Entries Tagged 'Development' ↓

UPDATE II: Like we didn’t see this coming

UPDATE II: This gets more interesting by the minute;

In one of the provisions, Hultgren agrees to “. . . make restitution to the victims for Defendant’s conduct set forth in the Information, this Plea Agreement (click here) (including the Factual Basis Statement) (clickhere), and the presentence investigation report. . .”

How much this is is not included in the above documents. The court also sealed another document, Sealed Plea Agreement Supplement, which may or may not include such information.

UPDATE: As I expected, a deal was cut;

Hultgren Construction has reached a plea agreement with the federal government to plead guilty to a misdemeanor for its role in the December 2, 2016 Copper Lounge building collapse in Sioux Falls.

I find it interesting that individuals are NOT being charged. Makes you wonder if a deal is being cut;

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in South Dakota formally charged Hultgren Construction for its role in the Dec. 2, 2016 tragedy that took the life of Ethan McMahon, an employee of the company and U.S. Marine Corps veteran who had served in Afghanistan. McMahon died in the collapse, which occurred while Hultgren Construction was removing a 38-inch thick load-bearing wall. The wall separated the old Copper Lounge and the former Skelly’s Pub, two former bars that were being merged into one building.

The company faces the charge of willful violation of the Occupational, Safety and Health Act, a misdemeanor charge. The owners of the company, Aaron Hultgren, Larry Canfield, Norm Drake and Paul Cink, will face no criminal charges.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years probation and a $500,000 fine.

If found guilty though, it could lead to some pretty big civil cases.

Again, I ask, why did some city officials think it was a good idea to invest with these clowns? Baffling.

Sioux Falls Planning Commission Agenda, Aug 7, 2019, 6PM

A real mixed bag next Wednesday.

Item#2, A-C, The city plans on some rezones to create a bunch of detention ponds.

Item#2D, okay, I’m no home designer, but in order to qualify as a ‘Twin Home’ shouldn’t the houses be attached to each other? Just look at the plans, only the garages share a wall. Weird.

Item#2E, I guess Lloyd Companies bought the old Bowden Youth Center and are going to covert into apartments and offices.

Item#5B, A property owner is trying to convert the old Bob’s Café building into a Casino. Not only is it a bad location next to neighborhood homes, we don’t need anymore casinos in this town. When is the state legislature finally going to repeal this scourge on our society?

Item#5D, you know the house across from Avera that Avera said needed be torn down? John Koch is converting into apartments for temporary nurses for Avera, and Avera is loaning 3 parking spots to the complex. Funny how these things work out.

Item#5F, another casino, this time at Lake Lorraine. What retail mega-plex in Sioux Falls wouldn’t be complete without a casino! This one the planning department says is OK. Besides, it’s close to an assisted living center, they shouldn’t have to take an Uber or Paratransit to gamble.

Item#5G, the old Shopko on East 10th is becoming a car lot. I know, shocking!

Item#7, The Planning Department came up with a new flowchart to let us know how redevelopment works.

Covering up the Bunker Ramp mistake with a mural is insulting

As a fine artist and graphic artist I have been asked to do some unusual projects. Most of the time, you are asked to sell something. I told a frequent SculptureWalk artist last year that was kind of the purpose of SW, to promote Downtown and sell more beer and pizza. He didn’t take kindly to my words. I’ve gotten to do some fun projects like creating logos and t-shirt art for Jazzfest or designing posters for ZombieWalk and the SF Roller Dollz. Most of the time, these projects are not only fun, but for the betterment of the community, then I read this;

Erica Beck, chief of staff in the mayor’s office, said the TenHaken administration is taking “more intentional focus” on culture and arts through all of downtown, including murals.

The south side of the city’s new parking ramp, which faces one of the busiest thoroughfares downtown and sits on the busiest corner in the neighborhood, is an ideal candidate for a mural, she said.

I have been very vocal for years that DTSF needs to implement a public art/mural program. I have even went so far to say that spending millions on one sculpture was shortsighted and the money could have been more wisely spent on implementing hundreds of small art projects and murals downtown. Where I draw the line is when government wants to use the talents of artists to essentially cover up a massive mistake. If we paint a mural on one the most incompetent decisions our city government has ever made, what kind of message are we sending to the public and artists? When government screws the pooch, we’ll just paint over it?

If the city chooses to spend a large chunk of money on a mural for the bunker ramp (something that could cost between $30-60K) we are sending the wrong message to taxpayers. What’s next? A mural on the Denty to cover up the bad siding?

I think we should leave the ugly Southside of the bunker ramp ‘as is’ for a constant reminder of how badly things can get when our supposed leaders are not paying attention. In fact, I think we should paint the names of the city councilors, mayors, and city employees responsible for this huge mistake.

A more appropriate solution would be a temporary large scale banner wrap, you could even make it cost neutral by selling advertising on it or to put out important public service announcements, historical images or even just artistic in nature. While they used to be quite expensive, they are very reasonable these days.

Redevelopment of the Core should have started a decade ago

I have been a follower of Strongtowns for almost 10 years now, and tried to bring Chuck into speak about 7 years ago but couldn’t scrounge up a sponsorship. I’m happy to see people trying to embrace their thinking, but I think we need to play some serious catchup.

Jodi makes a good point in her Sunday column today;

But I think a renewed focus on improving existing housing stock, redeveloping core neighborhoods and investing in infrastructure and amenities that draw people to those neighborhoods could help.

Help?! I have been pleading with city councilors for over a decade to implement a core neighborhood revitalization program through re-allocating TIF rebates to individual homeowners and small apartment owners in our core neighborhoods. It could be a multi-tier program that gives property tax rebates for certain kinds of upgrades as well as using federal grants and community development loans. While we are in the middle of a crisis right now in SF when it comes to affordable housing because we have allowed realtors and developers artificially inflate the market. We can’t cry over what we should have done, we need to implement these programs ASAP to save our core neighborhoods while creating abundant affordable housing.

What’s happening with the apartments by Sunshine GS Downtown?

As you may or may not know, the apartments are being built by Legacy Development, the same business involved with the Parking Ramp Debacle and collapse of Copper Lounge.

I do believe the project also got some Federal tax incentives(?)

Almost every night I ride my bike through DTSF to look at how progress is going on various projects. This week Raven tore down the old building by their parking lot and they have been working on the donor wall at the Arc of Dreams (which is funny because they built a concrete block wall a single block wide, then attached cut quartzite to the concrete block. Why not just use solid quartzite? Weird.

But the one thing I have noticed is the Legacy apartment project has been hardly touched for several weeks. In fact the plywood and studs that are exposed are starting to dis-color with all the rain and heat.

I have a city official looking into the progress and hope to give an update.

The Signage is up?

Is this property being leased from the city?

I noticed that the developer of the Cascade has been using city property in Falls Park West as staging ground for the development. I wonder if the developer is leasing the property while using it and if they will repair the cover when done at their expense?

I find it ironic that the citizen taxpayers held this land for over a decade, collecting NO taxes on it for the developer and now they are using more of the property. They also received a large TIF for the project. These apartments are not workforce housing, these are market rates. The studios go for $895 a month and single bedrooms go for $1,200 a month, hardly ‘affordable’ housing. So what really is the city getting in return for the TIF? Well like most TIFs in Sioux Falls, not a damn thing except higher property taxes for the rest of us especially with another opt-op looming for the county and the SFSD. It’s time for us to end the corporate welfare practice of TIFs.

Expensive home sales as ‘News’ shows the enormous gap between the wealthy and working poor in Sioux Falls

Over the past couple of years we have seen this rise of expensive home sales as somehow being ‘news’. We get to see these enormous castles on various news websites as somehow being a testament to the booming economy of community. All it says to me is that our industrial complex hospital systems are paying their doctors too much.

What’s sad is that week after week as we have to endure the sales of the week (which always exceed $500K and sometimes teether on the million dollar mark) while most working class folks in Sioux Falls are struggling to pay a mortgage (if they are so lucky) or even pay rent and feed their families. Don’t be fooled by the poorly decorated rich peeps homes that are selling like hot cakes, Sioux Falls has an enormous housing crunch right now that has nothing to do Dr. Ding Dong’s Lake Estate.

Let’s admit it, unless you qualify for some charitable or federal program (because you suddenly have 6 kids jammed into a 1 bedroom apartment because you don’t know how to use a condom) most working poor people are left behind. And even if you can manage to keep your willy wrapped and work three jobs, it is virtually impossible to build a new home in Sioux Falls for under $200K.

And rents, they are astronomical because we have allowed the apartment developer market to regulate itself with little interference from local or even state government (besides handing out TIFs like candy).

The carrot dangling by some of the news organizations is ridiculous. The constant ‘look what you could have if you just worked harder’ (or had a medical or law degree) isn’t reality. Reality would be for these same ‘news’ organizations to push for more pay equality, living wages and ending wage collusion between our top employers in town, then we can move onto affordable housing.

Let’s start talking about the real housing issues in Sioux Falls instead of Dr. Ding Dong’s indoor pool vaulted ceiling irish pub hot tub gourmet kitchen and heated floor garage.

Stehly sets up meeting with developers and business owners to discuss diaganol parking

Theresa told me,

“Taking time to listen and hear all sides is an important part of the role of City council. I will summarize the items that were negotiated on Tuesday Night.”

Was the Downtown Parking Ramp just a ‘SHAM’ from the beginning?

I never did have a good feeling about the project and told several city councilors that the hotel will never be completed, then I hear this;

“The NMTC is a highly competitive economic development program, which incents private investments in the poorest rural and urban communities in America,” Rapoza said in a statement. “To receive NMTC allocation from the Department of Treasury and participate in the program, community development organizations demonstrate a record of financing dynamic projects that improve services such as health care, or create jobs and opportunity in communities where capital is difficult to obtain from conventional lenders.”

Low paying hospitality jobs is hardly a good reason to give such a project tax incentives. This deal was doomed from the beginning and any city official/employee who supported this, worked on this or voted for this should be ashamed and should resign.