Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Developer Wants Broad Ripple Business And Resident To Pay It $1 Million For Delaying Its Ability To Collect $5.7 Million Subsidy From Taxpayers

These greedy developers in Indianapolis have absolutely no shame. An attorney for Browning Investments is asking Marion Co. Superior Court Judge Michael Keele to assess Good Earth Natural Foods and Broad Ripple resident Patrick Skowroneck $1 million in damages the developer claims it has sustained because of appeals lawfully taken by the business and resident from a Metropolitan Development Commission zoning variance granted to allow the developer to build a mixed-use project along the canal that Indianapolis taxpayers are being forced to subsidize through a grant to the developer of at least $5.7 million. At least another $2 million in taxpayer dollars are being used to redevelop the Central Canal frontage to further enhance the proposed development, even if the City tells us that it can't afford to hire police or fix our streets unless we agree to pay higher taxes. The IBJ has more on this outrageous move by the developer intended to send a chilling message to any citizen who would dare stand in the way of these greedy developers, who seem to think that government exists solely for their benefit and our taxpayer dollars belong to them:
. . . On Wednesday, representatives of Browning Investments and opponents of the project appeared again before Keele, who admitted that Browning’s request for damages is “unique and different.” 
But David Herzog of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, representing Browning Investments, said the Broad Ripple project has been “stopped dead in its tracks” pending the appeal. Because there’s a chance the variances could be overturned, banks are unwilling to lend for the project and the city of Indianapolis is refusing to issue a bond, Herzog argued.
“We’re out roughly a million bucks,” Herzog said. “Is that fair? No it’s not.”
The $1 million Browning Investments wants Good Earth and Skowronek to pay is an estimate of how much project costs could rise due to delays in construction, which might not start for another year depending upon how long the appeal process takes.
Browning Investments is seeking $5.7 million of a $7.7 million city bond used to help finance the project along the Central Canal. The bonds would be paid off over time from property-tax proceeds in the North Midtown tax-increment financing district. The district, created in January 2013, includes the Browning project, which would be called Canal Pointe . . .
I suppose it's not enough that the developer is getting a multi-million dollar subsidy to make room for a Whole Foods grocery store to compete against Good Earth Natural Foods. It wants to make sure the business is bankrupted before it ever opens its doors. I've been asked numerous times how it is constitutional in this country for government to take money from the people and, in turn, pick winners in business that receive large grants from the government to the detriment of their competitors. I don't believe it's compatible with the original intent of either the U.S. or Indiana Constitution, but good luck in getting a judge in this country nowadays to side with you on that issue. The framers of both documents wouldn't recognize the form of government we have at all levels if they were alive today. We have ceased to be a republic. We're just an old-fashioned oligarch that's not any better than your garden variety banana republic you find elsewhere in this world.


Anonymous said...

Public class action suit against developer, Whole Foods, and all involved getting tax credits...Officially stopped going to WF with 24 other families outraged by all matters.

Anonymous said...

Has Herzog ever in his life heard quaint sayings like,
"Life isn't always fair".
The average citizen who has ever tried to fight connected deep pockets developers and their cadre of attorneys in a zoning battle that might turn their home-their major investment, which they enjoy at the end of a long day of work, into a hell hole, with 24 hr lighting, and dumpsters being emptied at 4 am from the new strip mall in their back yard, understands who is usually on the shit side of "fair"

Anonymous said...

yup - if you don't like something, file a lawsuit - screw standing, screw the chance of winning on the merits - if it's thrown out, just appeal it