Entries Tagged 'Legacy Developments' ↓

TenHaken interview reveals his lack of leadership

The first thing he does in this interview is blame the last guy for the problems with the Bunker Ramp. While there is ‘some’ truth to that, he could have put the brakes on immediately after he took office, instead he took a piece of toilet paper signed by developers that said they were good for the money.

Then he says he doesn’t want to do an audit until after it is finished, while that is SOP, and I get it from a financial standpoint, there is NOTHING stopping him from looking into what went wrong RIGHT NOW. That doesn’t take an audit to achieve, it requires him doing his job as the city manager and city employees boss (his main job according to charter) and putting a boot up their butts or at least a stern talking to and get them on investigating what went wrong before we sign on the dotted line for another developer to finish it.

He once again fails to lead.

I really believe one of the reasons the deal fell through towards the end is because of the Sioux Steel development and potential for a TIF funded parking ramp.

This is pure speculation of course, but think about it for a moment, what if they would have allowed the Bunker Ramp Hotel to be ‘scaled back’ and finished? That means a nice hotel in the center of our downtown would have opened at least a year before the Sioux Steel Hotel and Convention Center. Things that make you go hmmmmmm. I won’t get into all the players involved, but something smells funny here.

Towards the end of the interview, PTH continues to blabber about charging non-profits for police assistance, China and Kermit.

Corruption, Incompetance and Blatant Ignorance

After hearing about the settlement yesterday in the Copper Lounge collapse, we got the verification we all knew was true, Legacy and Hultgren were attached at the hip. Duh.

So when you read the headline in this blog post, you probably think I am talking about Aaron Hultgren or Norm Drake, I am NOT. They are beyond help.

I’m talking about the city councilors/mayors who approved the Bunker Ramp deal to begin with.

It is very irritating and frustrating to listen to some of the members of the RS5 blow off the bunker ramp as just a ‘bad decision’ and that they are not perfect and sometimes make ‘mistakes’.

I would qualify NOT giving a movie theater a beer license as a ‘mistake’ or ‘bad decision’. Something that can be easily passed later, and even if it isn’t, it doesn’t harm anyone. The bunker ramp is a COLASSAL F’UP! Taxpayers are currently paying $1.5 million a year in bond payments for a parking ramp that is unoccupied and will be for a very long time. We may have to dip into the 2nd penny to help make these payments.

The evidence and writing was ON THE WALL! There was mountains of evidence that shouldn’t have passed, but out of pure arrogance a majority passed it anyway.

I am still awaiting at least an apology from those who voted for it, but I still think there needs to be greater consequences. They essentially committed FRAUD on the taxpayers by supporting a project they knew would never happen and the current and past mayor are also to blame. There is also a ton of past and present city employees who helped ramrod it through.

I would like to see a recall and termination of all involved that still work for the city. But there is something you can definitely do this Spring. You can make sure that councilors Selberg and Neitzert don’t get re-elected, and if they had any sense at all, they wouldn’t run for re-election (I do know that both of them already have STRONG challengers waiting in the wings). I would also suggest to re-elect councilors Starr and Stehly who opposed this from the beginning.

We all know that elected officials often make ‘mistakes’ and are not ‘perfect’. But when you have so much evidence showing you it would be a bad decision and you pass it anyway, you have to wonder what kind of corruption is going on behind the scenes. Maybe we get lucky and the Feds that are investigating the building collapse will investigate the city for attempting to go into business with Legacy. We can only hope!

Thursday Tidbits


It seems Jodi Schwan’s replacement may be seeing the writing on the wall and is leaving the Argus at the end of the month to be a health reporter for FORUM communications.


It seems the mayor doesn’t think the changes to the charter are necessary, and in some respects he is correct, because if the past mayors and himself would follow the charter to begin with, we wouldn’t have to make these changes. Let’s go over this again, the Mayor is in charge of running the city and following policy, the city council creates and implements that policy. But since him and his predecessors cannot follow rules, we have to make those changes on our own.


You know what they say, it ain’t over until the fat lady sings, and today we

found out she has yet to sing her song. While the insurance companies settled, the city and engineering firm are still not out of the clear. The FEDS also have to finish their investigation. We still have a few more hurdles to cross. And as you can see, Legacy was tied to the building collapse (DUH) this is why the council was warned about approving the bunker ramp.

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.

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?