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Isthmus on Edgewater

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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:48 pm

The latest news on the Edgewater saga: Appeals Court Clears Path For Edgewater Redevelopment Plan

So will the redevelopment still go ahead with reduced TIF funding?
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby green union terrace chair » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:20 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:The latest news on the Edgewater saga: Appeals Court Clears Path For Edgewater Redevelopment Plan

So will the redevelopment still go ahead with reduced TIF funding?

I believe the developer has said that he cannot proceed with the reduced level of TIF that the mayor has proposed.

The city council will take up the TIF reduction at their 11/15 meeting. That should be a brief one, eh?
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby gargantua » Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:38 pm

I would like to test the "can not proceed" assertion. I suspect it's more like "will not, unless you call our bluff".
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby snoqueen » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:34 pm

Other TIF districts are tanking, the economy is weak, real estate values are down beyond belief, mortgage loans are lower than any time in recorded history (literally), the city faces an extremely difficult budget with cuts to every department, the school district has lost millions in state funding, the city has lost millions more...

and if the City Council does what Bob Dunn wants, I'm going to think the whole bunch of them are completely insane. This is NOT the best use of city funds at this time. It's not even a reasonable use. Other hotels sink or swim on private money, this one should too.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby fennel » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:15 pm

I agree with your conclusion and every assertion – except the one claiming that real estate values are too low. Real estate values inflated because of a speculative bubble in an unregulated market. Now the 99% is paying the price for that. In any case, it makes no sense to artificially support the inflated values.

On the other hand, a little intelligent taxation might be in order, paired with some kind of relief program.

Re the article mention above, I find this sentence utterly bizarre:
"The $16 million in TIF would help build the public terrace and staircase, move the hotel back 15 feet from Wisconsin Avenue and cover some costs related to moving underground parking to adjacent property owned by National Guardian Life Insurance Co."
This implies the TIF applies only toward features making the development acceptable to the community. What, the TIF wouldn't help build the towers?
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby snoqueen » Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:35 am

An excellent interview with Joe Gromacki, Madison's TIF guy, by Shawn Doherty:

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/g ... 03286.html

He doesn't make the way Edgewater was handled by the previous mayor look too good, but that's not the main point of the piece.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Stu Levitan » Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:34 am

Amazingly candid comments by Gromacki. Soglin should make sure every alder reads this before vote to reduce the TIF.

Wonder if Dave will address this in next blogpost....
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Bad Gradger » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:41 pm

Stu Levitan wrote:Wonder if Dave will address this in next blogpost....

I was thinking exactly that as I read the interview. It certainly reinforces the notion that Dave was completely in the tank for this from day one, facts be damned.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby gargantua » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:05 pm

Bad Gradger wrote:
Stu Levitan wrote:Wonder if Dave will address this in next blogpost....

I was thinking exactly that as I read the interview. It certainly reinforces the notion that Dave was completely in the tank for this from day one, facts be damned.


I read the print version today. Having worked in government, it rang true and it was damning, especially since Gromacki was being tactful and indirect, as we bureaucrats are trained to be.

Before reading this, I was OK with the project as long as the TIF commitment did not exceed what Mayor Soglin offered.

Now I think they should tear Edgewater down and put a beach in there. Lots of jobs involved in demolition too. I cannot begin to tell you how sick I became of hot shot industry people throwing their weight around because they got to an influential politician. This is the same damn thing. If only the public knew.....thanks to Gromacki for speaking as candidly as he did. Imagine if he just spoke freely.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Twofer4 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:05 am

gargantua wrote:Now I think they should tear Edgewater down and put a beach in there. Lots of jobs involved in demolition too. I cannot begin to tell you how sick I became of hot shot industry people throwing their weight around because they got to an influential politician. This is the same damn thing. If only the public knew.....thanks to Gromacki for speaking as candidly as he did. Imagine if he just spoke freely.



Are you referring to Fred Mohs and his self-entitled cronies? A beach you say, so wait, you must be working for Fred and gang. Got it.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby snoqueen » Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:36 am

Imagine if he just spoke freely.


Like you, I had the feeling Gromacki and Doherty were both being extremely tactful in what was said and published. I'd love to hear the whole thing.

This is NOT what we want from our elected officials, who are elected to serve everybody not just the hotshots. And it's why we have a committee structure in this city.

And it's why we have civil service and civil servants, which is the most important point.

We need this layer of workers, bureaucrats if you will, who serve with certain protections and expectations regardless of who is in office. They give continuity to governmental processes and are supposed to carry out the laws and rules uniformly through changes in administration. In this case it seems to be working. But look at what Walker's trying to do to the state departmental structure, turning civil service positions into handpicked ones. The result, of course, degrades continuity and fair enforcement and distorts -- politicizes -- the purposes of the departments affected.

There's a lesson to be learned here about the value of a fairly paid, fairly protected, well trained civil service. I wish more people got it.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Huckleby » Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:50 am

gargantua wrote: Before reading this, I was OK with the project as long as the TIF commitment did not exceed what Mayor Soglin offered.

Now I think they should tear Edgewater down and put a beach in there.

Finally you've come around, join the club! The Flat Madison Society would be against a tall building even if it cost nothing & came with a $30M donation to widows and orphans.

It's a question of historical preservation to the FMS - if the founders had wanted Madison to be anything but flat, they would have built it with skyscrapers. As with the constitution, original intent is what counts.

A tall building at that shoreline would be a giant fang violating the sublimely flat lake.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby gargantua » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:51 am

Twofer4 wrote:
gargantua wrote:Now I think they should tear Edgewater down and put a beach in there. Lots of jobs involved in demolition too. I cannot begin to tell you how sick I became of hot shot industry people throwing their weight around because they got to an influential politician. This is the same damn thing. If only the public knew.....thanks to Gromacki for speaking as candidly as he did. Imagine if he just spoke freely.



Are you referring to Fred Mohs and his self-entitled cronies? A beach you say, so wait, you must be working for Fred and gang. Got it.


Of course I'm not, but I'm sure you knew that.

Actually I think Fred has selfish motives and I have little respect for his role in this issue. Seriously, I DON'T CARE how tall Edgewater becomes. I have consistently opposed the excessive TIF, nothing more.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:00 pm

gargantua wrote:I have consistently opposed the excessive TIF, nothing more.

Same here.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:10 pm

The Cap Times has an interesting story on how the Edgewater deal breaks a multitude of Madison's TIF rules. Here are some highlights:

• The proposed $16 million loan for Edgewater is nearly 2.5 times the projected $6.6 million in new property taxes to be generated over the life of the loan, clearly violating the "50 percent rule." That rule caps the amount of a TIF loan at half the value of the projected "increment" or new taxes generated by a project.

• Developer Bob Dunn of the Hammes Co. limited his personal guarantee to $1 million, with Landmark LLC, the eventual Edgewater owner, on the hook for the remaining $15 million. City rules require a personal guarantee, not a guarantee from a limited liability corporation.

• The $16 million in TIF is not "self-supporting" since the project is only slated to deliver $6.6 million in new tax revenues over the loan term. To make up the difference, the city had to amend the boundaries for TID #32, an existing tax increment financing district along upper State Street and University Avenue, to include $9.8 million in new taxes generated by the University Square project.
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