Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What Will Become of the MSA Parking Lots?

Through a series of variances over the years, the two gravel parking lots on the site of the old Market Square Arena have been allowed to operate without the usually required paving. Well, the variance extensions are just about over - the current variance expires on August 6, 2010.

The approval letter reads in part:
This Approval shall be temporary, expiring August 6, 2010, at which time the parking lots shall be hardsurfaced and striped by the petitioner per the Central Business Districts Zoning Ordinance, or the petitioner shall cease parking facility operations.
The owner and petitioner are none other than the Capital Improvement Board, which is so flush with cash, that it just yesterday agreed to give the Pacers another $10 million per year for 3 years AND make at least $3.5 million in improvements to Conseco Fieldhouse.

In 2008, the CIB netted an income of $788,693.12 for those two lots.

Also in 2008, the Regional Center Zoning Ordinance was revised to prohibit parking lots in the Mile Square, which would include this site. So, even if the CIB wanted to pave the lot, it would have to file a variance to allow the lot itself. The CIB has not filed for any petition as of today.

You will recall that just last year the CIB claimed it couldn't get by without at least $43 million more per year, plus a one time infusion of another $43 million.

The State Legislature authorized an expansion of the Professional Sports Development Area, allowed the City-County Council to increase the innkeeper tax by 1% in 2009, and offered a $9 million a year loan for each of three years. In addition, they allowed the City-County Council the option of increasing the car rental tax by 2% and the admissions tax by 4% in 2013.

At the time, the Legislative Services Agency estimated that the expanded PSDA would provide the CIB with about $600,000 in 2010, predicted to grow to $6 million by 2012 as the new hotels and amenities in that area come on line. The increased innkeeper tax was estimated to give an additional $4 million per year. So, that amounts to a total infusion of $13.6 million in 2010, growing to about $16 million by 2011, and dropping back to $10 million in 2012 as the state loans dry up.

Of the $43 million the CIB claimed was bare bones, absolutely necessary to avoid bankruptcy and worse, there was provision for $15 million to the Pacers.

The new Pacers deal suggests that the CIB could actually get by on a whole lot less than they made out. (I know, imagine that !) Even though the CIB got roughly $13.6 million in new cash this year, they are able to give away a full $10 million to the Pacers, promise at least $3.5 million in Fieldhouse renovations, and give up on about $800,000 in revenue from the old MSA parking lots. Next year the new money should provide a cushion of a couple million dollars. But in 2012 the influx of new cash should drop back down, again eating up any cushion for CIB operations. That might suggest to some, that the CIB wasn't in nearly the dire situation they made out. If you can give it all away, maybe you didn't really need it to begin with.

I sure would like to hear what the Legislators, who ran quite a gauntlet just to come up with their CIB bailout plan last year, think about the CIB at this point in time. Wonder what the Councillors who voted for the CIB bailout think, too.


Anonymous said...

The should be used to build a new Criminal Justice Center. This could house a new jail, intake facility all in one place, plus courts for your most dangerous cases all in the same building. Also house pros. office and public defenders.

Had Enough Indy? said...

There is no money for such things. Maybe the courts can work with the sports venues for space at a reduced rate?

Sarcasm aside, this City seems to have endless streams of money for tourism, but not for quality of life and routine functions of government for those of us who live here.

A good case can be made, and you summarize it, for a new Justice Center. But, there isn't any money left and no political will to find any, I think.

Anonymous said...

Somehow,someway,the CIB will find a loophole and the lots will be paved-at taxpayer expense. Amazingly,the CIB will negotiate a management deal with the Simons to manage the lot.

The deal will be as follows:

The Simons will garner a fee of $788,693.12 per year for 12 years to manage the lot.

The CIB will guarantee Simon Management at least a minimum of 10 million per year in profits.

If the 10 million per year profits promised to Simon Management fall short....

The taxpayer will subsidize the remaining amount.

{Call it satire....but it's closer to the truth}