. . . But the company wants a basketful of government help: a $11.3 million federal loan, $4 million in federal historic tax credits and $9.1 million in city-backed loans over 20 years.
The last part would require the city to pay about $645,000 a year for the first two years from the city's Downtown tax increment financing to cover issuance cost and debt service. After construction is complete, plans call for the company to repay all of the city funds.
The city would continue to own the old City Hall building and lease it for $1 a year to 21c Museum Hotels.
Adam Thies, director of the Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development, said 21c typically seeks a wide assortment of public financing. He said the incentives requested for this project are in the middle of the pack, compared to several other locations.
"I didn't want to be taken for a ride," Thies told the commission.
He said the project is the best option for the old building. He described it as a drain on the city, costing up to $100,000 a year to operate. Repairs would cost the city about $13 million.
Founded in 2006, 21c operates three boutique hotels in Louisville, Cincinnati and Bentonville, Ark. It plans to open two others this year in Durham, N.C. and Lexington, Ky.One has to wonder what it takes before we reach the tipping point, and the public wakes up to the fact that their current mayor has given away valuable city assets and public incentives that will cost the city billions of dollars over the next several decades during his two terms as mayor. Why this man isn't in a federal prison is beyond belief. Someone needs to school Mr. Thies on who the real drain on the city has been for the past eight years. Even more tragic is the large number of folks who should have been blowing the whistle somewhere along the way who have remained silent, or who have been complicit or active co-conspirators in this unprecedented theft of public assets.