. Only today are we getting a clearer picture of those staggering costs.

The Star's Jon Murray provides details about a $33.5 million loan the City is floating to pick up the rest of the tab. The City plans to relocate the IFD headquarters to a building housing the Red Cross. It will spend $8 million to purchase the Red Cross building and about 3.5 acres on which it sits. About $2 million will be needed to renovate that building to house IFD's offices. Another $7 million will be spent to build a new Fire Station No. 7. The City will have to pay the credit union $3.5 million to cover its relocation expenses. It's going to have to loan the Red Cross $2.3 million to purchase land along Meridian Street where it will build its new headquarters. Debt service on the bonds will cost at least another $6 million.

To sum it up, the City will borrow and spend nearly as much money as the developer promises to invest in the 400 block of Mass Avenue that will be freed up for redevelopment. The Red Cross will pay no property taxes on its new offices on Meridian Street. No property taxes will be paid on the redeveloped Red Cross property, which will become home to the new fire station and fire department headquarters. And because the redeveloped parcel on Mass Ave. is within a TIF district, all new property taxes eventually generated from the redeveloped block will flow to the TIF district to service debt on the bonds for the foreseeable future. Now do you have a clearer understanding why there is never enough money to fund basic city services? Major spending decisions are made based on how they will benefit businesses and individuals who contribute generously to the Mayor's campaign committee, not based on what benefits the public at large.


Citizen Kane said...

Three paragraphs to explain theft - much too sophisticated for the majority of citizens, particularly those who have been conditioned to believe that this type of activity is not really theft.

Racoon said...

The firehouse stuff undoubtedly provides cover for these TIF shenanigans. That's because TIFs money is authorized only to pay for "local public improvements".