More fartin’ around with Events Center proposals

Why would you do an economic analysis of locations AFTER you have designed a facility? Am I the only one that thinks this is being done on purpose to kill the DT location? What am I missing here?

The city will hire experts to conduct an economic impact analysis of different locations for an events center including near the Sioux Falls Arena and downtown, Mayor Mike Huether told the City Council.

But the analysis won’t be conducted until the first quarter of 2011 – after the design process starts, Public Works Director Mark Cotter said.

It must get really stinky in those EC meetings.



35 comments ↓

#1 Sy on 10.13.10 at 7:10 am

Indeed, Huether had hoped these questions wouldn’t come up. But they have and now he’s hoping he can back the analysis into his plan. There is no single component more critical to the success of the facility than its location.

This whole deal has been bass-ackwards from the start and the hypocrisy associated with it is becoming difficult to endure. The Mayor has campaigned on “no frills for the Convention Center”, yet he’s ready to hand them a pile of money from the new room tax that will go to sell this flawed vision and now “contiguous space” has become the flagship point of his plan.

The Mayor has also asked “If there’s anyone who’s a bigger proponent for a vibrant downtown than me, uh…let me know” I’m not sure he knows the definition if proponent, because he prematurely killed the TIF district for the Cherapa site 6 months ago and also is having his Staff go out and bash downtown’s access and parking, even though those same department heads had a different tune just 2 years ago. Show me what’s changed other than who’s running the show?

The Mayor is simply doubling down on a crappy site, one that requires millions of dollars more than Cherapa to make it go. They are talking about tearing out not only McCart’s diamonds, but a block of houses as well to make room for the parking consumed by the footprint. They are talking at least one, if not two skywalks over West and Russell at $8 million a pop. For that same money you could build a 400 spot ramp downtown that would be used by both evening Event goers and daytime users. Who’s going to be walking on those skywalks other than when a show or game is going on?

#2 Poly43 on 10.13.10 at 7:14 am

Fartin’ around is right. While two sides fight it out for WHERE, a silent voting block sits back and waits. This silent group of voters now tries to handle two consecutive years of no COLA to their already meager Social Security checks. Believe me, a place for a monster show event is not high on their priorities. Their voices, along with younger folk who feel the same way, will be heard.

Did anyone catch this?

http://www.keloland.com/NewsDetail6162.cfm?Id=105850

#3 Sy on 10.13.10 at 7:44 am

That silent block isn’t sitting back and waiting, as they came out in full force for Kermit a few months ago and we all saw how that turned out.

#4 Tom H. on 10.13.10 at 7:52 am

IF we build an events center, it should be downtown. Parking and traffic differences will be relatively small (although they are a favorite talking point), and building the events center downtown could help change the mentality of Sioux Falls from “drive everywhere, park 10 steps away from the front door.”

That said, I agree with Poly43. A national economy in tatters, the local economy starting to feel it too – now is not the time to borrow tens of millions of dollars for a “want.”

#5 Poly43 on 10.13.10 at 8:43 am

That silent block isn’t sitting back and waiting, as they came out in full force for Kermit a few months ago and we all saw how that turned out.

Kermit was beaten because he was painted with an awfully wide brush as an obstructionist. What do we have now? A council full of em. No Sy, the same folks who will vote this down are the same folks who shot down the rec center.

#6 Sy on 10.13.10 at 10:03 am

Poly:

“No Sy, the same folks who will vote this down are the same folks who shot down the rec center.”

That was about 7K people in an election where 12K showed up to vote 5 1/2 years ago. There’s another 85K or so voters who have yet to weigh in.

Kermit was the voice of the “No Events Center” crowd and had the same 7K people show up for him. There was a palatable fear, that Kermit did nothing to counter, that the City would go backwards with him as Mayor. If, as you claim, there’s such a groundswell of Joe Sixpacks who are actually ready to hit the streets, than Kermit would be in office as we speak.

#7 Scott on 10.13.10 at 10:09 am

So you really believe Joe Sixpacks is in favor of this?

#8 l3wis on 10.13.10 at 10:11 am

After watching the informational on Monday, I think it will depend on a couple of factors whether this passes or not. Erpenbach suggested that voters vote on the funding source, not a location or size. Huether would not commit to it. She suggested that there should be a yes or no vote on the EC (funding). He seemed to steer away from that. He seems to want people to vote on approval, not funding. The more I watch this f’ing circus, the more I feel that either 1) Huether has no idea what he is doing or 2) Has a plan and is keeping it a secret.

#9 Poly43 on 10.13.10 at 10:23 am

No Sy. Kermit was just a councilman who questioned an administration for it’s reckless spending, as he should have. He was not a rubberstamper like the rest of em. Then “Your Man Hildebrand” took control of the “your man mike” campaign and managed to successfully paint Kermit as “No” man. The amazing thing is, “your man mike” comes in, and pulls off a “Kermit” on the city budget.

To believe Kermit lost because of the “Events” Center is just a little over the top.

I’ll go with Kermit’s comments to the council on the day he left, May 10th 2010.

Automatically voting yes is one of the easiest tasks of a City Council member, especially when other council members are always voting yes. The real challenge for a council member is to think through the issues at hand and to ask probing questions of department heads in order to understand the topic at hand. When a vote is taken, always have a good reason as to why you voted the way you did; be principled and represent the people with your vote.

Please keep in mind that the purpose of our city government is to protect and serve the citizens of Sioux Falls. The city government must focus primarily on the needs of citizens rather than the desires and wants of a few.

Always remember that increasing taxes, fees or assessments might be a simple way of raising money for the city, but at the same time, these increases impose an undue financial burden on the unemployed, low-income families and those people living on a fixed income.

Finally, care, listen and use common sense in dealing with your constituents. Visit Sioux Falls neighborhoods and remember that you are working for the citizens of Sioux Falls; the citizens of Sioux Falls are not working for you.

#10 Sy on 10.13.10 at 10:25 am

I think if this project is done correctly and the info is on the table, more JSP’s than not will break in support of the project.

Again, I look at all the other Cities that have gone down this road, some as recently as a few months ago like Lincoln, NE; where the downtown EC passed with 56% on heavy turnout and a grass roots opposition campaign in full force.

#11 Poly43 on 10.13.10 at 10:26 am

The more I watch this f’ing circus, the more I feel that either 1) Huether has no idea what he is doing or 2) Has a plan and is keeping it a secret.

I’ll take door number one please.

#12 Sy on 10.13.10 at 10:30 am

To be fair Poly, Kermit also made his case repeatedly and very eloquently as to why “Dr. No” was a good thing, it just didn’t sell with most folks.

#13 Poly43 on 10.13.10 at 10:31 am

I think if this project is done correctly and the info is on the table, more JSP’s than not will break in support of the project.

You mean “info” like the thousands of “available” parking spots DT within three blocks? If that is your ace in the hole….you lose.

#14 Sy on 10.13.10 at 10:36 am

It’s neither, it’s door #3:

Huether is a pollcat who wants Johnson’s seat. Being the guy who finally got an EC built is his ticket to DC in his mind.

Problem is he’ll be on his way to a second term by the time it hits home how fuct up we were by dumping $100 million into a big concrete box out by the Arena.

#15 Sy on 10.13.10 at 10:52 am

Here’s the deal, you don’t have anything to counter the parking Studies with other than your BS flag. You also are looking at today’s numbers that will undoubtably change over the next 5 years while the EC is being built. There’s a new hotel and small convention center going before planning as we speak that will add spaces. CNA is building with additional capacities others will follow suit. There’s also the River ramp that will be replaced and not with the same # of spots at a new site, but with a new ramp that’s probably going to be twice the size. Finally, either site will require a $5 to $10 million investment in parking; the question is do you build where you can utilize them night AND day or just for events? (ie no one parks at the Arena during the work day, that won’t change with the new plan)

#16 scott on 10.13.10 at 12:15 pm

per the kelo story:
“The FARGODOME can hold up to 25,000 people for a concert, and two are scheduled through November. County music super stars George Strait, Reba McEntire and Lee Ann Womack are in Fargo later this month. Three comedians, Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy perform in November.”

and we have to build an events center for THIS??????

#17 Warren Phear on 10.13.10 at 1:58 pm

Here’s the deal, you don’t have anything to counter the parking Studies with other than your BS flag.

BS flag? I have read the Walker Parking Study…thoroughly. Walker has no skin in the game. Therefore I take them at their word. I also know how to read a map…unlike the proponents for a DT site.

#18 Warren Phear on 10.13.10 at 2:05 pm

and we have to build an events center for THIS??????

Picture this. 4,000 for a really great monster truck show with the Cherapa Bldg sporting a new 80 foot by 150 foot billboard for Sanford Health. And don’t forget the Avera blimp.

#19 Warren Phear on 10.13.10 at 2:08 pm

You also are looking at today’s numbers that will undoubtably change over the next 5 years while the EC is being built.

In the last year SF has netted 7,000 residents and lost 2,000 jobs. That the growth yer talkin about?

#20 Scott on 10.13.10 at 2:11 pm

“The FARGODOME can hold up to 25,000 people for a concert, and two are scheduled through November. County music super stars George Strait, Reba McEntire and Lee Ann Womack are in Fargo later this month. Three comedians, Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy perform in November.”

Both those shows can (and have) play the Arena. No more than 4,000 would turn out for either.

#21 Warren Phear on 10.13.10 at 2:24 pm

There’s also the River ramp that will be replaced and not with the same # of spots at a new site, but with a new ramp that’s probably going to be twice the size.

Not twice the size Sy. Maybe 50% more. Located just north of the Wells Fargo Bldg beteen Main And Phillps.
Here is some info I gleaned from a Land Use Committee meeting from Monday June 4th 2007. There are some serious issues to deal with. Ramps cost a lot of money to build, and ramps cost a pot of money to maintain. My money, and your money. The report shows a 750 stall ramp will cost between $16,000 and about $19,000 per stall. For minimum maintenance on those stalls, and to pay the annual debt service on that loan, the city will have to charge a $150 a month MINIMUM lease per stall. That is assuming ALL the stalls are leased. You can easily see where this is headed. Just another subsidy program you and me will be expected to pay for.

#22 Warren Phear on 10.13.10 at 2:34 pm

CNA is building with additional capacities

While CNA buids a new ramp east of the river, who will occupy the hundreds of city owned ramp spots they desert on the west side of the river? That same mythical group that occupies the deserted Midland Life spots? Your plan will cause even more empty spaces DT during the day than we already have. We can’t even maintain the spots we have because the money just is not there to do it. Why? Because we need at least 85% occupancy rates to break even and provide even a mediocre maintenance program for those ramps. We arent even close to 85% occupancy now. How is building more ramps gonna bring those numbers up?

#23 rufusx on 10.13.10 at 2:57 pm

“…..In the last year SF has netted 7,000 residents and lost 2,000 jobs. That the growth yer talkin about?…..”

Actually Warren, your population “estimate”/claim is considerably OFF – to the tune of around 10,000 people. The latest Census bureau estimates for SF show a 2004 pop. of 141,488, and a 2009 pop. of 158,008.

http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/SUB-EST2009.html

Now, that doesn’t speak so well of your ability to read and interpret numbers (such as parking numbers) – does it? In fact, it shows that if you are applying the same level of thoroughness to your understanding of the parking issues – you could be off by over 100% – on the SHORT side.

#24 Poly43 on 10.13.10 at 3:13 pm

Ruf, I said the last year, not the last five. Understand this Ruf.

Minutes Monday, June 4, 2007
Land Use
Committee
5:20 p.m.
Carnegie Town Hall
235 W. 10th Street
Members Present: Bob Litz, Bob Jamison and Kermit Staggers
Staff Present: Assistant City Clerk, Denise D. Tucker
Guests: Randy Bartunek, Director of Community Development/Public Parking Facilities; Grant Houwman, Parking Board; Jim Dunham, Parking
Board chair; Shawna Goldammer, Planning Department; Mike Cooper, Director of Planning (at 5:41 p.m.); and City Council Member De Knudson (at 6:20 p.m.)

1. Call to Order

• Bartunek said their 2007 Budget had projected revenue of $2,216,000 and projected expenses of $2,166,000 which leaves them with very little money. The consultants said they should be putting away an annual amount of $150,000 to $175,000 for repair and maintenance of Capital Improvement Projects. Bartunek said they have not had the revenue to do that. He said he is continually asked when are they going to tear the River Ramp down and Bartunek said they don’t have the money to do it or replace it.

• Bartunek said in the CIP he has a 750 stall facility, which by the time you figure land costs and construction costs it will cost between $12 million and $14 million. He said our debt service would probably be $1.1 million for a new ramp. He said it is to be paid for with user fees but they are going to have to come up with additional revenue sources or they are going to have to take it out because they are not going to have enough money to pay for it.

• Bartunek said his challenge over the last several years is how much can rates be raised without negatively effecting Downtown business. He said the highest monthly lease rate is $57, which Walker says is $20 to $25 under market. Walker will be recommending a $5 a month increase for the next five years. Bartunek said even with that they won’t be close to having enough revenue for a new ramp. Bartunek said he knows they can’t charge $150 a month for a leased space. Staggers inquired if there was a way to possibly get premium money for a premium stall. Bartunek said they are already doing that.

• Houman said the problem that we run into is how to capture some of the extra dollars that are being generated through the City but not necessarily through the parking system. Dunham said there is not an easy answer to that.

• Dunham said we’re maintaining the parking ramps at the absolute bare minimum and not doing it as often as they should. He said we’re just getting by. Bartunek
said they should be doing an annual wash down of all the ramps to get rid of the calcium chloride, but they haven’t been doing it. It costs about $40,000 per ramp.
Bartunek said they have been doing the structural maintenance on the ramps.

http://www.siouxfalls.org/Finance/documents/~/media/917E54DF0BE9466DA4A818ACC8FCA8CB.ashx

#25 Anthony on 10.13.10 at 3:40 pm

Poly – Speaking of Kermit.

He pretty much decided that he was done with politics when he signed on as Gordon Howie’s running mate for Governor last spring. I have to believe that he knew this when he signed on to the ticket. It pretty much guaranteed that he won’t get the kind of bi-partisan support from blue color working class Democrats that he used to. If he ever decides to re-enter politics, he will forever be tied to someone who was considered so radical by his own party that he only got 12% of the vote. Even if the public at large forgets this, his opponents (from both parties, Democrat and Republican) will make sure to bring it up at every opportunity.

#26 CCFlyer on 10.13.10 at 4:29 pm

This is why I personally think that an Events Center could help with building new Parking Ramps Downtown. By creating a great TIF district for the Center, that money can be re-used within those boundaries once a center is built and once increase tax revenue is received through spending at restaurants, businesses, etc in this area. It’s a way to pay for Ramps/Centers etc with future money that will be made from the major Economic Impact that something like this will create.

#27 Sy on 10.13.10 at 5:32 pm

Scott, what’s playing and selling out today is relevant for sure, but it in no way is a predictor for 5-10 years down the road. 5 years ago we weren’t in a recession and no one would’ve guessed we’d be hosting a D1 Bball tournament. 5 years from now the market will have changed again and hopefully the rest of the Economy is rebounding by then. If it has, that will mean shows, conventions and events we never had a shot at along with the rest of what we currently get.

and Poly same basic deal on the parking. What it will look like in 5-10 years will be different and hopefully much better. If an EC goes in you have a new demand for evening parking that isn’t there now, the market will respond accordingly and probably for the better.

I guess that’s my point, there’s simply more upside downtown.

#28 Scott on 10.13.10 at 6:06 pm

Well Sy, my point is that this town has never been able to attract more than 4 – 5000 (with a handful of exceptions). The D1 tourney you’re so proud of averaged 2000 per game. It’s not a “build it and they will come” situation.

#29 l3wis on 10.13.10 at 7:01 pm

I still think we should just remodel the Arena.

#30 Sy on 10.14.10 at 7:05 am

Scott, while your point is noted, you also don’t seem to be looking forward at all, only backward.

This project is a 50 year deal. As you know, events don’t have to sell out to be successful, but if you don’t have at least a comparable product to offer the industry, you are stuck with ZERO chance to land potential sell out events.

Once again, concerts and games are typically night and weekend type events. Part of the smack about downtown is that is isn’t open later. A downtown EC would be a game changer in that regard and the increased business over time will bring in more demand for shopping, dining, drinking, hospitality and parking. Even the Mayor gets this point, not sure why it’s so difficult for others.

#31 Sy on 10.14.10 at 7:06 am

L3wis:

“I still think we should just remodel the Arena”

Please put the crack pipe down and take two steps back.

#32 Tom H. on 10.14.10 at 7:06 am

Wouldn’t it be great if people weren’t allergic to walking more than about 500 steps to get where they want to go? That’s one of the biggest advantages of street parking and a grid street system – lots of parking, distributed over the city, and no expensive structures to build. It’s not like the extra walking is going to hurt anybody. It seems like there are a lot of people willing to fight for their right to do as little physical activity as possible in their lives.

#33 Scott on 10.14.10 at 9:41 am

Concerts generally have to sell at least 85% of the seats to be profitable…for some shows it’s as high as 90%.

#34 Scott on 10.14.10 at 9:43 am

I think the only people who should pay for the EC are those that believe that we’ll somehow sell 10,000 seats for any sporting event or concert. Anybody who believes the lie that more seats equal cheaper tickets should pay twice their share.

#35 l3wis on 10.14.10 at 11:45 am

We should be taxing the stupid

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUosm_BBv9g&feature=related

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