Entries Tagged 'Developers' ↓

Harrisburg School District proposing a $40 Million bond with NO tax increases

I know, you must be scratching your head a little, as am I. How can the Harrisburg school district propose a $40 million dollar bond without a tax increase? Oh, I don’t know, it’s that little thing called GROWTH!

Rasmussen said there are enough new homes and businesses in the district to support the proposed $40 million dollar bond vote without increasing taxes.

This was my argument about the SFSD bond, with record breaking building permits for over 6 years and the massive growth in Sioux Falls, why would we have to increase property taxes for our bond? Or better yet just build the schools out of the capital outlay without bonding and paying a $100 million in interest. How can a small community like Harrisburg figure out this simple math problem and NOT Sioux Falls? Sometimes arrogance gets in the way of prudence.

I think it would be safe to assume that the Harrisburg bond will pass the 60% threshold easily, especially with NO tax increases. It will just be interesting to see if they hit 85%. Yeah right.

Councilor Neitzert says people had ‘Moronic’ arguments against parking ramp

The the Sioux Falls City council got a presentation (FF: 33:0o) update on the Village on the River project at the informational meeting.

When talking about the costs associated with the parking ramp portion of the project, the city engineers(?) admitted that they had to put in a special foundation to support the ramp and hotel.

As we have argued from the beginning the ramp is costing more, not because of the number of spaces or size of spaces but because we would be footing the bill for the special foundation for the hotel.

Councilor Neitzert claimed that some people (I assume other councilors, blogs and the media) had ‘moronic’ & ‘dishonest’ arguments about cost per space and that it is costing more because of the special foundation.

Costs DOC: Site-costs

If there was anything ‘moronic’ about our arguments, it would be that Greg and the other councilors who voted for this boondoggle fiasco of a public private partnership didn’t listen to us when we told them the foundation was going to cost more due to the height and size of the hotel, not the parking ramp.

So who are the morons? Certainly not the councilors who voted against this project. They knew all along why it was going to cost so much, because the developer took us to the cleaners.

Also, councilor Brekke asks why the developer for hotel portion doesn’t have a performance bond. Funny, the administration didn’t have an answer.

Can you still sue if your only defense is ignorance?

Of course we saw this coming a mile away, more lawsuits over the big yellow ego, uh, I mean, house in McKennan Park;

The former owners of a McKennan Park house who were forced to demolish their newly constructed home this summer are suing the city’s Board of Historic Preservation and the companies who designed and built their home for a slew of damages and misrepresentations.

If you read the article you will find a lot of ‘interesting’ claims.

First off they want to sue the Historic Board, even though the drawings/plans they showed the board are not the same as what they decided to build. The same goes for suing the ‘original’ architect, they also did not use his original plans to build the house. As for suing the city, they may have a suit since they didn’t make sure the house was up to code. Also the neighbor, the McDowells warned them in a letter when they started building that it wasn’t up to code and they ignored them. I have a feeling if this even makes it to court with a jury trial they may be laughed out of court. But what do I know, I’m not an attorney.

Brown Family sells controversial property

It seems the Brown family finally sold their property in the NE part of Sioux Falls and they are having a big rummage sale. I don’t know the details of the land sale, but am happy that this chapter is behind them. Hopefully it can be developed to the benefit of all the neighbors.

UPDATE: Sioux Falls City Council to Dissolve TWO TIF’s on Tuesday

UPDATE: It seems they are moving forward with a ‘Market Rate’ apartment project and this is why the TIF is being dissolved. Funny how a TIF is now not needed since they are going to build apartments that they can charge whatever for rent. Further proof all TIFs are is developer welfare.

Many people have been asking about a supposed project North of Sunshine Grocery Downtown that received a TIF and why it hasn’t proceeded.

It seems that TenHaken administration is taking action by asking through resolution to have the council dissolve that TIF and the TIF that COSTCO never accepted. As I understand it, Norm Drake from Legacy is somehow involved with the Downtown TIF (part of it is where the current temporary dog park is located) and COSTCO opposed their TIF from the beginning because they don’t like how TIFs take from public education funding.

As I have been saying about the $190 million dollar bond issue, why are we borrowing so much on the backs of homeowners while wealthy developers are getting tax rebates? Just another reason why the Bond issue AND TIFs are flawed.

Council Agenda Items #46-47

Details Below;

UPDATE: Without a Narcissistic, Sadistic, Egomaniac Bully as Mayor, the council is free to get things done

The City Council did their due diligence last night and saved a historic neighborhood from another commercial development that are eating up our core.

A developer thought they were going to play the game of buying crappy houses, let them go to sh*t and than have an excuse to tear them down. The council said, ‘Not so Fast.’

Watch George Hamilton school the council on what exactly the developer was up to.

UPDATE: So in this KDLT story, the developer states the obvious;

Developer Sam Assam will need to get a cost-estimate for repairing the homes and see if that outweighs the cost of demolishing them, then bring his case before the Board of Preservation again.

Well DUH it is cheaper to bulldoze a house. I think we have established that McFly. But what I can GUARANTEE and Hamilton is right, it way more cheaper to refab these houses if their structures and foundations are solid than it would be to tear them down completely and build a whole new structure. At the informational meeting on Tuesday, the Affordable Housing manager said a starter home costs about $220 now in Sioux Falls.

But the bigger question is not whether they can be demolished or not. Why are we allowing commercial development to creep into a neighborhood. I don’t even care if it is a Historic neighborhood. We should keep our affordable housing neighborhoods.

Is Hultgren still involved w/new building at former Copper Lounge site?

Hultgren may still be profiting from something he helped destroy (May 10, 2018 City Council Meeting);

Item #13, Transfer of 2018 Retail Liquor License, including Sunday sales and video lottery terminals, from Pave LLC, Pave, 130 South Phillips Avenue, to Pave LLC, Pave, 130 South Phillips Ave and Level 2 of 136 South Phillips Ave.

This transfer of the Liquor license is for the rooftop patio for Pave. That patio is above the new Lewis Drug Downtown, the former Copper Lounge site. While there is nothing nefarious about extending a license for a rooftop patio, Pave’s ownership is questionable. Originally Hultgren was a substantial owner/stakeholder in Pave. Is he still? And if so, does our city council and licensing department know?

It seems Hultgren may still have his hands in the cookie jar. As I told the council last night, this fiasco will continue to replay, over, and over again in the media.

Surplus property denied due to tie vote by city council

The big drama last night at the city council meeting (Item#46) was a debate on whether or not the city could determine a patch of land behind the Huey building surplus property.

Since the mayor was not present he could not break the tie, so if it is a tie without him present it fails. I agreed with 4 of them that it is surplus and they should sell it. They can determine later IMO how it can be used. The plot of land is 33 x 110 Feet directly behind the Huey, the alley would still be available.

But there was some interesting things that happened. First off, no one mentioned ‘air rights’. The Huey developers could just build 12 feet above the property if the city didn’t want to sell to them.

Another unusual twist in the night was private lawyers on both sides of the debate. After they left and went outside to debate some more, cameraman Bruce reminded them it was because of us public input supporters they are now able to come to 1st readings and testify.

Some councilors were also visibly annoyed that our own planning director and assistant city attorney was trying to convince the council to vote for it as surplus. No surprise to me, I say it all the time, developers run the city and often get city directors to do their bidding. Makes you wonder just how many hours city employees spent over the past year helping to develop the Black Iron private development?

The rumor circulating is this item may come back once the mayor can come and break a tie. I still think it is surplus, but what do I know, I’m not a lawyer.

Update: We should be giving $0 to Legacy

Lamont’s reassurance today didn’t do much for me to quell the public’s frustration over this project;

Lamont mentioned media reports tying the hotel-parking ramp project to others involving Legacy Developments, including the collapsed former Copper Lounge building and stressed that they are separate from Village on the River.

“They’re a small partner in this project and have no control,” Lamont said. “They can’t make any decisions on this project.”

He estimated Legacy’s ownership in the limited liability company at less than 10 percent. Legacy has no involved in the construction and is not doing the leasing.

While it’s great that Legacy may not be making the decisions, it still doesn’t change the fact that Legacy will get some kind of commission from this project and ultimately paid for by the taxpayers. You don’t negotiate a $50 million dollar project RFP and not get paid. Legacy should have ZERO ownership, should get ZERO commission and the investors should be made public.

At the end of the press conference today councilor Stehly voiced concern that Legacy is still involved and should not be, she also questioned the privacy of the investors. We have no idea what other clowns are involved.

Todd Epp from KELO AM set Lamont straight after he said this (Read Epp’s take on this HERE);

Lamont mentioned media reports tying the hotel-parking ramp project to others involving Legacy Developments, including the collapsed former Copper Lounge building and stressed that they are separate from Village on the River.

Todd asked if somehow the media was getting it wrong? Lamont had to admit they were not. Legacy has their finger prints all over this project. They need to be cut loose with NO commission or we need to kill this thing all together and actually build a parking ramp that fills the needs of downtown and Legacy can go back to building pop up dog parks, hopefully no artificial turf will collapse on anyone.

Press Conference on Wednesday to discuss Downtown Parking Ramp

It seems some things will never change at city hall, no matter who is at the helm; Developers Run our city and have the keys to the cookie jar.

The assumption is that in tomorrow’s press conference we will be told everything is hunky-dory with the downtown parking ramp because Lamont has now taken control. While I don’t have an issue with Lamont building a hotel or that Journey is building that hotel and parking ramp, it doesn’t change how we got here and how the plan in itself is a bad one.

First off, the plan. We are only getting a handful of parking spots for the $20 million we are spending, and the 100 year lease is unheard of.

Now, let’s look at the players. Legacy is the developer who concocted this plan, they are forever tied to it. We can throw out all the accolades we want about Journey or Lamont, doesn’t matter. The taxpayers of Sioux Falls shouldn’t be giving one red cent to a poorly planned project with players that are being investigated for safety violations and a wrongful death.

Mayor TenHaken should have TERMINATED this project, paid whatever penalties and when asked why, he should say, “Why don’t you ask Daren Ketchum, Tracy Turbak and Mike Huether.” Mic drop.

It is hardly a secret that the city council was probably told about what would be presented in the press conference tomorrow in the executive session today. I talked to someone who attended the session. They were very clear with me that they couldn’t tell me what happened or what was said under penalty of law, or even what the topic of conversation was, but they did tell me this, “It didn’t go well.”

It is pretty evident to us local government nerds that there are way to many hold overs from the past administration that need to be given their walking papers, and until that happens, we will continue down the same path; Developers hold the key to the city.