Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tidbits on the Proposed Broad Ripple Garage Project

The announcement of the use of a third of the up front money collected by the City from the sale of the parking meter system to fund a garage in Broad Ripple set me to inquiring for the details.

Other blogs have pointed out the cozy relationship between the Ballard administration and Ballard re-election campaign finance with Keystone Construction as well as the seeming inability of this administration to craft a plan that makes any economic sense for taxpayers.  Well noted and what has become two of the trademarks of all deals made by this administration.  I send you to Ogden On Politics ("Taxpayers Pay to Build Broad Ripple Parking Garage; Garage and Revenue to Be Given Away") and Advance Indiana ("Big Ballard Campaign Contributor Scores Big With Broad Ripple Parking Garage Deal").

I've been poking on some public documents to try to ferret out details of the proposal.  Mayor Ballard's press release can be found online here.  I have uploaded the RFQ and the winning 'Statement of Qualifications' on Googledocs.  You must have a google account to access it.  If you prefer, drop me an email ( and I'll forward either to you.

Here are some tidbits.

The group that won the deal is composed of Keystone Group, LLC, Keystone Construction Corp., Newpoint Parking, Walker Parking Consultants/Engineers, Inc., and RATIO Architects.

The RFQ (Request for Qualifications) put out by the City to solicit proposals, asked that responses be sent to the Bond Bank.  Why the Bond Bank has taken on a prominent role in this administration is beyond me.  Now, to have them acting as the pivot point in dishing out proceeds of the parking meter deal is an even further stretch of all reasoning.  Regular readers of this blog know well my love affair with Deron Kintner (that's sarcasm for new readers), who is the Executive Director of the Bond Bank.

More humorous than anything else, the RFQ states "Responses (without attachments) should not exceed 20 pages in length."  The winning proposal was 33 pages.

The winning proposal proposed two locations and two options for what turned out to be the winning location.  These two alternatives were: Option 1-- for 308 parking spaces plus retail space on the first floor at a total cost of $12 million with the City funding $5.2 million.   Option 2 -- for 428 spaces plus retail space on the first floor at a total cost of $13.5 million with the City funding $6.4 million.  The final deal was for 350 parking spaces with retail space and a police substation at a total cost of $15 million with the City funding $6.4 million.

The location would be at 6280 and 6286 N. College Avenue (the southwest corner of the intersection of College and Westfield/Broad Ripple).  The current owner of 6280 is Marathon Ashland Petroleum, LLC, and is the site of a closed gas station.  The assessed value of this parcel jumped from $392,400 in 2009 to $888,900 in 2010 - I have no idea why, especially given its inactive state.  The current owner of 6286 is 6286, LLC, c/o J. Todd Morris.  Now, the winning proposal happens to list a Todd Morris as the Parking Manager for Newpoint Parking.  The Assessor's website states that the ownerships are current as of July 19, 2010.  The assessed value of this parcel rose from $76,600 in 2009 to $106,100 in 2010 - not nearly as dramatic as the other parcel.

The zoning is in place to accommodate a parking garage.  I have no information regarding the need or lack of need for any environmental remediation given that a gas station was on the largest part of the property.

Included in the winning proposal was a series of prior and current projects undertaken by the principals to show their expertise in such endeavours.  Included were two mixed use projects that were reminiscent of this project.  One was the Ivy Tech Multimodal Parking Garage/Library/Retail project that has 4 levels with 500 parking spaces as well as Library and retail space.  The price tag was $7 million.  The other was the Duke University Parking Garage IX (LEED) project that has 7 levels with 1917 parking spaces as well as Library and retail space, all being LEED certified.  The price tag was $35 million.  For some reason, the winning proposal of three to four levels with 350 parking spaces as well as police substation and retail space will cost $15 million.  I don't get it.  That seems like twice the cost at least.

We'll keep digging for details, for sure.  But, let's not forget the big picture.  The Ballard administration is saying that there is an urgent need for parking in the Broad Ripple area.  So, if there is such a need, why can't the private sector underwrite the entire cost?  Why do the taxpayers have to cover almost half the cost but get none of the proceeds?

1 comment:

Citizen Kane said...

That urgent need for parking - not! -is why nearly every parking variance in Broad Ripple was recommended for approval and approved.