Entries Tagged 'Downtown Sioux Falls' ↓

Is the Sioux Falls Police Department not allowing ICON to have concerts?

Recently I have noticed that ICON hasn’t been having concerts. I also noticed today that the Closet Monster reunion got moved to the District.

The rumor going around is that the SFPD has shut down live music at ICON until further notice due to decibel levels.

Apparently tenants in the NEW Jones building have been saying they can hear the music at ICON thru their walls.

• ICON was there first, and IMO it is the owners of the Jones building that are SOL.

• Apparently the Jones building is rumored to be way over budget and sound proofing the condo walls apparently wasn’t included or done right.

• When choosing to live downtown you have to realize you are part of an entertainment district that includes not only bars and restaurants but live entertainment. Living DT is noisy. If you didn’t know this before you moved down there, you are extremely naive. I have often believed that DT needs to be MORE lax on decibel levels DT instead of stricter.

• What do the tenants expect to do about the noise from the Levitt Pavilion when it opens? It will be much louder and more often.

I think someone at the SFPD is playing games with the developer who built the Jones building, Mr. Jeff Hazard, infamous designer of the bouncing balcony at the Pavilion and buckled siding on the EC. How does this guy have so much control of city hall and why does he continue to have his way with the good tax payers of this community?

UPDATE II: Secret, Secret, Secret, RAMROD!

UPDATE II: Bravo to Warren Phear for digging up this Argus Leader story from a year ago. Apparently they released the names of the interested parties back than.

So what really was the administration trying to keep from us? But what is even more ironic is that the AL had this information for almost a year and apparently didn’t check the archives 🙂

Asking why Huether is a closed government advocate is like asking why the sky is blue. We know the answer to the question, yet we still struggle with why it has to be that way;

Sioux Falls officials are refusing to provide the identities of developers in the running for the first phase of the rail yard redevelopment project downtown.

I’m getting to the point, that I don’t even want to talk about it anymore. It is what it is. Lies, schemes, scams, boondoggles, etc. etc.

I will bet you though that Legacy Development is on that list, and that is why Heather and the city are pulling excuses from their rear ends.

Isn’t it ironic that while Huether is setting up his ‘legacy’ he keeps promoting ‘Legacy’.

UPDATE: Shocker! Legacy is one of the developers!

Of the six development firms who responded to the city’s request for qualifications for the rail yard redevelopment project, four are local to Sioux Falls: Lloyd Companies, Legacy Developments, Eighth and Railroad Center and Pender Cherapa. The other two submitters were Inland Development Partners of St. Louis Park, Minnesota, and Philadelphia-based development firm Smart Visions.

The funny part is that I have known for years Eighth and Railroad Center has been interested in developing this property since they border it. It’s not like Lloyd being interested in the property is some big secret either. Huether keeping the developers ‘secret’ is like saying he also knows Santa Claus isn’t real either, but isn’t going to tell anyone.

RIBFEST calls it quits, are other festivals next?

Looks like $10 for 3 bones festival is over;

“The entertainment landscape has continued to expand over recent years with the opening of Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, The District and soon to be Levitt Shell,” Torkildson said. “SMG is refocusing its resources and efforts to managing and producing events in the venues it manages in Sioux Falls.”

I find it interesting that they would cancel this event right after getting a new contract to help manage Canaries Stadium. Makes you wonder what revenues are really like for SMG in Sioux Falls, or what they are seeing for projections.

I have been hearing rumors over the past couple of months that both CityFest (used to be LifeLight) and JazzFest may be on the chopping blocks also. I haven’t had anyone confirm that yet with me, but I do know that LifeLight as an organization has been liquidating some assets and Rob Joyce is retiring from the Jazz and Blues Society.

While I could give two-sh*ts about Ribfest or LifeLight, killing JazzFest would be very detrimental to summer entertainment. Even if they have to just scale back for a couple of years to one day, I think that would be better than trying to bring it back later. Obviously there is going to be a shift to have more outdoor festivals downtown at the Levitt, which is awesome, but Yankton Trails was a perfect venue for JazzFest. I was told at one time that JazzFest attendees are around 40% out of town (not sure what last year’s numbers were) but many stay for the entire event at local hotels and campgrounds. The economic impact of JF is pretty big when you consider all the city has to do is provide a city park for about a week they we already pay to maintain anyway.

Let’s hope for the best!

UPDATE: Removing Hultgren’s Name from Parking Ramp guarantors changes nothing

UPDATE: Pat Starr does a good job on Belfrage this morning explaining the games being played by council leadership, especially Erickson and Kiley.

Norm Drake is still involved with a LLC that was created Thursday (Dec 28). One of the ‘Bad Players’ that was involved with the Copper Lounge collapse and asbestos removal, and recently got a state loan denied with a project Drake is involved with at Flopdation Park;

Councilor Christine Erickson asked about a previously unknown limited liability company formed last week called Village River Group, which, according to the Community Development Office, will take the reins from Legacy Developments from this point on.

Village River Group manager Jeffrey Lamont will also replace Hultgren as a contract guarantor for the project. Norm Drake and the names of two other Legacy Developments officials will remain on the contract.

“If something were to not go as planned and there’s an issue at the limited liability company level, we have the ability to go to them as individuals to force the completion of the project,” said Daren Ketcham, Sioux Falls Community Development Director.

Hultgren continues serve as director of operations and development for Legacy Developments.

While Erickson and a few others in the room were aware of Village River Group’s formation, dated Dec. 28, 2017, on the South Dakota Secretary of State’s website, Councilor Starr said following the meaning it was a complete surprise to him. He’d never heard of Village River Group before, or that Legacy Developments and the city ever had aspirations to hand the project off.

“I think the solution to a problem is to face it head on and not form another LLC,” said Starr, who co-sponsored the repeal proposal. “I believe (Village River Group) being formed was in reaction to Councilor Stehly and I gaining support to get the project repealed.”

Should more damning information about Legacy Developments officials surface before the project bonds are sold this spring, Starr said the Council could make another attempt at a repeal.

As Sneve points out, Norm Drake and Legacy are still involved, they just changed the name of the LLC. Hultgren still works for Legacy. Nothing has changed but some paperwork. The move by the developer guarantors was about as slimy as you get, and quite frankly, pretty sloppy. But what makes it even more slimy is that 5 city councilors, SELBERG, ERICKSON, KILEY, ERPENBACH AND WALTER ROLFING VOTED AGAINST THE REPEAL. Like I said, it was obvious what they were trying to do, change the perception to the public by removing Hultgren’s name, but if the same people are involved, it changes NOTHING. A group of us laughed out loud when the 5 councilors thought they were pulling the wool over the public’s eyes. Not only did they look arrogant and out of touch, they looked incredibly stupid to think the public has been hoodwinked. I was truly embarrassed by the fact a majority of our council would still go along with this. I guess nothing surprises me anymore from this group who seemed to have lost their way and quite honestly their souls.

UPDATE II: Legacy certainly has a Legacy

Guest post by Bruce Danielson;

UPDATE II: Seems a Legacy development got denied a state loan, and nobody is talking;

Seldom does this happen.

But, earlier this month, it did.

The credit committee for the South Dakota Board of Economic Development recommended a loan be made to a company.

Eight days later, the full board refused it.

When I emailed Erickson, who is board chairman, to ask about the loan denial, Erickson referred me to Stern.

When I talked with Stern on the telephone Wednesday, Stern said he was limited on what he could publicly say.

This post lays out several points I would like you to consider following the Wednesday December 27, 2017 press conference. This press conference was the first time the citizens of Sioux Falls actually were able to ask question of two city employees deeply involved in the parking ramp project. It now appears more employees should be brought forward to answer  questions. Here is the press conference link for you to watch:

I recently filed my 5th Board of Ethics complaint, I may be filing a few more shortly.

The Sioux Falls parking ramp proposal is a very curious proposal and so is the connection to Les Kinstad, Norm Drake, Larry Canfield as business partners. To calm the fears of a great many Sioux Falls citizens, there is a belief a grand jury investigation is needed into the building collapse. There seems to be a pattern of getting things done without permits and going until caught. This Board of Historic Preservation meeting is another time this group pushed the legal and ethical limits to just get something done. I guess this is what we do just to get things done or make it look like it. Now we have a dead worker and a missing downtown building. Once the parking ramp is under way, what’s to stop the guarantors from changing the work orders they gave their contractor when putting their building up with of our parking ramp?

BTW, during the construction of the hotel, will the ramp be open for public use? There is a growing concern around the country about issues related to parking ramp or building construction when connecting them together. Here are some results:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLiHsIk1RNQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQdtqVe1Rpc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BONh6oMN13k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03ldg-M8jUc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aQMuhGleNA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2P1zCqbmKU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPe7c3Gpl7c

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y5nYkrti3A

Are these videos enough to question anything about our current concerns?

Think about this situation (PDF DOC: bohp_minutes_041311):

Norm Drake and Les Kinstad went to a Board of Historic Preservation after Ron Bell issued a Stop Work on the Security Building in 2011. They were just pushing ahead without approvals required. Work until they are stopped.

 Security National Bank Renovation

Les Kinstad, Scott Abdallah, and Norm Drake presented detailed information about renovation work at the Security National Bank building located at 101 S. Main Avenue. Interior building permits were granted prior to the start of construction but no exterior

building permits have been pulled even though work has begun on exterior window replacement. Because of this, Building Services placed a Stop-work Order on the project until the Board reviews the project and Building Services can review structural plans.

The Security Bank project representatives presented the Board members with some visuals of the building as originally built, to show what the exterior windows used to look like. The owner intends on replacing the window areas with something very similar. Keith Thompson made a motion to approve the work as presented and then to have the Board review the project again as it relates to the façade easement agreement, when the project is complete. Dixie Hieb seconded the motion. Motion passed with five members voting in favor of the motion and Anita Kealey abstaining.

So what is the full connection between all of these boards, people and events? I record these meetings so they can be studied and used for further proceedings. Sioux Falls city government has stopped the Council, boards and commissions from taking detailed minutes to limit the exposure, this appears to be why the administration fought so hard to prevent public recordings. There are several members of the public and press who are watching your actions, the administration processes and the curious connections with several outside entities.

As a side note, Norm Drake discussed his displeasure having to follow rules when building downtown Sioux Falls during this 2016-11-29 – Downtown Design Standards presentation I recorded.

On December 2, 2016 at 10:33 a.m. less than 60 hours after Mr. Drake was complaining about standards we lost a man and a historic building with a SiouxFalls owned façade easement. This happened one day after a curious property transfer happened and now we have their confession of insolvency. The Federal EPA has the ability to fine previous property owners for criminal wrong doing. Sioux Falls appears to say, let’s just get it done and damn the consequences. Remember, we lost a man and a historic building with a SiouxFalls owned façade easement.

What’s wrong with this? There is a reason for ethics. There is proper process. Where are the ethics and open process we must have to not let these things happen again. Why does the city continue to do the same thing over and over again thinking they will never be caught?

RELATED STORIES

Legacy gets sued by Irish Franchise;

Dublin-based Epcon, a condominium builder with 127 franchisees in 29 states, sued a Sioux Falls, S.D., franchisee whose projects never gained ground despite plans to build in one of the fastest-growing cities in the Plains states. Epcon said the owners, Norman Drake, Lynn Hinckley, Lester Kinstad, Bryant Soberg and Darrel Viereck failed to make scheduled franchise payments. It is asking a federal court to award it $200,000 in back payments and interest.

There was also a very familiar proposed parking ramp project in Rapid City, in 2009 (DOC: 0727_July27SpC)

UPDATE: This is what was used to stop Harsma Construction from further contracts with the city this past year. Pay attention to point 8 below and see how Legacy can be doing further business with the city?

GENERAL CONDITIONS FOR PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS

Section 2. Bidding Requirements and Conditions

 2.10 DISQUALIFICATION OF BIDDERS:

The following reasons will be considered sufficient for disqualifying a bidder and rejecting the proposal or proposals:

A.    Submittal of more than one proposal for the same work from an individual, partnership, limited liability company, firm, corporation, or joint venture by the bidder or its affiliates.

B.    Evidence of collusion among bidders. Participants in collusion will not receive recognition as bidders for future work with the City until they are reinstated as a responsible qualified bidder.

C.   The bidder has been determined to be a non-responsible bidder by the City. A bidder may be determined to be a non-responsible bidder for any one or more of the following reasons:

1.    The bidder has inadequate experience, lack of organization resources, or technical resources to complete the project;

2.    The bidder or its affiliates have other incomplete projects which the City believes may hinder or prevent prompt completion of the project;

3.    The bidder or its affiliates are in default of contracts for previous or other current projects;

4.    The bidder or its affiliates have not satisfactorily performed, for the City or other owners, previous projects or other current projects including, but not limited to, the items listed below in this paragraph. Determinations of unsatisfactory performance on work for other owners will be based on written documentation unless the other owner is associated with the project to be awarded.

a.    Noncompliance with project requirements or the directives of the owner or its agents;

b.    Repeated or substantial failure to complete projects on time;

c.    Substantial corrective work required prior to final acceptance or during the warranty period;

d.    Instances of work or materials that failed to meet the specifications of the contracts but were accepted by the City with a price adjustment;

e.    Failure to provide adequate safety measures or appropriate traffic control measures that endangered the safety of the workforce or the public;

f.     Submitted false documents or misrepresented the quality or quantity of materials used or work performed in the bid or on other projects.

5.    Subcontractor or supplier claims against the payment and performance bond and/or the project proceeds on bidder’s or its affiliates’ other current or previous projects that may impede the ability of the bidder to complete the project to be awarded.

6.    Any other facts or circumstances showing a reasonable likelihood of the bidder’s inability to properly complete the project in accordance with the contract requirements.

7.    The bidder, its affiliates or their respective officers, directors, members, partners, shareholders, or resident general managers in arrears to the City in excess of 90 days, including any situation where the bidder was a party to a joint venture and the joint venture failed to reimburse the City for monies owed.

8.    The bidder, its affiliates, or their respective officers, directors, members, partners, shareholders, or resident general managers has violated Environmental Laws of any state or the United States (as defined above in General Conditions) which violation has resulted in a fine of $10,000 or more or has had any permit or contract revoked based on the Environmental Laws of any state or the United States.

A lot of puzzle pieces in the Copper Lounge investigation. How do they fit together?

I wish I had the answer to that question(s).

The latest from the Argus had me thinking;

One of the companies – CLP Investments – sold all of its assets on Nov. 30, 2016, just two days before the Copper Lounge collapsed, killing a Hultgren Construction employee. CLP owned the Copper Lounge, and its members voted to unanimously liquidate the company, according to the affidavit signed by Norm Drake.

So why is this important? I can’t tell you why, but isn’t a bit strange that CLP was sold only a few days before the collapse?

So here are the puzzle pieces that come from that revelation;

Where does the Command Center fit into the picture? They provided temp laborers towards the project. They were also fined by OSHA. How many of those workers were involved with dismantling the load bearing wall?

Where does Lewis and Sanford fit into this picture? Remember Lewis was going to move into this building alone before the collapse, than suddenly after the collapse, Sanford has agreed to put in a clinic. Of course they have more room now due to tearing down Eastwold Smoke Shop.

Why was Eastwold torn down after the collapse? According to the owner of the building, Tim Kant, he felt that part was structurally sound. The city disagreed and sent notice of demolition. Why?

Was Legacy always going to be awarded the Village project from the beginning? Was the RFQ modeled after their plans to begin with? Why?

Does Legacy plan to be investors of the hotel or are they just a middle man that is going to sell the concept to a national hotel chain? Maybe this is the reason the city doesn’t care who the guarantors are?

The mayor has admitted they turned over videos to Federal investigators and other documents BEFORE the initial approval, why not tell councilors before the vote? They are now claiming they knew nothing about the DENR violations of at the city landfill? This is part of the statement from the city;

After they were alerted to the illegal dumping by the DENR, landfill employees identified the area where it was deposited, and the area is being monitored, Best wrote. Hultgren later sent the city a letter indicating that debris containing “asbestos suspect materials” was deposited in the landfill, but that letter didn’t reference DENR’s notice of violation.

So why wouldn’t landfill employees tell management that DENR was digging around? Why wouldn’t DENR tell them they were digging around? Why wouldn’t this go up the chain of command, and if it did, why wasn’t the mayor’s office told? I find it hard to believe the city landfill, it’s employees and site management would keep this to themselves, what would be the purpose unless to cover it up? But why cover it up?

As you can see there is many moving parts with little answers how they fit together.

 

 

Good thing we gave Washington Square a TIF . . .

. . . otherwise these poor millionaires might not have a place to sleep at night;

Grant Houwman, a development partner of the multimillion-dollar, eight-story building, said he wouldn’t discuss the specifics of individual sales, but he confirmed the $1.2 million sale was a condo.

This takes ‘cleaning up blight’ and ‘affordable housing’ to a whole new level. Literally. Oh, and what about the irony and hypocrisy of one of the benefactors of that TIF;

Joe P. Kirby Trust, $1.03 million (prominent old Sioux Falls family in business and politics)

The same Joe Kirby who has been telling the city council to stop working so hard and start rubberstamping more, you know, the same rubber stampers who gave Washington Square it’s TIF. Glad we could help him out with a property tax rebate for his digs while he is away from soaking in the rays in California. He needs a nice place to stay, close to city hall and Carnegie so when he is in town he can set them straight when it comes to governing and handouts to him and his ilk.

Puke.

Is Mayor Huether Private messaging people about the Copper Lounge collapse?

I’m not sure if he is messaging people, but if he is, this collapse and investigation must really be hitting a nerve. It makes you wonder what he knows and how deep this investigation goes? The mayor has already admitted on Belfrage’s show on Wednesday that the city had to turn over video (and as I understand it email correspondence and copies of building permits).

Things that make you go hmmmm.

Sioux Falls City Council MUST repeal Downtown Parking Ramp contract

Councilor Stehly announced yesterday that she is offering a repeal of the DT parking ramp at the January 2, 2018 council meeting.

The council, ALL of them, need to vote for this repeal. It simply is the right thing to do. The council only needs 6 votes to stop a VETO.

The contract should have not been approved to begin with. We already knew about the OSHA fines levied against Mr. Hultgren. We had a dubious 80 year lease, and the 4-6 million in ‘soft costs’ the city’s taxpayers have to pay for. As former councilor Greg Jamison recently said on the Good Ship Lalley Pop show, it’s a great deal for the developer, not so good for the taxpayers. This is a prime piece of DT property, it should come with a prime price that is beneficial to the city. I truly believe we can find another developer with integrity to partner with.

As we have learned over the past week or so, there is now a criminal investigation into Mr. Hultgren, his defunct construction company and Legacy. There was also an environmental fine levied against Hultgren that was never paid because they said they didn’t have the money. The council probably didn’t know this information before the vote but they know now.

So why didn’t the administration tell them? They knew about the landfill fines they also had to have known about the Federal Criminal Investigation that was filed in November. On Wednesday Mayor Huether told Belfrage on his radio show that the city had to turn over videos to the investigators.

Why didn’t the administration tell the council about the fines and investigation?

Why didn’t the developer tell the council about the possible litigation? Seems a little sneaky to me.

What I find ironic is that if Hultgren and Legacy can’t even pay a $20K fine, how do they expect to get $30 million in investors? Also, who would invest with someone who is facing serious criminal charges with possible Federal prison time? You would have to be completely bonkers or incredibly f’ing stupid to invest with these people.

I also find it a little ironic that the council didn’t ask for testimony from the developers at the initial vote of this project. In fact besides Stehly offering amendments, NO councilor discussed the pros or cons of this project that night. This same council will debate for 45 minutes about a church electronic sign, chew out C-Store owners over alcohol stings and pursue limiting malt beverage sales in poor neighborhoods, but doing business with a possible criminal who can’t even pay it’s fines gets passed without any debate or discussion.

Pathetic.

The council will now have the chance to take this all back and redeem themselves. I hope ALL eight of them do a lot of soul searching over the holiday season and come to a proper conclusion – Stopping the project – there really isn’t any other options at this point.

The Ramrodding and Secrecy continues

I was originally going to title this post, ‘This proves just how dense our city council is.’ But I don’t think they were acting out of ignorance when 6 of them approved the parking ramp deal, there has to be some kind of backdoor deal here somewhere, I just can’t put my finger on it;

The U.S. Attorney’s criminal investigation includes a review of more than 150 gigabytes of data related to McMahon’s death, “including video, photographs, interview statements, training materials, engineering plans, building permits, and email correspondence,” according to a court report filed in the name of Patrick B. Augustine, the secretary for the Department of Labor, which oversees OSHA.

This would explain why the project, the funding and other deets had to be ramrodded through all in one night, they knew the fix was in.
But why choose Hultgren and Legacy as partners in the first place, even if they were not facing criminal charges. I mean, let’s pretend for a moment they were not involved. It’s NOT that great of project. It doesn’t supply the parking we need, we are paying to much of the soft costs and we are getting hosed on the lease. All of that aside, why would you go into a business deal with someone who could be facing millions in lawsuit claims and possible Federal prison time?
That’s the $20 million dollar question and the missing puzzle piece.
The other interesting part is that this investigation could lead to charges against the city if they prove they were aware of what kind of demolition was going on. According to Tim Kant, they were warned. So is there negligence on behalf of the city also?
This whole deal stunk before it was approved, and it’s really starting to wreak now. The council would be wise to halt the parking ramp project immediately and wait for the investigation to be complete, otherwise the mayor, his minions and the 6 councilors who voted for this really will look like a bunch of dummies.