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Isthmus on Edgewater

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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Huckleby » Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:34 pm

snoqueen wrote:Same as before, I'd say. I don't like the design of the new tower, which I think is unattractive and out of scale.

I hope the actual building is more appealling to you than the scale models. Things can grow on you with time.

I hated the outside architecture of the Overture Center at first. Now it seems to fit OK, just a matter of getting used to it I suppose. Sort of like that couch that you don't throw out.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Detritus » Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:38 pm

Huckleby wrote:
snoqueen wrote:Same as before, I'd say. I don't like the design of the new tower, which I think is unattractive and out of scale.

I hope the actual building is more appealling to you than the scale models. Things can grow on you with time.

I hated the outside architecture of the Overture Center at first. Now it seems to fit OK, just a matter of getting used to it I suppose. Sort of like that couch that you don't throw out.

I'd be happy to throw out the jell-o mold (tm) for real architecture. The facades thing is fine, but I don't want to see that as a precedent, as it almost was in the 100 block.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Ducatista » Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:53 pm

Hallefuckinglujah!

Walked up to the Edgewater from my house a week ago Friday afternoon. I sat on the shitty pier and lamented, for the umpteenth time, the tragic waste of such a fantastic spot. Later that evening I looked at the site from the lake (treading water... which was INSANELY clear and soft last Friday) and sadly imagined what might have been.

SO happy the "might have been" probably now will be.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Steve Vokers » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:01 pm

Wow, you can build stuff without government handouts? Who knew???
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Huckleby » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:57 pm

Steve Vokers wrote:Wow, you can build stuff without government handouts? Who knew???


Well, this is not exactly a free market triumph. It was very fortunate that a deep-pocketed philanthropist stepped-in out of public spirit. This instance does not demonstrate that TIF projects are unnecessary or unwise.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Steve Vokers » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:32 pm

Huckleby wrote:
Steve Vokers wrote:Wow, you can build stuff without government handouts? Who knew???


Well, this is not exactly a free market triumph. It was very fortunate that a deep-pocketed philanthropist stepped-in out of public spirit. This instance does not demonstrate that TIF projects are unnecessary or unwise.


How is it not a free market triumph? You don't think Jerry and Pleasant donated the money, do you? This ain't charity like the Overture, this was a business decision. They are in for a piece of the action.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Huckleby » Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:00 pm

Steve Vokers wrote:How is it not a free market triumph? You don't think Jerry and Pleasant donated the money, do you? This ain't charity like the Overture, this was a business decision. They are in for a piece of the action.


If this is such a sure-fire, money-making venture, you must be pissed-off that the city didn't get in for a "piece of the action."

The odds that Frautchi is in this for a fast turnover (and at his age, it better be fast) are 1 in infinity. I'm sure there is a Brazilian offshore oil well somewhere that Frautchi could make a lot more money in.

No, it is not coincidental that the investor is the same person who recently donated $200M to the city. How much does one person have to donate before you accept that their motivations are altruistic? Ya, I've been sharply critical of the Frautchi heavy-hand in Overture (based on my perception of how things went down.) But his good intentions and civic spirit are unassailable
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Michael Patrick » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:12 am

It's not a donation like with the Overture. Even the headline of the article refers to Frautshi's money as an "investment." They further go on to talk about the rate of return he's expecting. Sure, he's willing to accept a lower rate of return because he thinks it is a worthy project, but he's still expecting it to be a money maker.

Once you start talking rates of return, all the talk about altruism goes right out the window, IMHO.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Huckleby » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:23 am

Michael Patrick wrote: Sure, he's willing to accept a lower rate of return because he thinks it is a worthy project, but he's still expecting it to be a money maker.


OK. Well, then the bar has been set very high indeed for altruism. Have you committed a single act in your life that can be described as purely altruistic?

In fact, I would be hard pressed to think of ANY example that meets your standard of purity. Even the heart-of-gold guy serving at the soup kitchen is looking to get out of the house and meet people.

Frautchi obviously is not in this for the investment opportunity, he could do better elsewhere. The fact that he stands to make some profit in no way negates the fact that he is making a sacrifice, probably for civic purposes.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Broadsheet » Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:43 pm

Folks, it's Frautschi, not Frautshi or Frautchi. At least get it right.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby green union terrace chair » Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:43 am

Get ready for "The Mistake on the (Other) Lake." At least Madison won't be investing in a hotel full of $400 rooms.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Ducatista » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:43 am

green union terrace chair, you've jacked up the offending room price from $300 to $400 since last fall. New info?
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby gargantua » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:02 am

Huckleby wrote:
Steve Vokers wrote:Wow, you can build stuff without government handouts? Who knew???


This instance does not demonstrate that TIF projects are unnecessary or unwise.


In general, I agree with that statement. The TIF as proposed for this specific project would have been unwise. I always believed that if it was a good project, the private sector would find a way to get it done. It did, and I'm fine with it. If some of the participants did so out of lofty motives, good on them. I don't really care what their motives are. Why can't we just be happy with the result?
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Huckleby » Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:36 pm

gargantua wrote: The TIF as proposed for this specific project would have been unwise. I always believed that if it was a good project, the private sector would find a way to get it done.

I completely disagree with your second sentence. There are plenty of good projects that benefit the city that can be made viable with a city contribution.

Several posters at Madison.com are claiming this instance proves that private money has worked its magic here, serving as an object lesson in TIF foolishness. No, what we saw is that the city's efforts to jumpstart the Edgewater project ended in a destructive, smouldering state. A civic-minded philanthropists rescued the city from a failure. I seriously doubt the market was otherwise ready to chip-in, this is a special case.

The other comment from the anti-TIFers is that TIF should be limited to its original intention - revitalizing blighted areas. This ideological view is really at the core if the disagreement. The resentment against TIF is anger that capitalist developers might earn a buck. Well, I do see a lot of value to this point of view. I tend to a more pragmatic stance, I'll accept an ounce of corruption for a pound of public good.
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Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby green union terrace chair » Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:42 pm

Ducatista wrote:green union terrace chair, you've jacked up the offending room price from $300 to $400 since last fall. New info?


The former price had more with what I had heard from other local hoteliers. I did some research (googling) and found that a very loose rule of thumb to find room rate is:

(Project Cost) / (Number of Rooms) / 1000 = Average room rate.


That assumes you're lumping in all the amenities and extras like restaurants, parking, swimming pools, ballrooms, etc.

The cost given in the most recent article is $98 million. However, this will include "up to ten luxury condos." Let's be generous and say they build all ten at a cost of $1M apiece (which I think is high, unless they're selling for $2M). That brings the hotel portion to $88M.

The biggest change in financing is that there's no TIF. So you must include the whole "public component," the plaza, the grande staircase, etc., into the cost. According to Dunn, TIF would have covered half of the public component and that would have been "off the books," paid for by a loan from the city (in turn paid off by property taxes in the TIF zone). But now that will all have to be paid for by room charges. So the back of the envelope calculations are:

($98M project cost - $10M condo cost) / 189 rooms / 1000 = $466 average room rate.


Because of code phrases like "The group is willing to take a lower rate of return to make it work," maybe they're able to get that room rate down a bit. Also understand that if they have suites that are far above average price, the rest will also come in under the average.
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