Monday, September 18, 2006

Revisionist History Commences On Illegally Constructed Bar

I can't say that I'm surprised, but if you read Will Higgins' story today in the Star concerning a request by the developers of the bar/private club in the Julia Carson Government Center to further delay the hearing on the appeal of the MDC's earlier approval of the rezoning/variance petitions, you will discover how the project's history is already being revised to avoid legal liability. Take a look at this passage in Higgins' story:

The Department of Metropolitan Development issued the project a building permit, an "early conditional permit," June 16, but the developers neglected to pick up the document at the permitting office.

That led to a stop-work order on June 19. Stop-work orders aren't uncommon -- the Department of Metropolitan Development has issued nearly 500 this year. They come with an "administrative fee," or fine. The investors paid theirs, $125, in August and went ahead and built their restaurant.

But the permit's conditionality means that if the Metropolitan Development Commission does not grant the necessary variance, they must undo their work.

So if you are to believe this version of events, none of the construction work at the site began until the developers had obtained a conditional permit on June 16, but the developers failed to pick up the document, and that's why the stop work order was issued. In other words, forget what people saw with their own eyes, and forget that an anonymous tip led DMD workers to visit the site, issue a stop work order and cite the developers for numerous building and zoning code violations.

What's taking place is that stories are being made up out of whole cloth to cover up for the various laws which were broken to construct this bar/private club for a group of political insiders. The developers are now saying they want to wait until the MDC's November meeting to have their case heard. The delay is in no way intended to benefit the people who oppose this plan. It is simply intended to give the developers and the involved government officials time to get their stories straight, clean up the files, and otherwise engage in revisionist history so that it will appear that what really happened never happened at all. And thanks to Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi sitting on his hands for the last 8 weeks, they'll probably get by with it.

It also now appears that Tim Ochs, the Ice Miller attorney who was supposed to be representing Center Township in the rezoning/variance petitions is now representing the bar's owners, including Ice Miller partner Lacy Johnson. Higgins notes that the investors have an agreement to acquire a liquor permit from West End, Inc. , the approval of which is scheduled to take place at an October 16 hearing. As Shirley Kirby of the ATC tells Higgins, the Commission nearly always approves such transfers, "unless there's extenuating circumstances, like if there's a lot of remonstrators. Then they may continue it until they can get things worked out." Higgins then writes:

That's pretty much what the investors have in mind in their plans to ask for a time-out. The move follows a meeting Thursday between their attorney, Tim Ochs, and members of the Mapleton-Fall Creek Neighborhood Association.

The restaurant and bar, called 300 East, would be located on the neighborhood's southern end. Some neighbors have expressed concern over having a bar in their midst, or anywhere in a government building. But Thursday's meeting was "more fact-finding than emotional, definitely not hostile," said Dave Leonards, a longtime Mapleton-Fall Creek resident and past president of the association.

At the urging of the neighbors, Ochs said he'd seek a continuance from the Metropolitan Development Commission, which is scheduled to rule on a necessary zoning variance for the project at its Oct. 4 meeting. "They said they wanted more time to canvass the neighborhood, and we said fine," Ochs said.

Although Higgins' story speculates that the MDC will likely hear the case at its November 1 meeting, don't count on it. The plan is to push the decision until after the November election, you know, the one in which both Center Township Trustee Carl Drummer and Rep. Julia Carson are running.

I hate to tell you folks, but the fix is in. The lack of any public prosecutor willing to hold these arrogant public officials and political insiders who are willing to do anything they please to get what they want accountable, the laws be damned and to hell with the people, means this is a done deal. Remember, there are two sets of laws in Indianapolis. There are the written laws which apply to you and me. And then there's the unwritten "at the pleasure of the elected official" laws which apply to his/her friends and political supporters. If you don't believe me, pay a visit to the Environmental Court down on Virginia Avenue this afternoon and take a gander at who the city is hauling into court and threatening with fines and all other sorts of legal action for relatively minor city code violations. Then compare what you see there to the special treatment Mays, Johnson, et al. have received from the city. If you weren't cynical before, you will be after witnessing what takes place there.


Queen916 said...

History update:

I visited the office of the Department of Metropolitan Devlopment and requested copies of all documents pertaining to the 300 Fall Creek project. An empoyee made copies and I paid for them.

I was not given a copy of any permits on file. I called the department later and aked why they had not been fined. I was told that they were fined $125.00.

I have intentionally left the dates out so that I can track the dates these documents are being produced.

If a coverup is in the making, they have some explaining to do.

Anonymous said...

That same environmental court was to have heard a case last Friday regarding The Savoy, a mostly-black club on the northside in a hospital district, across from St. Vincent's.

Live music is not permitted in a hospital district. Oops. Savoy has been doing it for over a year. And causing extreme noise and litter/parking problems for neighbors.

And to the neighbors who dared to balk--Amos Brown called them racist. He wasn't alone.

The City's DMD has pushed this latest violation of The Savoy into court. It took long enough. And it was done only after the discrict councillor basically forced them to do it.

One of the main investors? Noneother than Bill Mays. The hearing officer who allowed the blatant violation to continue? Noneother than DMD's own Judy Conley.

It just doesn't end. Evidently race, and money (Mays's) mean you can blatantly ignore rules and procedures. In Center Township and in Washington Township.

The case was continued at the last minute for a month, with no courtesy notice to remonstrators and neighbors. They showed up ready for the case to be heard.

Gotta continue to operate illegally untl after Circle CCity Classic, after all...

Queen916 said...


The permit manger for the city is Kirk Havlin, 604 North Sherman Drive, 327-5020.

I called DMD about the missing permits in the file. They did not have the copies in the filed the day that I was there.

These two offices are in seperate locations, why are they?. A lot of mistakes can be easily made.

Wilson46201 said...

...will Eric Dickerson pledge, if elected to Congress, to get Federal legislation passed to prohibit alcohol sales in any and all government buildings in the USA? A sorta-18th Amendment?

With the GOP tanking on Iraq and Katrina, what else is a Republican to campaign on? At least he has the decency not to use the usual GOP gay-baiting...

Queen916 said...

Wilson46201-Eric Dickerson is not responsible for the disaster!

No signed lease for the space in a government building!

Ghetto Mafia Queen has not paid her dues!

Democrats that have not paid DCCC Dues
Staff Reporter
Democrats that have not paid DCCC Dues House Democrats are required to pay between $100,000 and $600,000 in quarterly dues to the DCCC, depending on leadership positions and committee assignments. Members in the DCCC’s Frontline program — those facing tough reelection contests — are exempted from the requirement.

All but 16 House Democrats have contributed dues to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) this cycle, swelling the committee’s coffers with $18.4 million since early 2005, according to the most recent synopsis distributed to House Democrats.

Among the 16 Democrats who had yet to make a contribution, despite leaders’ repeated urging and occasional threats, are several members who have been at odds with leaders.

The other lawmakers not making dues payments are Reps. Jim McDermott (Wash.), Jim Davis (Fla.), Julia Carson (Ind.), Darlene Hooley (Ore.), Brad Miller (N.C.), Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas), Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) and Gene Taylor (Miss.) and Del. Eni Faleomavaega (American Samoa).

Anonymous said...

Wilson - what does THAT have to do with the price of tea in China? NOTHING

Tanking on Katrina? Funny. Mississippi and Alabama are rebuilding nicely. Just the CORRUPT DEMOCRATS of NEW ORLEANS are the ones complaining. Don't worry your idiot mayor friend Ray Nagin will get his dark "Chocolate City" soon enough.

Anonymous said...

OK, Kids, back to the main topic at hand:

Queen: the city moved its entire permit section to that formerly vacant building a few years ago, for one-stop shopping for permit-holders. Free parking. No difficult in/out of the C/C building. It was a good move. The warehouse was vacant, and attracted vagrants...the neighbors love it now. Township administrators work closely with the staff on Sherman. It is a relatively efficient operation.

Frankly, you could argue, successfully I think, that moving the entire permit operation there, put it further away from politics, figuratively and literally. Only bureaucrats work under that roof now. They have to go hunting for a politician. They also needed mroe room, and the CC building is cramped.

I use the services of that department. It is much, much easier now. More convenient, too.

Also, Queen--don't take Wilson's bait. It's like watching two kids fight over the same thing daily. Tiring. No new ground there.

And, AI...the revisionism has only begun.

Now, you do realize, don't you, that you're racist for bringing all this up?

Anonymous said...

How did the bar lose 1100 square feet of space ?

In todays column it is reported as "Their investment group has spent about $500,000 turning 900 vacant square feet on the government center's west side into a swanky space (the bar is made of granite)."

In earlier reports it was listed as 2000 square feet ?

Where did the other 1100 square feet go ?

Anonymous said...

not to mention 900 square feet is just slightly larger than a 1 BR apartment. Get more than 10 people in there doing shakes and it'll be quite cramped.

Anonymous said...

Wilson46201 said...
...will Eric Dickerson pledge, if elected to Congress, to get Federal legislation passed to prohibit alcohol sales in any and all government buildings in the USA? A sorta-18th Amendment?

Eric agrees with Carson - the bar is a bad idea. He would not want one in a government building where his new congressional office will be.


Wilson46201 said...

"Peashakes" is the modern code word that racists use to identify themselves. Wearing a white hood in public is sooo 1920s ...

Such codewords guarantee the GOP won't get more than 10% of the vote in the Black community - if that.

Anonymous said...

Look, BACK TO THE TOPIC. You can be sure the dates are not going to line up. Time for an investigation on all the corruption going on here.

Gary R. Welsh said...

The 900 square-feet amount isn't believable. It couldn't include a kitchen or the outdoor seating, let along the main serving area. But since no lease was actually executed, who's to say how much space they leased.

Anonymous said...

Which is exactly why a lease should've been executed. All disputes like S.F. and term, rental payment commencement, etc., utility charges, insurance, are documented in any good basic lease. The document rules in any disputes, or, if there's still a dispute, it's litigated.

Remember, the venerable Ice Miller was involved in this zoning application. They didn't see the need to have a lease? Kinda like your dentist forgetting to wash his hands. Pretty basic stuff.
(Memo to self: don't use IMDR for anything)

I hesitate to answer this, because it's absolutely ridiculous, but, the term "peashake" is not racist. I use it and I'm not racist. It describes a particular method of gambling that, unfortunately, still exists in some inner-city gambling houses.

Ask Juice. He knows.

So, are we supposed to beleive, if the racism argument is correct, that any references to practices commonly ascribed to a particular gender, race, ethnicty, etc., are themselves racist?

Oh, my...that opens up a whole crapload of possibilities.

Instead of obfuscation, how about dealing with the facts here? Peashake is a sidebar, at best.

Another excellent post, AI. Heads-up.

Anonymous said...

900 s.f. would amount to almost $556 per s.f. of tenant work.
Uh, folks...that surpasses some of Steve Hilbert's palace demands.

Under any normal business computation, you'd expect the tenant to do $150-200 per s.f. in sales.

If the space is 2000 s.f., as earlier reported (a naked-eye view seems to confirm that), that's $300K a year in gross sales. Not bad.

Here's a Real Estate 101 hint, Mr. Landlord: Look back at the childcare center lease. Its Exhibits should've included some or all of the 300 East space. Measure it from there.

Or get out a tape measure and figure it your damned self. Shouldn't be that difficult.

Procedure, folks, not peashakes.
It's all about the process. Always was, always will be.

Procedure, and arrogance.

Wilson46201 said...

I haven't toured this restaurant but it seems likely that the 900sq/ft is the main dining area. The total facility is probably 2000sq/ft including kitchen, storage, restrooms, etc ...

Nefariousness always is found just before an election. The facts come out later...

Queen916 said...

Info Update:

According to the attorney and the designer at the neighborhood meeting, bar restaurant are 1460 sq ft.was renovated with no kitchen. Haven't seen the lease.
market price per sq ft $8 - $12

Don't worry about the "race card" being played. They did'nt get permission from the black community to use it!

Anonymous said...

8-12 dollars a square foot is a broad range. This, and speculation about size of the premises, shouldn't even be an issue. A lease document details those things.

And who determined "market" ? Was a market survey done among commercial Realtors? I believe one of the larger commercial real estate firms already lists the office space in that building for lease. That would be a good starting point for market rates.

As for the race card...Jocelyn, you should know this...whether permission was granted or not, it's been used. And, going forward, you either agree with the power brokers or you are racist. That's their definition. Ask Amos, et al. (When RiShawn Biddle dared to rattle some cages earlier this year, he was immediately mocked) Evidently only a few chosen power brokers get to decide what's best for the black community. Amazing.

And they are ruthless about applying retribution against those who disagree with them. Maybe not all these bar partners, but the officeholders and lobbyists among them are ruthless.

That's one of the reasons that blog posts on this subject, here, with Abdul, TDW, RiShawn or anywhere, get flooded. Look at this one--posted five hours and already the most-popular post on the blog. By far.

People are very interested in this issue. The list of people crapped on by these power brokers, is long and large.

Everything's coming home to roost.

Sir Hailstone said...

"This is all I need, the bar at 300 East, pea shakes, my IFD take home car, and my remote control" - Monroe Gray, Jr.

[with apologies to Steve Martin]

Wilson46201 said...

It's interesting to note the folk hollering loudest about this restaurant kerfuffle are precisely those that can't and haven't ever gotten elected by the voters to anything. Self-chosen leaders with no following out in the community ... pitiful!

Is "No Park Left Behind" their winning issue this election cycle? Stay tuned!

Anonymous said...

Al Oak, aka token white guy, owns an engineering/architecture firm. He should know all about permitting.

He also knows the players because he is a player. His firm did the center township offices. His firm does work at the airport. Its almost like a kickback.

I wonder if he'll be welcomed at 300 East?

Queen916 said...

Anonymous1:30 These black power brokers have setback race relations in the city with this under-the-table-deal, and now they want to play the "race card" in an attempt to upset the black community.

The PR firm was hired to sell this rotten deal to the residents after they got caught.

There will be no race riot if they don't have their way.

I am not concerned about their treachery. I am very familiar with their tactics.

As for Wilson Allen 46201 - Stealing votes and stuffing ballots for Julia Carson is your primary area of expertise to help her win.

Don't get caught falsifying voter affidavits and voting illegal absentee ballots for her this election! You can't rig the voting machines anymore in certain precincts because they are computers.

I am curious to see how many people are willing to be paid to vote absentee illegally this election.

Queen916 said...

Wilson46201-You may be Julia Carson's puppet but that does not give you the authority to speak for black voters in this community.

Too many sweetheart deals amongst this group. They are referred to as The Ghetto Mafia and Julia is their Queen

She is not queen of the black communtiy.

USA Gymnastics Blogs said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wilson46201 said...

Julia Carson is no queen, merely an oft-elected representative of the people in our democratic republic since 1972. Monarchist titles may be assumed at will but carry negligible weight in the USA ...

Anonymous said...

Wilson46201-Voter fraud can and will help any candidate win an election as long as they are not caught!

Anonymous said...

You know, when this all began I was getting ALL the information about 300 East entirely from this blog. I was very angry about how it came about.

But then I saw a news story on TV where they interviewed the head of the local neighborhood association, who said the neighborhood WANTED the resturant and bar there.

And, I discovered later that the "park" that was removed, but a long-abandoned playground for an old nursery. Nothing was actually lost to the public in the neighborhood.

Then I discovered that the bar is a beautifully done, and sophisticated addition to the building.

Then I read that there are LOTS of public buildings were alcohol is sold.

And, when I read posts on this blog from people like "Queen916", whomever she/he/it is, it's apparent that Wilson46201 is right when he says: "It's interesting to note the folk hollering loudest about this restaurant kerfuffle are precisely those that can't and haven't ever gotten elected by the voters to anything. Self-chosen leaders with no following out in the community ... pitiful!

Is "No Park Left Behind" their winning issue this election cycle? Stay tuned!"

And Wilson46201 was right, again, when he pointed out that: "Wilson46201 said...
Julia Carson is no queen, merely an oft-elected representative of the people in our democratic republic since 1972. Monarchist titles may be assumed at will but carry negligible weight in the USA ..."

Those who, like Queen916", are so angry at other blacks who may have beat them in some long gone election battle, should get their emotions in check, or stay away from this thread. They add nothing to it, and their hate-filled rantings lead people to drop off this string.

It's like, "Who cares!?" about who did what. The only people upset are the folks who have an axe to grind with anyone who's black, or black and in power.

AI clearly has and continues to make valid points, but with really important issues to worry about, it'd be much better if everyone who is so energized about this real estate deal would instead, funnel their energies and passions into trying to resolve some of the really important issues confronting us.

Anonymous said...

1:29 has a point. The owners of this bar know it, and they're asking for a continuance because the longer this mess stirs, the more chance they have of people forgetting.

The main problem here is process, and arrogance. No more, no less.

The Wilson-Queen kerfuffle is just a sideshow. Long-standing feud that won't go away regardless what happens to this bar. It was refueled in this case, because the man running against Julia, Eric Dickerson, pulled a bone-headed move and tried to make PR points off the mess.

It isn't a federal case, and Wilson has rightfully admonished ED for it. That riled Queen, and so it goes...

Dial this back down to a strong misuse of the system, a bar owner exercising racism in plain view, and abuse of power.

It's really pretty disgusting, and has nothing to do with liquor in govt. building. Or a park being moved, altho, that's been oft-cited.

Don't let the sideshows distract you from the real issues here.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Anon 1:29, the so-called head of the neighborhood association to whom you refer is a former lobbyist and insurance salesman. I think people know he had a different agenda than the people of the neighborhood he claimed to speak on behalf of. I suspect you'll find that many people in that neighborhood were surprised to hear him make those comments and wondered who he was.

Queen916 said...

Anonymous 1:29 a.m. -

If you don't live in the Mapleton Fall Creek Neighborhood, you really don't have a vote on the matter. This is a residential neighborhood.

The public buildings mentioned by the bar supporters are located in downtown commercial areas, not residential neighborhoods.

The playground being removed for whatever reason clearly indicates the true interests of the elected Trustee and the investors. There are small children in the surrounding area that would have had a safe place to play. Instead the trustee and his investors preferred an adult playground be constructed.

We don't need a bunch of drunks driving through the neighborhood on a daily basis. You are incorrect the neighborhood association does not support alcohol in the building.

It is clear that several anonymous bloggers do not stand for anything and will support people who acquire political power, property and money by any means necessary, with no regard for other people or the law. The law was not been followed in this transaction, plain and simple. The Ghetto Mafia will not prevail.

Neither Wilson Allen nor you live in this neighborhood; you don't own property or have a vote. I have a vote.

At the meeting on Thursday, the area residents asked for the delay and a continuance for the variance, October 4th.

Our elected councilor, Mr. Abdullah has already notified the liquor board of his intentions to remonstrate against the liquor permit.

To date, residents have not received copies of anything and were not contacted prior to a bar being constructed in their neighborhood. This process began in May of this year.

Members will be voting on the whole issue next month after they have received more information.

We are working on major issues; saving our youth by keeping illegal drugs out of the neighborhood, limit the number of liquor permits issued for area, increasing the property values, getting rid of blight, which will help deter crime...

The crimes committed in neighborhoods seem to be connected to illegal drug deals gone bad in the parking lots, DUIs causing property damage, and noise. The Savoy Bar/Restaurant on 86th Street, Club Mecca in Eagledale, The Vault in downtown were considered upscale, black owned, now closed. Illegally operating, drug dealing on the parking lots, fights, shootings, murdered bodies in cars, auto thefts, and auto break-ins
while security guards are on duty.

Upscale bar, lowdown standards! They got caught on this one! Put the bar in your neighborhood.

Queen916 said...

Mr. Leonard is a former president, not current, for the Neighborhood association. I don't know why Will Higgins interviewed him for the article.

The majority of residents at the meeting were African Americans and so is the current president.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I don't think that's who anon was referring to Queen. It was the Fox 59 News interview anon was referencing.

Anonymous said...

Most of the governmental bodies before whom a neighborhood association leader testifies, ask the leader these questions:

Is this position (for or against) a result of a formal vote of your board? In an open meeting? Did you invite the petitioner and negotiate with him?

Will Higgins and the editors have demonstrated to me, they're lazy. His stories have been tardy and incomplete, and he inverviews people who need more questiones asked of them.