Sunday, October 12, 2014

Star Sees Market Square Construction Boom, Neglects To Mention Public Subsidies

Another prominent story in the Indianapolis Star this weekend talks about more redevelopment progress downtown around the site of the former Market Square arena. "Not that long ago, it was probably the quietest corner of Downtown, with few places to shop, dine or call home," John Russell writes. "But now there's a flurry of activity around the old Market Square Arena, with more to come. Over the next years, three major projects will spring up on or near the site, former home of the Indiana Pacers, which was imploded in 2001." Nowhere in the story does it mention that taxpayers are footing the bill for a substantial amount of that private development.

Here's the rundown on how much of your taxpayer dollars is being "invested" in these projects, a term I use loosely since investment implies an asset upon which you can hope to receive some return, which is not the case.
  • Artistry Apartments developed by Milhaus--$18.5 million for a parking garage, plus $6.6 million in tax abatements, or about 50% of the initial costs
  • Cummins office tower--Free land worth $4.3 million, $3.3 million for a parking garage, plus tax abatement, making the public investment about a third of the $30 total investment
  • Flahery & Collins 34-story luxury apartment building--$23 million invested in $81 million project, or about 25% of the total project costs
In other words, there is construction taking place at the site of the former Market Square Arena site because Indianapolis taxpayers are "investing" more than $50 million of the public's money in three separate projects in which the public receives no ownership interest or no return on investment to pay for assets and services that benefit the public. Now the politicians who approve these deals always get something in return for these "investments," even if it's under the table. That's why they are so generous when it comes to passing out our public tax dollars.


Pete Boggs said...

In the SEC realm of full vs faux disclosure & informed consent; how many citizens know they're "investing" in these public sector, off charter or unconstitutional, misadventures?

Flogger said...

I have worked for several large Multi-National Financial Corporations during my career. Slowly but steadily the idea of what you can give and receive in terms of gifts, financial and in kind has become more restrictive. There are severe restrictions on what is called "insider information." We had to take more and more on line Company Courses concerning proper legal and corporate behavior.

The Political side here in America violates not only Legal but Ethical codes of conduct corporations have to live by. (Side Bar - It does not always work).

Crony-Capitalism selects who will be the winners and by default who be the losers on these so-called developments. The Politicians can take political contributions from these developers, who knows what degrees of nepotism and patronage are spread out to the insiders.

The Indianapolis Star is aware of the Shadow Government that stamps its approval on who will be favored by these schemes and why. The goal of the Star is to make sure Crony-Capitalism is not revealed. When it comes to upholding the Establishment Political or Corporate The Star is no different from the old Soviet Pravda.

We see why there is a rush to empty and sanitize the old MSA downtown area of the courts. It would not be acceptable for the tenants of these new buildings to rub shoulders with the citizens who may have run afoul of the law.