Entries Tagged 'Legacy Developments' ↓

Flopdation Park turning into One Big Reefer

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to see there is continued development at Flopdation Park. There was an announcement today that Nordica will expand warehouse space at the site.

But am I the only one thinking after Sioux Falls Taxpayers, Minnehaha County taxpayers, and South Dakota state taxpayers floated millions in infrastructure (well over $50 million) towards the development park we only got a handful of warehouse jobs and some storage for ice cream and cottage cheese?

What happened to all the manufacturing jobs? The Bio-Tech jobs? Good paying jobs in general? You know, all these promises written on wet toilet paper without a signature?

We were buffaloed once again about high paying tech jobs to sucker us for millions in infrastructure to support some pallet humpers.

And it’s the same hucksters that were involved in other taxpayer bailout schemes in our fine community. Legacy developments who is behind the public/private partnership scam with the DTSF parking ramp after skirting any responsibility in illegal asbestos removal and the collapse of the Copper Lounge building is behind the WinChill warehouses.

I think it is time the fine taxpayers of this community send these fine folks a bill for the millions we GAVE them in FREE infrastructure. We know they certainly won’t be using their massive profits to pay decent wages so they might as well pay us back. I’m sure they will come up with another chameleon LLC scam to skirt payment.

I’m still thinking a new casino by Royal River at that location would have been a better economic impact.

Who wants some very expensive ice cream?

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.

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.

I want to give back to the community. I think I puked 3 times.

Apparently dogs are a big concern, and maybe we will change our LLC for the hundreth time so people won’t notice we are . . .

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.

Legacy & The Downtown Parking Ramp Issue (GP-Bruce Danielson)

This Legacy Parking ramp / hotel scheme is not like a new thing for most Sioux Falls citizens to comprehend. Many knew this was a scam based on fraud and many people in positions of power decided to look the other way just to get promises fulfilled before they left office. If they took others with in the process, they are collateral damage I guess.

There may be legal liabilities. The six Council members who voted for this project and the previous mayor could be on the hook criminally. They had been told in open City Council testimony (it is recorded and can’t be taken down) there was a connection between the four owners of Legacy and the four owners of Hultgren Construction and the four owners of Boomerang and the parking ramp group. It may not have been on paper, but there was plenty of public testimony to back it up.

Construction manager at risk (CMAR) and guaranteed maximum price (GMP) and RFP and RFQ possible rigging may be examined for years to come. To claim they didn’t know or were unaware, is a poor excuse not holding water. If they did not want to look at the situations because a scheming happy warrior was telling all was OK, then they might be wearing stripes together.

There may have been wire fraud, mail fraud and more involved areas which they are all liable. Look at Daren Ketchum moving over to Legacy after he worked so hard to get this project done before Huether left office. Unspoken quid pro quo is screaming at us, the fix was in. There could still be the asbestos problem and the decision to close down one LLC and give all the assets to another just when the asbestos questions were being raised. Now were talking real criminal conspiracy with real behind bars time to consider.

To now claim this is a Lamont project instead of the cosigners of the guarantees may be just another scam. This will forever be a Legacy project. Does Lamont Co. have signed documents turned over to the City right now saying they are now the sole guarantors?

The threat of lying on bankruptcy filings causing criminal charges made the guarantors come partially clean is little consolation to a dead man’s family or to a city bleeding money on schemes of a past mayoral term.

How can a new mayor who has not fired the “mistake makers” of the past administration now go back to these same individuals (the “mistake makers”) to get a new solution or legal justification everything was done correctly without jeopardizing their pensions and employment?

Mayor TenHaken said it in the KELO.com piece, “As a citizen, I did not like how the previous administration pushed this project so hard with disregard to transparency.” As citizens, we don’t like it either. Anyone who allows this project to move forward could join the others in unpleasant federal criminal conspiracy ramifications.

Will our new mayor do the right thing and kill this project? Kill this project and wash our city hands of it. Take the $1,000,000 guarantee and use it to pay off the bondholder early repayment penalties and the other city costs. We don’t need this parking lot the way it is being proposed or possibly where it is being proposed. Most of  Sioux Falls know this was a bad deal from the start. We need to let Mayor TenHanken know the project is now in his hands and he should kill it before it gets way out of control. A man died for the sins of greed, what’s next? Is this our Legacy to never forget?

Stehly and Neitzert on Hultgren/Legacy debacle

Talk about a difference of opinion. One councilor is under some kind of delusional spell and one is so angry they could spit nails. You can figure it out.

First Neitzert puts on his best sombrero and gets to dancing;

But Neitzert would not have voted differently on the project even if he knew then what he knows now.

“The optics though – they are undeniably awful because of the perception and the ties of various individuals to both the project – if even fleetingly – and the entity involved in the terrible tragedy that occurred.” The terrible tragedy Neitzert mentions is, of course, the downtown building collapse. Hultgren was remodeling the old Copper Lounge building before it came down in a pile of rubble, killing a young construction worker.

It’s not just bad OPTICS it’s a bad DEAL. We should have not gone into business with these crooked clowns;

Neitzert says Council can’t really reverse its decision on the mixed- used parking ramp because the bonds have been sold and construction is ongoing.

Not so sure about that. He is basically trying to spin that the ‘train has left the station’. Actual construction HAS not started. The bonds could be put on hold and the a new RFP could be presented. As far as I see it, this is a breach of contract and gives the city the right to request a court order to stop construction. At the very least they could even nicely ask the construction company to HALT operations until they figure out the legality of the situation;

“Its just too bad this issue is hanging over this otherwise impressive project and will at least for the foreseeable future cast a cloud of controversy and doubt over it.”

There was NEVER anything ‘Impressive’ about this project. It was overpriced and underutilized. Even without the basket of snakes involved with the development, it’s NOT that good of a deal for the taxpayers.

Stehly sets it straight;

“This thing is being built on deceit and deception, in my opinion,” Stehly said. “It’s not what our citizens want from us as Council members or from City government.”

“This project has the second penny tied to it,” Stehly said. “This project is immensely expensive for a parking ramp. This project is going to raise fees for any person who is parking in a City-owned parking lot. It’s been problematic from the get-go.”

Like I said above, it wasn’t a good project to begin with, now add the deception and the already poor luster on this turd is beginning to fade even more. The city needs to put at least a temporary hold on it. The bonds will be fine in the bank collecting interest.

Some Sioux Falls City Councilors are saying they didn’t know Legacy lied to them

It’s hardly worth re-publishing, but according to the Argus, some councilors were unaware that Legacy was so closely tied to Hultgren construction.

Give me a F’ing Break!

It was blatantly obvious that they were two in the same when we saw the haggling over the LLC’s and the asbestos removal. Ignorance is NO excuse. Several in the public knew about the relationship between Legacy and Hultgren, and I find it extremely hard to believe that people on the council, people in the planning department and the mayor didn’t know the relationship was extremely cozy.

IMO, the lying is breach of contract and I would stop construction immediately. I would have it rebid to build a stand alone parking ramp (that we can actually use and has more spaces) and if someone with their OWN money wants to develop next to it and lease space (parking and land) so be it, but moving forward NOW after this has come to light is almost criminal towards the taxpayers. Doing nothing is unacceptable!

Legacy was being deceptive about connections to Hultgren Construction

The good folks over at the Argus Leader got the paperwork proving Legacy had over a 50% ownership in Hultgren Construction. Good Job.

I figured all along that was the case. I mean really, the writing was on the wall. 1) Aaron could not have financed this business by himself 2) A development company having it’s own construction company it could manipulate and break rules for them is a smart business move, unethical, but smart.

The public warned the city council before approving the Downtown parking ramp that this was likely the case, but they had this O’Shucks attitude that Norm Drake from Legacy was just stuck in a bad business situation while moving LLC’s around like it was a Chinese checkers board. Give me a break!

The sad part is there is probably little the city council can do now after signing the paperwork and breaking ground, they are stuck with their very, very, very, bad decision. To say they have mud on their faces is an understatement. They are chin deep in the hoopla, and it’s going to be entertaining to watch them spin this.

This was a bad deal for the taxpayers and it’s too bad we can’t pool our money and get a big city attorney to sue the city for misappropriation of bonds. Sadly, it would only cost us even more.

It’s hard to pinpoint if this is just government corruption or worse – blatant ignorance but when I watch our city council do things like this, I wonder why I even bother making a stink about it. It’s almost like we enjoy bad local government.

Copper Lounge Collapse; A Tragic Mess

I guess we saw the writing on the wall (no pun intended). Hultgren Construction is filing for bankruptcy after insurance companies paid out millions in claims. The sad part about this is that the insurance companies should have paid the victims first, which has included a myriad of people and businesses.

Of course all of this hinges on whether or not the insurance companies and victims can also pin this on Legacy Development. In a perfect justice world, since the insurance companies decided to pay off damaged property instead of victims first, if more money can be garnered from Legacy, the lion’s share should go to the victims first.

Secondly, if Legacy is found liable, what will that mean for them? They have millions tied up in projects across the city and region, including a dubious Public/Private partnership with the city. Could this also bankrupt them?

At the end of the day, NO ONE is a winner. Someone is dead, others have suffered emotionally, physically and financially and even others have had their businesses uprooted.

As I said to a friend the other day, “It amazes me that some of the players in this tragedy still show their face in this town. It’s despicable and disgusting!”