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« K Street rejoices | Main | KO'd »

Jan 22, 2010

Comments

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Tim

As I have been saying all week, the study does not include the revenue stream of the proposed office, retail, and restaurant portion of the deal. And it also does not included resource from an upscale brand like Wyndham or Westin as Kaplan stated. Looks like the hotel group will do another report in attempt to counter the most recent report.

Tim

I do think it would be a smart move for city council to table any vote on the parking deck until they know the outcome of this project in May. There is no need to rush a vote on the parking deck.

Spag

Like I said before, those at the top will cash out early. If the project fails, who cares. At least they got paid. Americans are REALLY tired of this kind of politics and government policies that allow it to happen.

Stephen

"If...the projections for occupancy are... around 40 percent, it won't get done. We won't build it because it won't get funded." Randall Kaplan, from the same article.

Brandon Burgess

This weeks editorial in Yes! speaks to a number of concerns.

"Chisholm told YES! Weekly that the neighborhood association “bring[s] to the table a spirit and a connectivity of how we model what is in the best interest of this community.”

We have no idea what that means. In fact, it is still unclear what tangible contributions the neighborhood association will contribute to the project, though Chisholm elucidated what Ole Asheboro stands to gain from its ownership stake.

“Homeownership builds equity that can be leveraged into other kinds of ownership…. This is about wealth creation at the community level, not just at the individual level.”

Tim

I think we wont know the TRUE numbers until the office, retail, restaurants revenue and actual hotel brand are included. A Wyndham or a Westin will make a great difference as a oppose to a Hilton. We already know that at least two of the upscale brands are interested. Also the affect of the International Civil Rights Museum also wasnt included in the report. Now the museum by itself wont generate the numbers needed but in combination with everthing else, its a factor.

Tim

City Council is hoping this hotel project happens now. The reason, if the state commission or bond holders didnt approve the project, city council and staff will be criticized for carelessly losing millions of recovery bonds.

Joe Guarino

I think one council member, and one county commissioner, need to summon up the courage to propose a motion to reconsider or rescind. I think each of our local elected officials should go on record with a vote on this proposal; and the only way a vote will happen will be if a couple of elected officials with courage and integrity make a motion.

I am not sure that standing idly by, and allowing this to take place, rises to the level of integrity we would necessarily like to have in our elected officials.

The motion might not pass; but it is still worth making, because every member needs to vote on this, taking into consideration all the information that has come out over the last several days.

Tim

Its too late now. They had their chance December 15th. Rescinding only makes matter worse because its like throwing millions of recovery bonds in the trash. The best thing to do is to move this hotel project forwards and hope that it succeeds. Some are looking at this project with doom and gloom based on a recent report. But the report ONLY looked at hotel rooms and not the other portions of the project which include office, retail and restaurants. I think this hotel will be fine considering that. I do think it will take business away from the O'Henry and Proximity.

Brandon Burgess

Tim, they wouldn't be going "into the trash" would they? From what I understand, reallocation will take place if council decides not to move forward with the project by May.

Tim

what about that December 15th deadline? Projects for this round of bounds had to be approved by the city at that date.

Tim

"round of bonds"

Joe Guarino

Tim, it is not too late. They can simply rescind and forego the bonds. That would be the ethical thing to do.

This is a putrid, unethical mess; and we ought not participate. It is also wrong to give a new hotel an advantage over existing hotels through governmental action. Finally, it appears there may be the equivalent of a "moral hazard" situation based on a post over at Piedmont Publius. The federal taxpayer may be left holding the bag, apparently, if the involved parties don't own up to any business failure.

Tim

If you want to really raise some eye brows call up Issac Cain and ask him and the "unidentified Orlando develepment group" to revive the "Greensboro Triumph Center". THe editors of the Business Journal seem to be tearing down Kaplan's hotel project yet they were proponents for a more unrealistic project AKA "Greensboro Triumph Center" that would have included a 20-story 500 room 4-star luxury hotel, 200,000 sq ft conference center, a House of Blues, rides, bowling alley, IMAX theater, 18-story office tower and the list goes on. That project surpassed $300 million.

glenwoodobserver

Joe -
No denying this is an ethical mess, but just wondering if you feel the same way about all three projects in line for bonds, or just the hotel? Is it wrong for Deep Roots to get the advantage of these bonds and for the proposed apartments and restaurant at Miller Lofts as well? Or is your aversion specific to the hotel?

Joe Guarino

I think the ethical problems are much greater when you have an elected official/machine boss acting as a broker and commanding a fee with the transaction. I am very concerned regarding the actions of city staff also.

But if there is a "moral hazard" component to these recovery bonds, or if the other two projects are not feasible, I would oppose participating in those also. We do not have any obligation to participate in this program. We ought not feel cowed to participate just because it is available. If it is wrong, do the right thing and walk away.

Bubba

"If it is wrong, do the right thing and walk away."

This entire hotel episode stinks, but it's certainly not out of character for those who practice "business as usual' in our fair city.

I have no confidence in these people doing the right thing by walking away.

Roch101

Alston's involvement is supremely unethical. It may not be illegal, but it stinks to high heaven and his arrogance about it speaks to his character. Slinking away from a vote without explanation is not enough while he continues to lobby other elected officials as a broker of this project. No city councilor or fellow commissioner is going to be able to forget for a minute that they are talking to a county commissioner with whom they will have to deal on other matters.

Joe Guarino

I agree, Roch. And of course, many of the councilmen and county commissioners will be seeking the endorsement of the PAC of which he is a principal.

Bubba, they might not walk away-- but they should have to make an affirmative vote, for all to see, if they support it given all the new circumstances that have been uncovered over the last several days. Some of us continue to be very concerned about the actions of city staff on this matter; and it would be a mistake to let that stand unanswered.

Brandon Burgess

Again, my mind starts thinking conspiracy when this potential disaster of an idea is given precedence over existing projects that could use the bonds, while proponents of this project are saying things like "none of your business" and claiming that sexism and racism are the only reasons someone would question the viability of the project.

I'd like to know how instructions at the state level could be so clear (and according to Ed's lnks,they do appear to be clear), yet no one can explain how this project was first in line. Though I do understand that this project has been in the works for a while now.

Hell, I'd love to see something done with this shopping center at Summit/Cone.

bubba

".....they should have to make an affirmative vote, for all to see, if they support it given all the new circumstances that have been uncovered over the last several days. Some of us continue to be very concerned about the actions of city staff on this matter; and it would be a mistake to let that stand unanswered."

Why don't we ask Robbie Perkins and his Tag Team members if they agree with that sentiment?

David Hoggard

While I'm not cynical enough to believe that city staff set out to "trick" anyone (I think they were simply mis-informed by those they depend upon for info and that has been borne out by the revelations coming from the County offices), I think the whole thing needs a big "whoa" and a re-think.

It's just wrong for our Council to support something that - by most indications - is just too questionable on so many levels.

Short of it: Whenever Bob (Bubba) and I agree on ANYTHING, we are probably right... and our rare agreement indicates that nearly the entirety of the attention-paying electorate is smelling some real bad smells.

Joe Guarino

Brandon-- that is a great question about how the hotel achieved first-in-line status. And David, I don't know whether city staff was intentionally trying to trick the city council, and get this project approved surreptitiously. Some of us might have our own theories, based on the way the city of Greensboro has operated in the past. But it would be very difficult at this point to disagree with your statement that this whole thing smells awful.

triadwatch

let's not also forget who was the first person to get in front of council to speak in king zoning stud, trebic king master , airport authority and now king cotton lawyer also on ex mayor johnson's steering committee HENRY ISAACSON who we thought was only representing the neighborhood but looks likes has many more clients in urban group and elm street.

Henry Isaacson also being a part of this sure does raise plenty of red flags to me.

cheripickr

Beelze, welcome to the fascist racist right-wing hater club. I never was quite convinced you were one of us till now. Cross-burning tomorrow night, Sam's place. We'll initiate you. Bubba, your turn on the goat's blood.

Tim

well we need to just stop worrying about it and let the private investors worry. This isnt costing taxpayers. so it should be no concern to us.

Joe Guarino

I'm not sure that is correct, Tim.

There may be an issue of a parking garage. In addition, at the original Elm-and-Lee location, there were a number of other expenses the city would have incurred. This was revealed at Tony Wilkins' blog. I don't know if that will be true at the new location as well.

In addition, as I noted above, the federal taxpayers may be ultimately liable in the event of a business failure. If that is true, as it seems to be according to a post over at Sam Hieb's blog, then we have another "moral hazard" situation akin to Fannie Mae, in which private investors may feel free to undertake certain risks because they know they will ultimately get bailed out by the taxpayers.

RecycleBill

You'll notice that "Tim" has yet to provide evidence there will be no cost to taxpayers despite his repeated claims and the requests of myself and others that he do so.

Tim, again, you have no cred.

Who picks up the millions in construction costs for things like the necessary larger sewer mains and water lines a project like this will require should the project go belly up? The water and sewer lines will have to be expanded for MILES to provide service to a project this size. 200 hundred flushing toilets, showers and the requirements of the restaurant(s) and bars inside the planned "destination hotel" cannot be supported by the current capacity of Greensboro's downtown water and sewer systems. Yes, if the project is a success then the project will pay back those costs as they pay their utility bills but if the project floats to the top, belly up then taxpayers get the bill.

To imply that any project of this scale located in ANY downtown in America can be built at zero costs to the taxpayers is a FLAT OUT LIE. Why already our city staffers are spending hundreds of manhours working on this project when their time could be spent on other needs.

"No cost to taxpayers" = BULLSHIT!

Quit lying, "Tim," you'll never have any cred.

Roch101

"Cross-burning tomorrow night..." - CP

You may not be a real racist*, but you sure as hell are tone deaf.

[*Or maybe you are.]

Tim

RecycleBill...you are just one of the many gullible that believe this project is being funded by taxpayers.

As for the parking deck. Its gonna get built with or without the hotel so don't blame it on the hotel.

David Hoggard

Forget about it Billy - it won't do any good and Tim will always have to post the last word.

It is from experience from which I speak. Not worth it.

Ed Cone

"The water and sewer lines will have to be expanded for MILES to provide service to a project this size."

Can anyone confirm that this is true?

Roch101

"$12.5 million valuation"

What is the broker's commission on commercial real estate transactions? I know it's six percent on residential which, if the same for something like this, would make County Commissioner Skip "I Don't Have To Tell You" Alston's commission $750,000.

RecycleBill

"The water and sewer lines will have to be expanded for MILES to provide service to a project this size." -RecycleBill

Ed asked, "Can anyone confirm that this is true?"

Don't take my word for it-- ask Greensboro's water and sewer department instead. I'm sure they'll take Ed Cone's call or answer Ed Cone's e-mails even as they ignore the rest of us.

And while you're at it, remember the taxpayer funding of the Wallmart on East Cone Blvd. that we bloggers so famously voted down? Ask you friend, Robbie Perkins to go public with the whole story of how the taxpayers still ended up funding the building of that Walmart even after the City Council changed their vote from yes to no.

Again. there is no such thing as no cost to taxpayers on projects of this scale and ANYONE making such a claim is a liar or a fool.

RecycleBill

Oh, and just for the fun of it, has anyone done an environmental impact study on the building of this "destination hotel"?

RecycleBill

Tim, this is a Destination Hotel.

Mike J Baron

I am amused that all of you are so wound up over a hotel scam yet you don't believe the same city would run the Randleman Dam scam. Are the dam scammers stuck with the bill for the dam and the 53% chunk of Randleman Reservoir and the 75% expansion of the water works? NO!- it's the water customers and the taxpayers who will now pay forever for an unnecessary project! Google dam scam if you never heard of the water fraud and cover-up.

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