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bobliocatt

Barnett deal in

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Despite my strong support for historic preservation ... I sort of agree with the city on this one.

Langdon made the HUGE mistake of publicly stating that he couldn't buy the building without a city handout. He didn't even want just tax breaks ... he wanted grants or loans.

Given the billions of dollars being invested (or proposed) in residential developers downtown, I understand the city's reaction against publicly subsidizing another one. Maybe if Langdon actually owned the building, and a slight tax break or historic fascade grant was all he needed to pull everything together - then city money would be very reasonable. As it is, I think he just asked for too much, too late.

The fact that the building is still in pretty good condition (unlike the carling and 11e) also hurts his cause. The city basically came out and said it: they hope someone else will come along and fix it without incentives. They might be right, but it's too soon to tell.

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Despite my strong support for historic preservation ... I sort of agree with the city on this one.

Langdon made the HUGE mistake of publicly stating that he couldn't buy the building without a city handout. He didn't even want just tax breaks ... he wanted grants or loans.

Given the billions of dollars being invested (or proposed) in residential developers downtown, I understand the city's reaction against publicly subsidizing another one. Maybe if Langdon actually owned the building, and a slight tax break or historic fascade grant was all he needed to pull everything together - then city money would be very reasonable. As it is, I think he just asked for too much, too late.

The fact that the building is still in pretty good condition (unlike the carling and 11e) also hurts his cause. The city basically came out and said it: they hope someone else will come along and fix it without incentives. They might be right, but it's too soon to tell.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It does not say in the article what he was asking for. Maybe he WAS asking for a Tax break/rebate. Where are you getting the loan/grant info from? You also state that he was asking for too much? How much was he asking for? It's not listed in the article.

The fact that the building hasn't deteriorated to the level of the Carling or 11 E. is a BAD thing? Is it a requirement that is be falling down before the city will do something about it? The worse the condition the building is in, the more expensive (read less profitable/feasible) it will be for ANYONE to do it.

NO investor is going to buy a building until he knows that the "numbers work", apparently the numbers don't work without a contribution of some kind from the city. That is no different than The Carling or 11 E. The city provided heavy subsidies to both buildings and Vestcor did not close on the buildings until the city council committed funds for the restoration.

I don't care how "deep" the pockets are, it the project isn't profitable, no one is going to buy it.

The city also subsidized NEW construction for The Peninsula, Strand, San Marco Place and the Shipyards. The latest project that was just announced next to Metro Park may yet ask for incentives.

The Barnett would provide for redevelopment of a historic property in the very heart of the Northbank core, and off from the river to boot. If it is not worthy of a contribution from the city, then no other project will be found worthy either.

I guess we can expect the Marble trio to bite the dust as well, since it has already been stated that a city contribution will be needed. Not to mention that Signet had a $3mm subsidy and still couldn't make an office project work.

Look for two new surface parking lots soon. I'm sure that will be a great boost to the Adams/Laura/Forsyth corridor.

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Check the TU, DailyRecord, BizJournal archives. He wanted grants and low interest loans for millions of dollars.

I was suggesting that the building's condition is a bad thing for Mike Landgon's attempts at incentives. Obviously, the building's good condition is a great thing overall.

The city's argument is that the numbers would work without incentives. If you don't agree you don't agree ... but you're going to be hard pressed to get anyone up in arms about the city not giving away money to a building that might make it on its own (and won't fall apart while we're waiting). Aren't you the one always arguing for holding out for potential, Vic ;) ?? Let's wait and see if someone else buys it. If not, then the incentives arguments will be that much stronger next time ... seems fair.

I don't understand the analogy to the Laura Trio, though. That will fall apart without city help. The Barnett won't. The Barnett not getting incentives shouldn't have any bearing on the Laura Trio.

Also, if the Metro Park project asks for incentives, they probably won't get any. So I don't think that point really matters either.

Also, the Barnett cannot be knocked down. Its owner had the city designate it a local landmark years ago.

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Check the TU, DailyRecord, BizJournal archives. He wanted grants and low interest loans for millions of dollars.

I was suggesting that the building's condition is a bad thing for Mike Landgon's attempts at incentives. Obviously, the building's good condition is a great thing overall.

The city's argument is that the numbers would work without incentives. If you don't agree you don't agree ... but you're going to be hard pressed to get anyone up in arms about the city not giving away money to a building that might make it on its own (and won't fall apart while we're waiting). Aren't you the one always arguing for holding out for potential, Vic ;) ?? Let's wait and see if someone else buys it. If not, then the incentives arguments will be that much stronger next time ... seems fair.

I don't understand the analogy to the Laura Trio, though. That will fall apart without city help. The Barnett won't. The Barnett not getting incentives shouldn't have any bearing on the Laura Trio.

Also, if the Metro Park project asks for incentives, they probably won't get any. So I don't think that point really matters either.

Also, the Barnett cannot be knocked down. Its owner had the city designate it a local landmark years ago.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I read all those papers and have for years, long before Langdon announced his intentions. I do not recall ANY mention of a specific dollar amount. I also don't recall a reference to any specific type of incentive he was seeking. I do recall him saying significant assistance would be required, and he has specifically mentioned the possibility of parking assistance, but that's pretty vague. If you can find a specific reference, I'll stand corrected. Besides, I'm sure during the negotiation phase, the type/amount of assistance was at least somewhat negotiable.

Not too many people got "up in arms", when the city promised $230mm in future revenues for the Shipyards, after the city had ALREADY committed 36 million to that same project!

The 11 E. building was not "falling down" either. It could have remained in its pre-renovated state for at least several more years as well. My point is that instead of letting the Barnett slowly deteriorate into another Carling (pre-renovation), why not ACT NOW. Doesn't downtown have enough crumbling buildings? Millions more was spent on BOTH 11 E and The Carling, than either building is actually worth post-renovation! The same will be true for the Barnett if it is allowed to decay for too many years.

What Langdon is promising IS QUALITY! There is no need to "HOLD OUT" any longer. Opportunity is knocking. If he were proposing something like a telecom building or something that wouldn't bring value to downtown, then I WOULD say that the city should wait for something better. That is NOT the case here. More residents, as well as a boutique hotel in the heart of the Northbank core would be very beneficial to downtown. Remember, Langdon was the original pioneer in terms of downtown housing with the Knight building. He did a quality project with that, and has had success in three other cities. The big boys like Landmar and Vestcor didn't get turned down from the city.

The city's argument is that 1) it's broke,(unless of course it needs $50mm for a new Navy base) and 2) incentives are no longer necessary to promote downtown housing. I agree with the second part, in terms of riverfront property, but not in this case. Obviously, if the city doesn't have the money now, it not going to have it in a few month's when the Pension Fund makes it's request. Also, the precedence of turning down Langdon gives justification to also turn down the Pension Fund. The Bisbee building appears to be in similiar condition as the Barnett from outward appearances.

I hope that the Marble Trio is saved, but it is difficult to believe that it's future is not bleaker now.

Lastly, buildings on the city's landmarks list have been demolished before. Three of them were demolished just to build the new library. The owner can just let it deterioriate until the building is unsafe.

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