What caught my eye was the "estimated value" line in the Application Information section of the structural permit. This information would be supplied by the applicant, not the City.
$8 million dollars is the estimated value of this parking garage. Not the oft repeated $15 million number. And, this $8 million dollars would include the new flood proofing designs that were so onerous that the developer said it would kill the project.
The City taxpayers, through the up-front proceeds from the sale of the parking meter assets, is paying for this garage to the tune of $6.34 million. We were told there would be 350 parking spaces and no more than 20% of the building devoted to retail and other uses. The permit weighs in with 349 parking spaces, but the full first floor being retail (or 33% of the building) devoted to non-parking functions). You will recall that the supposed need was for the parking spaces, not more retail. Schouten reports that 100 of the spaces are actually required for all that retail, netting the taxpayers 249 spaces.
What to make of the $8 million "estimated value"? Three possibilities leap to mind. First - the taxpayers of Indy are paying $6.34 million, or the very hungry lion's share of the price for this garage/retail building. Even if the per square foot construction costs of retail were equal to that of parking spaces (which I trust is no where near true), the cost of the parking spaces would be $5.33 million. So, we have paid too much for what we are getting. We have been led to believe that the costs were closer to $15 million by our City leaders, so our contribution would part of $10 million in costs for the two floors of parking.
Could the developer be so bad with money that he would spend $15 million and only create $8 million in value? Possibly.
The last thought is that this $8 million value just might be what gets into the database for assessed values for property tax purposes.
I don't know what the costs truly are. I have outstanding open records requests for just that information from the City. But, the Ballard administration's self-proclaimed transparency is still not evident in its divulgence of public documents through City Legal.
Until further information is provided by the City, we are left with at least three possibilities - the taxpayers are paying more than their share of the building - the developer is very bad with money - or the true value of the new garage is deliberately being low balled.