Saturday, December 18, 2010

City Bought Parking Garage - In July !

I must have been snoozing, but, back on July 19, 2010, the City of Indianapolis purchased the parking garage at 101 N. New Jersey Street. This from records on the County Assessor's website.

The reason this is important, is because this garage factored heavily in a really bad deal proposed by the Ballard Administration and Tadd Miller Enterprises, that was passed by the MDC over a year ago. (see "Dramatic Week for 450 E. Market Street (Bad) Deal" from October 9, 2009). The crux of that deal was to purchase the parking garage from Tadd Miller Enterprises for $18 million after that company purchased the parking garage and an entire city block across the street for that same amount, give the company a sweet deal to operate and use parking spaces for free, and abate Tadd Miller Enterprises and funnel that money into repayment of the bonds the city would use to purchase the garage.

The Assessor's records show that the garage (101 N. New Jersey Street), had a 2009 gross assessed value of $10.5 m, and a 2010 gross assessed value of $12 m. The owner is listed as "INDPLS, CITY OF DEPARTMENT OF METROPOLITAN DEVELOPMENT" and to have been the owner since July 19, 2010. I looked online for past Metropolitan Development Commission agendas to see when they approved this purchase, but only December's agenda is posted at this point. I have requested the resolution and any appraisals substantiating the purchase price. I will post an update once those records are provided.

The Assessor's records also show that the block across the street (450 E. Market Street), was purchased on exactly the same day, by Market Square Garage Ops Partners, LLC. The 2009 and 2010 gross assessed value of that property is shown as $3 m.

What surprises me the most is that I asked frequently for a copy of the final agreement between the City and Tadd Miller Enterprises and have been consistently told that 'the deal has not been finalize'. As coincidence happens, I actually last asked Maury Plambeck, Director of the Department of Metropolitan Development on July 29, 2010, "Has the deal with TM Miller Enterprises concerning 450 E. Market Street been finalized? If so, could I please get a copy of the agreement?" Plambeck's response that same day was "Pat, The deal has not been finalized. I'll remember that you want a copy, if and when an agreement is reached. Maury". Trusting Plambeck as I did, I stopped requesting the information.

It hasn't only been me who has been inquiring as to the status of the deal. I know that some reporters have tried to stay on top of it. I either snoozed through their articles on the City's purchase, or they, too, have missed this important development.

And, last but certainly not least, is that during the presentation on the proposed North of South deal to the Metropolitan Development Commission's, Economic Development committee, Commissioner Jim Curtis specifically asked how that deal was coming. He was told that there were still ongoing negotiations.

This is yet another example of Mayor Ballard's brand of "transparency". A bad deal gets morphed into a deal that is entirely invisible to the public.


Paul K. Ogden said...

I wouldn't trust Plambeck. He participated in the sweetheart Pan Am deal that allowed the Sports Corporation to get out of a 23 year contract without paying the city a dime.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Pat, I blogged awhile back that there was a rumor the project was being transformed into a high rise building that would house a new headquarters for DPS, IMPD and IFD. I've been checking with other reporters from time to time to see what they knew about it and they, too, seemed to be in the dark on it.

Gary R. Welsh said...

This is what I posted back on December 3:

On that sweetheart Tadd Miller development project in which Goldsmith supposedly had a hand, I'm picking up new rumors that the project has been dramatically revised with more city investment in the deal. You may recall under the original deal, the City was kicking in $18.5 million to buy the parking garage adjacent to the old Bank One operations center from Smoot Construction (note the controversial Smoot deals with the old Goldsmith administration that screwed over the taxpayers, as well as Miller's ties to Kosene & Kosene, more cronies of Goldsmith) and provide a 10-year tax abatement worth at least $6.6 million with the understanding Miller would close on financing for the deal within 90 days and break ground on the project within 9 months; otherwise, the property would revert to the City. So much for holding Miller to the original timeline, eh? Miller's plan called for a mid-rise building for 650 apartments and retail space. Now I'm hearing the project may be transformed into a high-rise project involving apartments and condominiums that would include space for a new headquarters for IMPD, IFD and the Department of Public Safety. What's interesting about this new concept is how as a candidate for mayor in 2007 Ballard floated the idea of building a new high rise justice center on that very same property before dropping it like a hot potato after the Peterson campaign pounced all over him for suggesting the idea of constructing a costly new government building and since it didn't exactly fit with his meme of cutting out all the "fluff" in the city budget instead of raising taxes or borrowing more money.

Anonymous said...

Some people should never be trusted because they mainly function as gatekeepers.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Paul, I always have trusted Plambeck.

Gary, I had seen your entry, but took it to be future tense in nature. This sale to the City guts the past deal, I should think. That would include any time frame commitment on Tadd Miller Enterprises. But, we'll have to see what has been agreed to be sure.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the MDC, the statements of some of the lawyers representing Eli Lilly in the "North of South" rezoning petition is indicative of the arrogance of Lilly and all the other so-called "good corporate citizens" - an oxymoron if I have ever heard of one.

Some people might fall on the Lilly side and that is fine. I'll side with the 100+-year old family business still run by the family every time over the corporate goliath.

Paul K. Ogden said...

No offense, Pat, but sometimes you may be a bit too trusting. You trust Chris Cotterill too and he's proved himself to not be trustworthy time and time again.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Paul, I'm content with the list of people I trust. I would assume that no two people's list are identical.