Thursday, March 05, 2015

Ballard Administration Justifies Giving Away Old City Hall Building With Millions In Public Financing: It's A Drain On The City

The Indianapolis Star finally got around to discussing the cost behind the Ballard administration's latest crony capitalism plan to redevelop the old City Hall development. At least half of the $55 million plan to redevelop the iconic building and adjacent parking lot into a boutique hotel will come from a mix of public financing. A Ballard administration says the public investment is justified because the property has "become a drain on the city." The Star's John Russell writes sympathetically, of course, of the public give-away:
. . . But the company wants a basketful of government help: a $11.3 million federal loan, $4 million in federal historic tax credits and $9.1 million in city-backed loans over 20 years.
The last part would require the city to pay about $645,000 a year for the first two years from the city's Downtown tax increment financing to cover issuance cost and debt service. After construction is complete, plans call for the company to repay all of the city funds.
The city would continue to own the old City Hall building and lease it for $1 a year to 21c Museum Hotels.
Adam Thies, director of the Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development, said 21c typically seeks a wide assortment of public financing. He said the incentives requested for this project are in the middle of the pack, compared to several other locations.
"I didn't want to be taken for a ride," Thies told the commission.
He said the project is the best option for the old building. He described it as a drain on the city, costing up to $100,000 a year to operate. Repairs would cost the city about $13 million.
Founded in 2006, 21c operates three boutique hotels in Louisville, Cincinnati and Bentonville, Ark. It plans to open two others this year in Durham, N.C. and Lexington, Ky.
One has to wonder what it takes before we reach the tipping point, and the public wakes up to the fact that their current mayor has given away valuable city assets and public incentives that will cost the city billions of dollars over the next several decades during his two terms as mayor. Why this man isn't in a federal prison is beyond belief. Someone needs to school Mr. Thies on who the real drain on the city has been for the past eight years. Even more tragic is the large number of folks who should have been blowing the whistle somewhere along the way who have remained silent, or  who have been complicit or active co-conspirators in this unprecedented theft of public assets.


Anonymous said...

Ballard's a "drain on the city"

Anonymous said...

Greg Ballard- an utterly ignorant and classless total tool used by powerful entrenched crony attorneys- could not give away so much of the City's assets if he were not assisted every step of the way by the Democrats. Democrats are every bit as corrupt as the Republicans... it's just that Democrats hide their larceny and greed far better than their opponents. Majority rule is an illusion used to keep all politicians' hands in the cash till via backroom "deals" and private arrangements.

The old City Hall is really a work of art and should be protected as such- not traded away in a yard sale for cents on the dollar. Would a Rembrandt or Picasso or Da Vinci be treated as such? But we are dealing with hick Ballard who will do anything-ANYTHING- he is told to do as long has his unmerited ego is buttered up.

The final paragraph of this article sums it up quite well... and proves the point for me that it is time for someone like Jocelyn-Tandy Adande to take the reins of this City to move it forward for the people and to rout the corruption of the Democrats and the Republicans.

Flogger said...

Whistle Blowers are not looked on kindly at all here in the USA. You can have your life ruined. Edward Snowden is a prime example and there are probably more. Meanwhile Crapper, (Sorry Clapper) lies to Congress and still has his job.

There would have to be some elements of safety for a Whistle Blower i.e., A Mega-Media Press that would investigate allegations of wrong doing, and a Judicial System that would investigate and prosecute. These elements are lacking in Indianapolis.

When I was in the Army it was important that when ever possible you tried to set-up an Interlocking Defense. One position could support another. Here in Indianapolis we have an Interlocking Defense System of the Mega-Media, Elected and Appointed Officials, the Corporatist Party and Crony-Capitalists. We have witnessed the sorry attacks by the Mega-Media when ever a Politician breaks ranks such as Christine Scales.

Eric Morris said...

Flogger, as a whistleblower, I can say it is at best a waste of time and certainly with the two-tiered justice system in this country at worst much worse. As Ron Paul said: "Truth is treason in the empire of lies."