Monday, June 02, 2014

Carmel Mayor's Bagmen Seeking $16 Million More In Public Funds For Private Development Projects

Pedcor's Bruce Cordingley and Gerald Pedigo have become multi-millionaires, in part, due to the hundreds of millions of public dollars Carmel Mayor James Brainard has provided to their real estate development companies to undertake major projects in the City of Carmel. They're now back seeking another $16 million for a $100 million expansion of their City Center development for a 600-space parking garage. More publicly-funded parking garages from another mayor who wants to hike your income taxes to support a regional mass transit boondoggle system to transport low-paid minority workers from the inner city of Indianapolis to the wealthy suburban enclaves like Carmel for day jobs that will permit them to return to their homes at the end of the work day. TIF funding, of course, is the likely source of money according to the IBJ:
The parking and other infrastructure should cost about $16 million, Pedcor CEO Bruce Cordingley told IBJ.
Carmel has used revenue from its tax-increment financing districts to subsidize such expenses in the past. That also is the most likely source of funding this time around, though the City Council has kept a tight grip on the municipal checkbook since refinancing $185 million in redevelopment commission debt in 2012 . . .
Carmel-based Pedcor has developed the bulk of the ambitious City Center project in partnership with the city and the CRC. Cordingley unveiled conceptual designs for the new buildings in December, and since then has been briefing council members on the plans. 
Cordingley said interest from potential commercial tenants is strong enough to start the next wave of construction—and luxury apartments planned above the office and retail space should fill up fast—but not without the parking garage.
“Everything else is financeable,” he said . . .
Pedcor pays more than $1 million in property taxes on its commercial holdings in Carmel each year, he said. 
The company owns most of City Center already, and Cordingley said it has “indicated willingness” to buy the former Shapiro’s Delicatessen building that has been vacant since last summer. The CRC owns the building at 918 S. Range Line Road and has it listed for sale with Colliers International’s local office.
Carmel is one of the fastest growing and wealthiest communities in the state. Yet we continually see the City investing hundreds of millions of dollars in helping finance projects in the City's downtown area that clearly would occur without a drop of public funding. Pedcor boasts of paying more than $1 million a year on property taxes, which is frankly an embarrassingly low figure given the size and number of those projects. What property taxes that are being paid by the company are going straight back into the TIF slush funds that the company continues to tap for its latest and greatest project. Not surprisingly, Cordingley and Pedigo are among Brainard's most reliable campaign contributors. The favorable reaction of the council members, according to the IBJ, makes one wonder if they're not getting some of the TLC Brainard has been hogging all of these years to hush their criticism.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

A spot on assessment. I want to sell parking garages to Carmel. We average about $70,000/space for the ones we have now. And $27,000 for this one is a real bargain compared to the last garage we bought for Mr. Cordingly. After the 'private' spaces were removed, we ended up paying $100,000 per public space.

Rick Smith said...

Actually if you look at City Center Parking Garage specifically we paid $21.5 million initially for 61 underground spaces. This is the equivalent of more than $350,000 per Public Space. Add to that the city 'owns the Gargage' and all maintenance and repairs will fall on the city. This in addition to the fact it is not generating the taxes it would if it were part of the Buildings Assessed Value.