Thursday, October 12, 2006

Neighbors Give Mays An Earful About 300 East

The Mapleton-Fall Creek neighborhood association met tonight to discuss the proposed "private club/bar" known as 300 East in the Julia Carson Government Center, and many of those who attended tonight's meeting don't want it according to WISH-TV's Daniel Miller. Bill Mays, one of the principal investors in the bar, told Miller he couldn't understand why the neighbors wouldn't want to enhance their neighborhood with his bar, and that he would have never invested his money in it had he known it would trigger so much opposition. A report by WTHR-TV's David McAnally echoed Miller's reporting.

Mays wasn't counting on the neighbors doing their homework. They had already learned plenty about the Savoy night club he illegally constructed and opened up on 86th Street across the street from St. Vincent Hospital and next door to a nursing home after receiving a stop work order from the City citing it for numerous building code violations. The Metropolitan Development Commission voted unanimously to turn down his request after the fact to get the Savoy's property rezoned to permit its operation. Neighbors there proved the Savoy's owners had submitted forged signatures of neighboring businesses they claimed supported the Savoy's operation and documented numerous police runs to the club during its short 2-year life.

Mays and his fellow investors have tried to pull off the same feat at 300 East. Mays and his fellow investors took possession of the space in the Julia Carson Government Center with the approval of Center Township Trustee Carl Drummer without following Indiana law governing the lease of publicly-owned property. The investors invested over a half-million dollars to build out the bar without obtaining the proper building permits or zoning approval. The City issued a stop work order and cited the establishment for numerous building code violations. A neighboring children's playground, Polin Park, was leveled to make room for a parking lot for the bar's employees. The investors have since scuttled the plans for the parking lot.

According to Miller's report, the neighborhood association took no formal vote on the matter at tonight's meeting; instead, it will be taken up for consideration at its November meeting. Miller noted that some of the neighbors would be willing to support 300 East if it were operated as a family restaurant. I don't think that's what Mays and his investors had in mind for 300 East. Mays, accordin to McAnally announced that hearings on the alcohol permit and the zoning will be continued into November, allowing the neighborhood association more time to consider the proposed bar.

UPDATE: The Star's Will Higgins weighs in with another one-sided story on behalf of the bar's investors, proving it is possible to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse. He fans the flames of the bar owner's view that it's just a bunch of outsiders and politicians trying to stop the bar in the Julia Carson Government Center. Nowhere in the article does he discuss the building and zoning violations, the city's stop work order, the failure to enter into a lease as required by state law because it involves government property, or the fact that same of the same investors owned the troubled Savoy dance club which just got shut down after being voted down by the MDC last week. A side bar to his story has photos and quotes from only neighbors who support the bar. His story really highlights the disconnect between the Star's editorial staff and its news reporters. RiShawn Biddle has highlighted most of these issues in Star editorials and postings at Expresso. It's almost as if Higgins resents Biddle meddling in his stories, and so he goes out of his way not to mention any of the issues Biddle has raised. I just don't understand why an editor would allow a reporter to continually cover a story he has fumbled so badly from its very inception.


indyernie said...

They left with thier tails between thier legs...the little devils.
Crying "I don't know why everyones against this up scale BAR"...look for something else to happen under the table...they had a pow wow in the parking lot.

Wilson46201 said...

That neighborhood meeting was packed with "outsiders" - the desperate Marion County GOP has actually tried to make this restaurant an issue in the Sheriffs and Congressional races! It made no sense for voting last night unless it could be limited solely to bona fide neighborhood residents. "Outside agitators" might have voted, thus skewing results. When the passions of politics have cooled after Nov.7th, a rational neighborhood vote can then be taken to approve the restaurant.

Anonymous said...

I am sure if for some strange reason the majority was for the bar they would not have had a problem taking a vote regardless who was there.

Since it was obvious that a vote would go against them they delayed the vote.

Anonymous said...

Now if they had VOTER ID in place at the meeting they could have easily seen who was a resident and who was not at the time of the vote - no outside agitator involvement at all.


Anonymous said...

I don't think any of the bar owners or representatives live in the area.

indyernie said...

Carson won't take a stand on the bar issue...but today, Carl Drummer drove Carson to Channel 13 for a tapping. It will be shown Sun at around 7 am. If Carson was apposed to the bar, she could have addressed the issue while riding to the TV station. She is not apposed and if she states so, it will cost her votes. She knows what is going on. If there was ever an insider, its her.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious as to why Wilson feels the meeting was packed with "outsiders" instead of neighborhood residents. Is there real data to back that up?

Did I notice a new sign on the building for 300 East on the West side (the bar side)? They clearly look ready to open for business if they aren't already.

Anonymous said...

By the way, since their petition is for a family restaurant, they would not be able to have a bar/tavern even if the MDC approves their petition.

They would have to amend their petition and send new notice in order to be considered for a bar/tavern.

indyernie said...

These crooks will try anything.