|Mary Ann Sullivan (left) with WRTV's Rafael Sanchez (WRTV Photo)|
Milhaus Properties submitted two of the six proposals the IPS board will consider after getting a recommendation from a Real Estate Advisory Committee the board established to review the proposals. Under proposal A, Milhaus is offering to purchase the Coca-Cola property for $15 million for a $121 million investment. It is seeking a $6.5 million public subsidy from the City of Indianapolis for that proposal. Under proposal B, Milhaus is offering to purchase the property for $17.5 million for a $217 million investment. It wants $25 million in public subsidies for its alternative proposal. In addition to Shiel Sexton, Milhaus is partnering on its two proposals with Core Redevelopment, Ratio Architects, SHK, Shrewsberry & Associates, High Alpha (i.e., Scott Dorsey) and Nextech.
The real estate advisory committee making recommendations to the board consists of Maria Quintana (Bose McKinney), Bill Taft (LISC), Hope Tribble (City of Indianapolis), Bud Myers (IHA), Andy Hine (ARC Design), Lisa Jeff (L'Acquis' Ventures), George Tikijian (Tikijian Associates) and Maury Plambeck (Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center). The tangled web of conflicts these individuals have makes it impossible for them to objectively evaluate these competing bids, but hey, who's asking any questions anyway? The committee was originally supposed to recommend a preferred bidder at the board's March 17th meeting but a vote was delayed until next month after board members requested more time to review the competing proposals. It's not clear which bid proposal the advisory committee favors at this time.
According to the IBJ, Abbe Hohmann of Site Strategies, LLC is coordinating the bid process for IPS. In addition, IPS hired a former mayoral staffer in the Ballard administration, David Rosenberg, who seemed to play some role in almost all of the controversial, illegal transactions in which the prior city administration was involved, including Vision Fleet, Blue Indy and the aborted Criminal Justice Center project. He gets a key role in this project after he was hired by the board as IPS' new director of operations despite the fact he lacked any of the qualifications the posted job opening required applicants to possess, a fact of no interest or consequence to our useless local news media. Obviously, IPS has no authority to make any decision over what subsidies the City of Indianapolis plans to offer for the project, but Rosenberg told the IBJ he had discussed the subsidy question with city officials and that he didn't think the request for subsidies "would kill the project." Of course not. The politicians won't bite the people greasing their palms regardless of how much it costs the lowly taxpayers.
Brian Sullivan, incidentally, penned a column in the latest edition of the IBJ promoting the passage of the quarter percent increase in the local income tax to fund a bus rapid transit system that could cost taxpayers upwards of $1 billion. Sullivan's construction firm will no doubt get a piece of that action as well if it comes to fruition. All of the firms which pay off the politicians with large campaign contributions always seem to be on the winning bid teams.