Entries Tagged 'Developers' ↓

Uptown Phase I Plan (10 Years Ago!)

Remember, this was proposed 10 years ago. Many things did NOT happen. Notice they are asking the two parcels be split up into two different payments and that part of the TIF goes toward the purchase (Craig Lloyd’s assumption). He makes a comment that waiting on the EPA could take several years. This is from July 16, 2007 (FF: 13:30).

More concerns about a possible multi-million dollar TIF to developer

As I have mentioned before, with Sioux Falls School District recently passing a $50 million dollar opt-out and the plans for a possible $30 million dollar bond for a new HS this is the WRONG time to be handing out property tax discounts in the form of TIF’s to wealthy, successful developers. Not to mention all the issues with open enrollment causing widespread segregation and almost half of Sioux Falls students on FREE or reduced lunches.

Here are a few more reasons;

• The county is struggling to make ends meet with rising crime while building a new jail.

• Developers, especially one of the largest in the city, having been doing very well for a long time, especially with record breaking building permits, do they really need tax discounts or breaks to be successful? Shouldn’t we be focusing tax incentives on affordable and workforce housing and not retail and luxury lofts?

• The state is in the midst of considering some rule changes when it comes to giving so much power to municipalities concerning TIF’s. Expect some legislation in the upcoming 2018 session. Not only does the county and school district want a bigger say in these matters, so does the state.

• There are numerous conflicts of interest on the council. Besides Councilor Marshall Selberg being an independent contractor for Lloyd Companies, the mayor and some of the others have received campaign donations from Lloyd. Starr, Neitzert and Stehly seem to be the only candidates who have not. You can’t hardly vote on a $43 million dollar project with a TIF incentive with only 3 votes.

There are way to many conflicts of interest here for the council to even consider a TIF incentive. I think approving the project is fine, but when it concerns a tax discount, that should be taken off the table.

Probably another ugly loft building (Pretty Much)

It only took Lloyd companies 13 years to fulfill a promise (13 YEARS!) why wouldn’t they deserve a TIF?

Since the completion of Phillips to the Falls in 2004, significant investment of public and private dollars has occurred in the Uptown area. In recent years the City has made land available, resulting in several million dollars of private investment. This development will be constructed for an estimated cost of $43.5 million and will provide further economic benefits for our community including $400,000 to $500,000 in new property taxes paid each year. The City administration is supporting a Tax Increment Financing District for the project ($4.1 Million proposed).

Besides the fact that the developer drug their feet for 13 years and left the city holding the bag (and the land) the city council has NOT approved this project, and certainly has not approved a TIF. In fact, many on the council had NO CLUE a TIF was being proposed.

As far as I am concerned, since the developer was SUPPOSED to buy and develop this land 13 years ago, as they promised in front of a full council chambers (I was there) any discounts on property tax revenue should have ran out a long, long, long time ago. They were supposed to be paying on this plot of land for the last 13 years, and now they have the nerve to ask for a TIF as the taxpayers held this plot of land for them, for 13 years, at NO COST?

NO WAY!

I said Phillips to the Falls was Munson’s folly, and it continues to not disappoint being a money pit for taxpayers as developers continue to ask for corporate welfare. If the mayor is truly serious about ending subsidies, he can start right now with this project.

More broken promises from 85th and Minnesota

One of the promises to the housing neighbors of the new Walmart on the Southside was that there would be a business office buffer between them and Walmart, as you can see with plans for a new Hardee’s that promise went by the wayside, with all the other promises.

Huether’s Subsidy Rant; A Stinking, Steaming Pile of Hypocrisy

Yesterday the Mayor was on the B-N-B show crying about kids swimming for free and riding the city bus. Today on the show, Bad Neighbor Belfrage decided to take calls on it.

I’ve known for a long time the mayor is a gigantic hypocrite, especially when it comes to his faux Christian beliefs and fake crying and emotions.

Now with one foot out the door, he wants to cut subsidies, mostly to little things most of us don’t even think about, but apparently he loses sleep over.

Where were these cuts seven years ago when you rolled into office? You had a prime opportunity to stop the government waste, reduce or even eliminate the debt Munson created, rebuild the infrastructure from the ground up (this means the back streets in some of the middle income areas) and get ahead of the drug and crime wave. You did not. You pulled out the city’s credit card statement, saw you had a credit line from here to Jupiter and started spending like a stripper addicted to meth.

While the mayor seems concerned about programs that cost a couple grand a piece he doesn’t seem very concerned about all the corporate welfare in the city that hasn’t done the one thing we were promised it would; bring in living wage, high quality jobs. In fact the millions we have thrown at ‘job creation’ in Sioux Falls has been a total failure, except for Sanford bringing in a handful of east coast doctors that build pastel yellow mansions in McKennan Park (which are costing taxpayers in the courtroom to with a possible lawsuit against the city’s building services department).

I agree with him, it is not government’s job to teach kids how to sing in our parks, but his concern wreaks of hypocrisy when you think about;

$500K to a tennis center that provides little to no public access, not even to the parking lot

Millions to the Development Foundation for Want Ad Welfare to corporations

Tens of Millions to the Development Foundation for infrastructure to Flopdation Park for about 12 fork lift driver positions

A proposed $18 million dollar parking ramp to a private developer connected to a construction company whose horrible safety record caused the death of a worker.

A $25 million dollar administration building (to fix a $100K lease problem-that wasn’t a problem) that a majority of the council opposed and 6,500 petition signing citizens.

I could continue on about the probably over $100 million the mayor has WASTED subsidizing corporations and developers over the past seven years, but don’t we have more important things to worry about, like those darn poor kids cheating the system by getting to swim for free.

Give me a break!

Lacey Park gets rezoned, and citizens fear a modern building

The Planning Commission had to hear some very strange opposition testimony this past Thursday about the above proposed building (Item #17). The building will sit on a very large lot on the far southeastern part of the city (77th and Minnesota Ave). While such a design would probably stick out in Downtown, I don’t think the design will look out of place in this part of town. It’s a modern design with a 60-70’s throwback look. But some in the neighborhood were not happy about it. One guy suggested it needed a pitched asphalt roof and some brick on the exterior so it would ‘fit in’ the neighborhood.

Yeah, that wouldn’t make it stick out at all . . .

The planning commission approved it 6-0.

(Item #13) The Lacey Park property got approved for re-zoning (5-1). This time they changed the designation to Live/Work so a future buyer (there are none currently) could have options with the land besides just housing. Some in the Oakview Neighborhood wanted to have conditions put on the re-zoning, but since the land has no potential buyer currently, the Planning Commission said those conditions could be put on after it is sold and a development plan comes forward. I agree with the Planning Commission on this one, it is kind of hard to place conditions on a project that doesn’t exist.

But I disagree with some of the audience testimony.

Some felt that the Browns (who own the property and I think have lived there for 50 years) were being discriminated against because they are struggling to sell the property. I found it ironic that the Browns were happy as pie living there for decades as an agriculture property in the city, but now that they want to sell and move on they are asking for a re-zone, than wonder why there is opposition. I don’t feel sorry for the Browns. Having any investment, like property, requires taking a risk. The Browns risked waiting until they wanted to sell to change the zoning, so now they are getting scrutiny. That’s how the free market system works, winners and losers.

I also questioned people who felt that due to property rights afforded in our US Constitution that the Browns should be able to do what they want with the property including rezoning and building whatever they want to on the property. While I agree to some extent, you are allowed to do most things on your property that are reasonable and legal AS LONG as it doesn’t have a negative impact on your neighbors property due to things like density, traffic congestion and drainage. You have property rights, but it doesn’t give you the right to be a jerk to your neighbors.

We’ll see if the Planning Commission sticks to their commitment to put conditions on the future developer.

Downtown Parking Ramp hammer about to drop?

Rumor has it that Sioux Falls city council has been put on notice; contract negotiations between the city and the parking ramp developer (Legacy) is almost complete, and they are going to ask the council to approve that contract this month, but will they?

Only two councilors so far have been vocal about a NO vote, Stehly and Starr. Stehly takes issue with Legacy’s close relationship with Hultgren Construction and the lack of transparency when it comes to investors (rumor is that Legacy doesn’t have any yet) and Starr takes issue with the corporate welfare aspect, handing over $17 million to a private developer who will provide us very little in return.

Really, anyway you look at it, the deal stinks, really bad. Even on a really windy day when JM’s is in full kill, the stink isn’t as bad as this deal. So what baffles me and many others in the community, why would possibly 6 councilors be on board with this? I don’t know. As one city official said to me today, “Where is the outrage from the public?” or more importantly what do we have to do to get the outrage?

This has to be possibly the WORST deal the city has ever cut since they gave $27 million for about $2 million dollars worth of land to the Railroad, and the trains are still running through downtown. A Boondoggle that didn’t solve the original problem, train traffic downtown.

Maybe that is why this deal will probably be struck, because the citizens really don’t care. They proved this with the RR deal, the indoor pool and the administration building (at least the public took a stab at that one).

I’m hoping the other 6 councilors wake up, or at least 4 of them to make the deal veto proof. I’m not holding my breath.

Great idea for a database I thought already existed

At first glance, I thought, WOW! What a fantastic idea and tool for our community;

A new database, OpenSiouxFalls, will become a central repository for data reflecting the metro area’s workforce, economy, social services, education and quality of life.

Like I said, great idea. But one wonders why the Chamber, the City or the Development Foundation weren’t already using such a database? Maybe they have been, but by the sounds of the development of this site, you wonder how comprehensive it is?

Beta testing for the first phase of the project is planned for this summer.

So has this information been used in the past by organizations? And if so, who was the gatekeeper? Like the affordable housing study by Thrive, one wonders if anyone has been compiling such essential information or just flying by the seat of their pants?

I applaud the efforts to make this public, let’s hope they pull it off smoothly and actually make something public that seems to have been either stored in a safe for a very long time or didn’t exist at all.

I would have done something different with the Copper Lounge space

Surprised they are being so short-sighted on such a great spot downtown. I would have built at least a 3-story structure with underground parking.

Below are some different designs that could be tweaked to fit the area.

I would probably have underground parking strictly for apartment tenants on 2nd and 3rd floors. I would do retail on main level and ALL studio apartments on 2nd and 3rd floors with a rooftop patio and garden for the tenants.

Waterford at All Saints gets it right

The expansion at Waterford is pretty snazzy, and old looking.

I never really understood all the resistance to the expansion of Waterford in the All Saints Neighborhood. Besides the fact that they are providing more assistant living in Sioux Falls that is needed, they were able to put many other services under one roof in stead of carting residents around to other facilities.

One of the biggest arguments against the expansion was the elimination of a grove of trees, on private property, that no one ever frequented. It wasn’t a park. It was a dark empty lot full of trees.

As Waterford promised they saved as many trees as they could and added shrubbery. But the landscaping isn’t what makes this project a gem. It is the historic nature of the new construction. Waterford went all out to match the current facility, and make what is new look old.

I wish all the development downtown took this kind of time and effort into being more historically correct. They have been doing it DT Minneapolis, and it looks fantastic. Giant, pre-poured slabs of pink colored concrete isn’t quartzite, it’s just pink concrete.

We are starting to see the slap together construction creep into downtown that we have seen in all the urban sprawl areas. The apartments on Phillips to the Falls and the condos by Sunshine come to mind.

I think moving forward, the planning department needs to set an example of Waterford and push for more historically correct construction downtown. Now if we can just convince them to get a permit before they take out any load bearing walls.