Monday, March 02, 2015

Pence Signs Off On Political Crony Redevelopment Of GM Stamping Plant Acreage For New White River Music Venue

Gov. Mike Pence proves once again that he's nothing but a tool of the corrupt political cronies with whom he's surrounded his administration. The IBJ has the latest on a Pence-approved plan to have the state acquire 35 acres on the former GM Stamping Plant site for development of a new outdoor music venue that would replace the existing White River State Park-owned, outdoor music venue on the opposite side of the river. Steve Goldsmith's old crony, Mike Wells of REI Investments, is making the scene to flip the property for a huge profit.

According to the IBJ, REI has the 35 acres under contract for purchase for $2.8 million, or about $80,000 an acre. "Wells also expects to earn a profit, which he said could be a 3 percent to 5 percent development fee," the IBJ reported. Wells plans to partner with concert promoter Dave Lucas to develop a 15,000-seat outdoor amphitheater "that would rival Klipsch Music Center in Noblesville." Wells' REI also controls the land that is proposed to be used for the new Marion Co. Criminal Justice Center. One can only imagine who all has been cut in on the profit REI will make when it flips the land to WMB Partners Heartland Justice, LLC for development of the new criminal justice center. The article claims Wells will sell the land to the city at cost, which doesn't hardly pass the smell of marijuana that will be emanating from the new music venue.

State Sen. Jim Merritt, the advocate behind the ROC deal that screwed over Indianapolis taxpayers so badly, reappears to push this deal. "I think the bottom line is, if the terms are correct and they get it done, we're growing to grow the park, which is a very good move," said Sen. Jim Merritt. So the state wants to grow White River Park with an outdoor music venue that will provide a key downtown drug distribution network just like Klipsch Music Center started originally by Lucas provided to the Noblesville community where it sits? Local police in Noblesville are kept busy at the venue writing tickets all summer long for illegal consumption by minors, public intoxication and drug possession. "One of the biggest mistakes we made was letting that go out to Noblesville," Wells said. Glad they're thinking long-term. He told the IBJ that White River Park plans to cut programming of its lawn venue on the opposite side of the river because it "is not a big money-maker for the park." Public parks exist to make money? Translated, it ain't making any money for him and his political crony friends so it needs replaced by another one that will make them millions at the public's expense.

The IBJ story notes that if the state didn't acquire the land, he and his music venue promoting pals would have had to deal with those pesky zoning regulations and the expected opposition from the surrounding neighborhood, which will be adversely affected by the crowded traffic caused by concert-goers. "As a state entity, it's not subject to local zoning, said Rep. Justin Moed, D-Indianapolis, whose district covers the GM site and most of the downtown," the IBJ reports. "Moed, who by virtue of his position is a non-voting member of the park commission, said he's expressed his hope that the state will conduct a transparent planning process for the GM site." Yeah, right. That's why he signed on as a co-sponsor of the Indy Eleven soccer stadium legislation that includes language that creates a new state-like TIF to capture state revenues generated from within this region for use by these self-serving political insiders. His constituents in the near westside neighborhood will not only get inmates from the new county jail released into their neighborhood, they will get all of the negatives associated with abutting an outdoor concert venue. It didn't take him long to sell out his constituents to help line the pockets of the downtown mafia.


Flogger said...

You know maybe I missed it but the Patron Saint against Big Government Spending, Grover Norquist to my knowledge has never weighed in on these kinds of deals. I have not heard Grover comment on Taxes to build stadiums, and the direct and indirect subsidies by Government to Private Interests. Come to think of it I do not recollect CPAC weighing on the above deals either.

By the way, I thought Parks were supposed to be Green Space, you know trees, grass, wild flowers, little critters, etc. I must have missed where Parks can be Concrete. Maybe they will paint the Stadiums Green, and have some flowers painted on them.

Has this Site been scrubbed clean of Pollution??? Will the cleaning bill be a part on the Tax Payers Tab??

You have to wonder what the neighborhoods in that area think of this?? Music blasting away and all the traffic that a concert brings.

Gary R. Welsh said...

The corporate sponsors of CPAC include too many folks who benefit from the crony capitalism surrounding the professional sports industry so, no, you won't hear them discussing those kinds of issues at CPAC or ALEC for that matter, both of which I attended before most people even heard who they were.

Anonymous said...

Hey Gary. Have you ever supported spending taxes on economic development?

Btownmoon said...

Anon 5:28

How is this economic development? The State pays a premium for the land, leases it to a private entity that will use that State subsidy to compete with (and potentially put out of business) a private venue (Klipsch) in a neighboring county.