Monday, June 08, 2015

Carmel Wants To Give Away Another $10 Million To Private Developer

The Carmel TIF district is the gift that keeps on giving for those bestowed the honor of being blessed by Carmel Mayor James Brainard to receive generous public subsidies for their real estate development projects. The latest proposed recipient is Anderson Birkla, which wants close to $10 million in public subsidies for a $60 million mixed use project along Rangeline Road south of City Hall where a closed warehouse that formerly housed Party Time Rental is located according to the Indianapolis Star.

Under the proposal, Anderson Birkla would pay just $50,000 for land valued at $4 million. The Carmel Redevelopment Commission paid $3,083,000 for the property in 2012. Carmel turned down a proposal in 2013 by another developer which offered to pay market rate for the property because Brainard wasn't excited about that developer's plans for the site. Carmel taxpayers will be subsidizing the project further through infrastructure improvements, including yet another taxpayer-built parking garage. Property taxes generated from the new development would be applied to pay for a $6 million bond issued for those infrastructure improvements.

It really doesn't matter what the current council thinks. Their days in office are numbered, and Carmel voters thought it was wise to elect a bunch of new council members who will blindly support whatever Brainard proposes. One has to wonder why nobody is willing to undertake development projects in Carmel without massive public subsidies. We hear all of these stories about what a great place Carmel is to live, but it's apparently too much of a risk to invest there unless large public subsidies are offered to entice developers to come there.


Anonymous said...

I am former resident and property owner in Carmel where very long-time Mayor Jim Brainard made himself wonderfully wealthy with his land deals made purportedly with
inside knowledge of what was to come on those particular sites. You are correct, Gary, that the Carmel Council's opinion does not now or in the future matter. Old Carmel Councilors like Luci Johnson (re-elected, unfortunately) have been totally asleep at the wheel until she finally reacted when complaints of Brainard-induced heavy debt and art dealer shenanigans came to light. The voters foolishly tossed out the few Councilors on to Brainard's schemes and scams.

The truth is Carmel is pretty much built-out. Once highly sought after neighborhoods like the Edens, the Brookshires, and the Mohawk areas are aging and showing their design and functional obsolescence. Other western Carmel and north Carmel areas are holding their own but the new US 31 has barricaded, in Berlin Wall-fashion, the businesses in and along Simon's Village Park Plaza and even Clay Terrace seems more deserted as that area is more difficult to enter and exit. Carmel High School is far too big and there is proof some students are just too daunted to navigate and adjust to the sheer behemoth it is. Merchant's Plaza is moribund and on life support. The REAL growth in Hamilton County is to the northwest/north/northeast of Carmel.

And Brainard wants to give away more to a private developer? When the market will not support construction and development, Brainard will... even if his past attempts at his "New Urbanism" are not at all what he promised.

Eric Morris said...

At this point, I wish Al Capone and the mob had beaten Elliot Ness and the G-men. At least with vice, the mafia is serving actual demand.

Anonymous said...

Carmel has come a long way in updating itself with a pleasing blend of modern city conveniences and suburban and city growth. But why do citizens have to bear the burden of luring businesses at taxpayer expense? All cities seem to do this and apparently Carmel residents don't mind. I see no groundswell of protests to stop it. At what point do you weigh 'investment' v. 'expense'? It is basically a form of corporate welfare. Frankly, this is not what government is designed to do. It is designed to 'govern' and be a good steward of taxpayer money; not descend into a game of Monopoly hoping to land on Boardwalk some day. Welcome to Carmel's grand casino where Carmel's residents willing throw their dollars to support the ambiance they crave. I wonder if their children will delight with inherited indebtedness.

Anonymous said...

Eric Morris points out a truth explaining the irony of street level vice over political vice... street level vice actually serves a real demand.

"Carmel's grand casino" is an apt description, Anon 8:44, and you are correct that it is not the purview of any government to "invest" in corporate welfare. Sadly, the people have forgotten that fact. Gambling is a fools game. Politicians, national and locally, are guilty of mortgaging the future for the corporate welfare they had out so freely today. The fact that the taxpayers who ultimately will be burdened by enormous governmental debt have not yet been born underscores how deeply dangerous is the bubble of the debt all politicians incur upon the people.

But what do the politicians care? Their pockets and the pockets of their cronies are filled and the problems will come to the surface long after the former are gone.

Anonymous said...

I am a Carmel resident and I have yet to pay a dime for all of Brainard's over-the-top dream city (his dream, not the citizens.) Carmel residents who were in-tune knew who the Councilors were that were keeping Brainard in check. However, like most of America, the votes of blindly adoring idiots count, too, and the idiots outnumber everyone else. In the longer term, I can see that the infiltration of multi-unit housing will bust-up the nice areas in Carmel just as they do everywhere. The schools will no longer be outstanding. The public transportation scam will probably get implemented, and all the tax increases, loss of home values, and change in demographics will make Carmel nothing more than an extension of the political, social and economic failed Indianapolis. My plan is summed up on one word: "flight". I am already researching where I will be taking my money when I retire, and it will be nowhere near a big city. But right now, I will enjoy what Carmel has to offer, knowing it will not last, and timing my exit so I don't lose money.

John Accetturo said...

There is more to come with Brainard's new bobble head City Council taking office on January 1, 2016. Brainard will use taxpayer money to fund his every want. I guess most Carmel taxpayers think it is ok to Pay $3.1M for property and then sell it for $50K, because they keep re-electing Brainard. Certain people are living in na na land.

Anonymous said...

Bobble Head City Council AND Clerk Treasurer certainly describes the newly elected government in Carmel. Brainard's minions continue to have their palms greased with taxpayers money and while they have certainly won the battle over the years, the war is yet to come. Brainard and developers will not be happy until there is no more land to develop. They will move on, leaving a mountain of misery and debt in their wake.

Traffic through downtown Carmel is a complete mess from 4:30 through can't get there from here. I would refer you to the traffic near the Carmel St Vincent Hospital during that time frame. OR, how about trying to move through town from west to east on Main Street, traffic backs up past Carmel Hills Apartments from Main and Rangeline. Then there is the 126th Street fiasco. Perhaps a nice place to visit but you don't want to live here.

Looks EXACTLY like an AGENDA 21 City and CAR-MEL will end up bankrupt thanks to Brainard's minions. Lots of people up here fiddling while the city burns $$$$$$ on BS $80,000 statutes.

Like 3:06 said, timing your exit is imperative and with Brainards slated candidates taking office, perhaps NOW IS THE TIME TO GET OUT OF DODGE.