Entries Tagged 'Development' ↓

UPDATE: Is the TenHaken Administration getting ready to get ‘TIFaliscious’?

Well, that wasn’t to tough, they got Brian Allen at KSFY to roll over and talk about how great TIFs are. Funny, the important part missing from Allen’s story, the actual economic impact;

A KSFY review of active Tax Increment Financing projects in Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota shows there is a dramatic drop-off in TIF usage.

You know why? Because several studies have been done showing they have very little economic impact. I also find if comical that Allen only interviewed PRO TIF folks and NO one who is against them. I also like how some in the interview talk about how South Dakota does them ‘different’. Good stuff. Yet there has been NO extensive study done in South Dakota showing the actual economic impact of them. Why? Because the results would be grim.

What other people don’t realize is that when we give wealthy developers TIFs we all pay more in property taxes to supplement them to fund things like our counties, cities and public education.

I think the TenHaken administration is gearing up to start handing them out, literally like candy. His COS, Beck, wrote the Sanford Sports Complex TIF while working for the city (the largest in state history) and she also wrote the most recent one while working for Lloyd Companies for the Cascade project that is mostly marketplace apartments.

Tonight the city is hiring a finance director who worked for the Costello Companies (a major developer in SF) who is also an expert in TIFs.

It is pretty clear to me they are getting us prepped and they are probably chiding our local media behind the scenes to talk about the ‘positivity’ of TIFs.

Let’s face it, they are simply a tax rebate for private developers who could easily pay the taxes with or without the TIF. We don’t have a growth problem in Sioux Falls. In fact we are developing so much and building so fast we can’t hire people fast enough. The city council even gave SE Tech $100K for more job training programs. This tells me we don’t need to be subsidizing growth and development in Sioux Falls, it actually tells me we need to find ways to slow this growth and concentrate on SMART-STEADY growth not FAST URBAN SPRAWL.

The TIF model in itself isn’t a bad idea, but I think it should be applied to cleaning up neighborhoods. Giving tax rebates to single family homeowners and small apartment owners to clean up the neighborhoods would be a better approach, and it would be a visible economic impact. When individuals have to spend less on taxes and divert that money to improving their properties and lives that means they spend more money on other things that help with sales tax revenue that truly impacts our community. Businesses who use TIFs to expand their businesses don’t pay sales taxes, they just collect them. Give the rebates to individuals who will actually use them to improve lives and contribute to sales tax revenue.

Let’s face it, TIFs right now are truly ‘Corporate Welfare’ and not much else.

UPDATE: Did anyone catch Dusty Johnson in the interview? Mr. Fiscal Conservative ANTI-WELFARE wants to raise the Social Security age gladly preaching the ‘WINS’ about TIFs? We know exactly what Dusty would do in Congress, handout to big business while stepping on the little guy. If I was the Bjorkman campaign I would be clipping this little piece of corporate welfare pie for a future TV commercial.

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.

What is going on at the Levitt shell construction site?

A South DaCola foot soldier told me last night that they have access to the 4th floor patios of the Phillips Lofts facing east, which overlooks the construction grounds of the Levitt. They said recently there has been some curious drainage of the grounds and ‘oily like’ substances being drained from the property.

I have NO idea what this would be.

I do know that the main reason why NO development has happened on the East side of Phillips to the Falls is because of the years of contamination on that land, and that in order to even use it as a park they had to cover some of the contaminated earth. I almost wonder if they are doing more extensive cleanup?