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$1 Million Subsidies to be voted on Feb. 20 By Loveland Council -
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Do you agree that the Loveland City Council should pass approximately $1 million for Lincoln Place - is there enough "public use" of the private development without the public parking to justify this significant investment?


Do you believe the Loveland City employee who says they will convert to condos as soon as the subsidy is passed? 


Lastly, did you read the story on the one bedroom unit being marketed as having a "den or second bedroom."   The attached bath and large closet certainly indicate its a bedroom but the City of Loveland (for code enforcement, parking, planning and taxes) its a 1-bedroom unit.


If you get to this blog after the City Council meeting Tuesday (Feb. 20) please post any comments about the meeting.


2007-02-20 03:06:19 GMT
Comments (35 total)
Author:Anonymous
I don't understand why the City Council would provide $1 million incentive to a project that is already built.
--Art
2007-02-20 05:01:40 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Chutzpah. That's what we used to call it. But in this case, it's chutzpah for all the wrong reasons. If I got this straight, the developer sold the city council on the idea that they'd build a bunch of public parking & it would be a catalyst for other downtown projects, both of which this town sorely needs. That was the reason they got fees waived and subsidies given. Now, the developers are saying they want to SELL the city the same improvements anybody else would have to PAY to provide?? Only they're not giving ANYTHING they said??? Our council is either really stupid or really bought off.
--Mort
2007-02-20 05:09:50 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Our city council must take the attitude that, "A million here, a million there... pretty soon you're talking about real money." After all, it's not real money to them, 'cause it's not their money.
--Brad
2007-02-20 05:37:56 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Do you know they will support this? I don't know anyone with the stomach to discuss giving money to these sad clowns after they left the downtown redevelopment folks holding the bag. We all worked very hard to get O'Connor the project because we thought they supported our goals. And he did but the widow and kids seem to not give a hoot about downtown Loveland or the work we did for that partnership.
--Name Withheld
2007-02-20 05:52:04 GMT
Author:Anonymous
My spouse, who works for the City of Loveland, told me absolutely no one is allowed to speak with anyone associated with this website - it would mean being fired. However, she said your information seems on target. Everything must go through Williams so someone has violated protocol and city policy.

God Bless you and God Speed because you seem to know what rocks to turn over.
--Concerned Taxpayer
2007-02-20 06:00:50 GMT
Author:Anonymous
What is the purpose of dumping tax money into a project that is already near completion? I thought the public parking was over so why isn't the city council walking from the table. Their lack of nerve is disapointing to everyone who bothers to pay attention.
--Jim
2007-02-20 06:13:06 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Predictions: I predict Gene Pielin will openly support this and pretend that using taxpayer's money for sidewalks around a now purely private endeavor was his plan all along. Maybe Skowron will bark at City Staff but cave-in after being told the project is in jeopardy if taxpayer's don't pay.

Anyone else want to hazard a bet? I say 7-2 in favor will be the vote. Some goats on the council seem to sit there on tuesdays waiting for the developers to milk them dry.
--Steve L.
2007-02-20 06:16:58 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I don't think they have a clue. What thinking person would even allow staff to put such a mockery of an MFA before the Council. The nerve is hard to believe.
--Gretta
2007-02-20 06:18:49 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I agree, I took the time to read the Master Financing Agreement (MFA) to try and see what we get for the $1 million. Sidewalks, sewer connections and I think a plaza in the building for $1 million. In other words, it pays for all the things they have to do anyway and adds nothing for those of us who work downtown except to compete for parking.
--Dianne
2007-02-20 15:54:42 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I just heard about this website on KFKA Radio's Colorado AM show. They said that condos will link parking to specific parking spots making them unavailable for customers of the retail parts of Lincoln Place.

I propose Mayor Walsh and the City Council say, "OK, you can have your $1 million but only if you agree to NOT sell the apartments as condos and leave the parking open for both residents and business tenants to SHARE.

Does the City Council know they will be participating in one of the most embarrassing failures of redevelopment in the state?
--Gloria Gloria
2007-02-20 15:59:13 GMT
Author:Anonymous
It is really only $927,000 not one million. Get your facts straight!
--Ed
2007-02-20 17:23:46 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Ed - please read all the information on the website before you blog.

In fact, it is $927,000 in addition to the $82,000 in tax waiver ALREADY GRANTED last year. If you read the resolution you will discover the $82,000 resolution waiver certain city taxes said it was because they would be providing public parking. I think that is why the Authority approved their bid in the first place.

So, the City Manager has put a new resolution before the Council restating the $82,000 WITHOUT any promise of public parking. If the Council reads their packets, they may actually vote no.

I think the total amount of tax dollars will be $1,09,000 (rounded down, of course, not to upset Ed)
--Brad H.
2007-02-20 17:29:58 GMT
Author:Anonymous
They already spent $26,000,000 so that isn't very much money at all for the City of Loveland to contribute. If they don't finish the project because the City of Loveland fails to be a reliable partner it will be a terible thing.

The Councilors OWE that money to to the O'Connors already since the original MFA anticipated giving money for sidewalks and other non parking uses anyway. The biggest change here is the removal of the public parking and the bonds to pay for the parking garage.

The city has no business telling a property owner how they can use their parking or if they should or shouldn't sell the units as condos.

Downtown will never improve if the Councilors fail to approve the new restated MFA tonight so I guess they are over a barrel.
--Ed
2007-02-20 17:34:51 GMT
Author:Anonymous
What intellectual dishonesty, "Ed"! Everyone, even you, knows full well that one of the project's primary claimed benefits to the City was the provision of much-needed public parking. Now that the project has reneged on that promise, you (and City Mgmt) want to give them a million dollar subsidy?
Read the proposed MFA. The only alleged "improvements" now are the same ones EVERY other developer (except McWhinneys, maybe) must fund at their own expense AS A CONDITION of development approval and building permit. It is even more outrageous to state that the City should give them this subsidy and THEN not have anything to say about the formerly promised parking or conditions such as "condoizing" that might further impeded it. Hey bud, if you are so insistent on giving the developers what they want, how about YOU write the first check, and get a bunch of your fellow believers to ante up as well?
But I share Steve's guess ...the Council will bend over and give 'em what they want because they really believe in reverse Robin-Hoodism: corporate welfare for fat cats.
--Not with MY money
2007-02-21 00:35:34 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I think a very small minority (as Councilor Gene says) is really concerned about the city partnering with the private sector.

The vast majority of people know this project will be a catalyst for bringing business downtown and that is why they agree the money is needed or the project will not happen.

Evidence is the fact no one ever complains to City Council in person - only here - and there is no evidence you even live or pay taxes in Loveland.


--Ed
2007-02-21 01:11:27 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Buy a clue while you're selling out, Ed. Government "partnering with the private sector" has a name. It's called fascism.

If you want to use your own money, that's your privilege. If you coerce others to provide the money through gov't power, that's called legalized stealing.

By any standard, it's wrong.
--Lovelander Without A Project
2007-02-21 05:10:25 GMT
Author:Guch
The complete report on the meeting is now posted along with a chart detailing the parking shortage. Here are the assumptions the LovelandPolitics team used in making the chart -

73 spaces for the 22,000 sq. ft. commercial per City Manager's information provided at meeting of what is normally required by the city, figured no resident guest parking, two spaces per every 2,3 bedroom units. Assumed 50% of 1-bedroom units need two spaces and other 50% only 1 space.

Very conservative estimates using standard calculations - someone really dropped the ball on this development since the parking is clearly short.

The chart can be seen on the same page as the report on the Feb. 20, Council meeting.

Please email news tips, private comments of suggestions to me at guchwale@aol.com.

Thanks

2007-02-21 07:29:31 GMT
Author:Anonymous
It's because there are just enough "tools" like Ed that the City Mgr and Council get away with stealing from the residents to pad the accounts of developers and speculators.
But here's the story: The City offers huge incentives to a project, in part to get the property redeveloped and generate taxes; and in large part because of its promise to add sorely needed downtown public parking. Realizing that the development plan didn't include enough parking to even satisfy its own needs, much less the public need, the developers unilaterally decide to drop any public parking. Nevertheless, the developer retains most of the incentives, alluding to unquantifiable public benefits. No cost-benefit analysis is provided to or by the City for its largesse of taxpayer dollars. Chastened by public scrutiny stemming from this site perhaps, the City Council makes a few token adjustments (taking back only a $66,000 of a near million dollar subsidy); and tells the developer to do what he planned on doing (provide 50 parking spaces for its commercial tenants.) Trying to appear on the ball, one Councilman asks about guest parking; answer: Zilch. Another asks (astutely) about how many spaces are needed for various planned uses. The numbers exceed the plan, but he supports it anyway. The developer consumes all the incremental property tax, so the City gets nada.

And finally, the very problem that the City said it was trying to solve (Parking) just got a whole lot worse, as the development will create even more demand for public parking, since there isn't enough even for its own tenants and employees.

So please remind us again Ed, about all the benefits I and other taxpayers will get from this? Where will we park? What are we going to get in return for giving away a million dollars in property taxes?
--Not with MY money
2007-02-22 00:03:29 GMT
Author:Anonymous
This whole issue would be a non-issue if the Council and Manager weren't interfering so much in the so-called "free market". By giving huge subsidies to McWhineys for developments on the fringe of town, they make investment in downtown much less attractive and less profitable. So the problem they created gets compounded, as they have to offer subsidies to develop downtown. These folk (and their odd supporters here and there) talk out of both sides of their mouths...they extoll the "free market" and hate regulations; then turn around and distort the market, with subsidies from other taxpayers, to the benefit of select players who bankroll their election campaigns. Wotta system!
--Honestly
2007-02-22 00:11:28 GMT
Author:Anonymous
People should really know what they are talking about before making assumptions. The money given to the Lincoln Place development is from TIF (tax increment financing) which is the difference between the propery tax on the vacant lot versus the tax increase due to the new development. It is not from the taxpayers of Loveland.

Granted, the city is giving up monies based on this increase but the city would have never seen any increase in property unless the property was first developed. The project would not have been undertaken had it not been for TIF.

Once the developer takes the tax increase to offset some of their cost (6-8 years), the city will start to collect the tax difference and will continue to collect the taxes forever based on the higher property values . Actually, a nice deal for the developer, the city and the downtown area.

Sorry, but I don't understand why anyone would have a problem with this. Either the property sits vacant or a wavier of tax increase monies is given for a few years and in the end the city gains a development which helps the downtown area and results in an increase of property value which results in an increase in the amount the city gets via the new property tax.

It really sounds like some of you would have rather had the vacant lot stay...then you could complain about the city not doing anything with regards to developing the area.
--ouch
2007-02-23 00:01:47 GMT
Author:Anonymous
If you have a degree in public administration, you sound like you might, I suggest you go back to school -- this time pay attention.

I don’t have the space here to completely educate you but since you sound sincere I will try and help you to understand why the argument you make is without merit or substance of any kind.

Occupied and developed property does indeed generate more tax revenue than undeveloped property. That point you made was correct. However, if the developed property has 190 residences (more than 300 inhabitants) plus commercial spaces than these people will be expecting city services. Police protection, fire protection, ambulance and rescue services not to mention library, parks and all the other services provided to citizens of Loveland. Even when they don’t need emergency services, staffing levels are determined based on population and building sizes – clearly Lincoln Place will increase population and square footage of structures downtown.

The exact cost is, of course, a difficult number to determine but certainly taxes represent the only way government can pay for the services those new residents and businesses will expect from the City of Loveland. To argue there is a net gain to the city is to argue that all the services provided these residents are free. Thus, the premise of your posting is false.

On the other hand, if you want to argue there is a surplus in the way we tax residents and businesses in Loveland, you might be careful especially if you work for the city. If this is the case, than the taxes collected from everyone else exceeds what is fair and reasonable and shouldn’t be used to support Lincoln Place.

You are correct, the TIF represents only extra property taxes collected but there is also extra activity on the property that represents cost to the city. If that money is rebated to the developer, clearly there is a cost to the city since services haven’t been curtailed commensurate with the rebate. If you will argue the city hasn’t really increased its services commensurate with the growth (clearly a problem in street maintenance and snow plows) you may have a good point. However, we complainers have a diminished quality of life since we must now compete for the same limited services that we have paid for and the Lincoln Place tenants and owners have not.

Waiting extra time for first responders is never a good thing especially if they are busy servicing Lincoln Place where the taxes being generated go to the developer instead of the city.

Please feel welcome to respond. By the way, the fact Lincoln Place is trying to rent a 1-bedroom as 2-bedroom is a tragic and greedy mistake. The den they call a windowless bedroom could be a death trap to sleeping children in a fire. I personally will ask the county prosecutor to criminally investigate all city staff and the developer if their wink and node code enforcements results in the tragic death of a Lincoln Place resident.

Thank you LovelandPolitics for allowing unedited debate of city issues.

--William W.
2007-02-23 00:51:45 GMT
Author:Anonymous
THANK YOU WILLIAM! As a fire fighter, I only want to add one point. We have operational AND capital costs such as fire engines, fire houses and other equipment you may have never even heard of before. Even if the city has to wait only eight years to start collecting all the taxes (something the City MisManager has argued), that puts our CAPITAL costs behind since we still need to provide services - so people should expect to see older equipment in the future as more taxes are put into the pockets of developers.

High density places like Lincoln Place NOT PROPERLY BUILT TO COMMERCIAL CODE scare the hell out me. Most people don't know that only the first floor is built with cement and rebar as most commercial buildings are. The upstairs are unlike most other high density commercial buildings in the state - it is stick built like your house without the non-combustable materials and reinforcements normally required in commercial buildings. How the city allowed this I don't know but I can't get anyone out of a windowless bedroom from my truck.

Thanks again William for putting the truth out there for a change. I know a lot of people in the city who are tired of being told there is no money in the budget when the council and manager are given money away -
--B Company
2007-02-23 01:05:21 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Ouch - most of the 200 years of the history of this country properties were developed without TIF's. Imagine how much new development would occur if you just lower the property tax and development fees - if you don't need them don't collect them in the first place and spur lots of development.
--Timothy S.
2007-02-23 04:59:32 GMT
Author:Anonymous
William W. What you say is correct. Any new home or business that locates in the city causes a greater drain/demand on city services. However, it is how all cities work. No city builds and staffs fire stations just wainting until the day when an area is developed. As you say, staffing levels are determined on population and building sizes. Are you also saying that the city should build facilities and hire personnel prior to the need? If you are, where does the money come from? I don't think we would like to be taxed for building facilites before the need is there. The better way is to allow developments such as Linclon Place and have them help pay through increased property values.

By the way, I never said the development results in a net gain to the city. I did say, however, that the Lincoln Place was good for the downtown area and will add property tax revenue to the city. Using your assumptions that you have a diminished quality of life because of the demand of services caused by Lincoln Place, then every new resident, and every new building would help to diminished your quality of life. Your assumption tells me that you are one of those who are on the "no new growth" side of the fence.

With regards to code violations, you and "B Company" are both incorrect. Unless I am mistaken, the entire Licoln Place development has a automatic sprinkler system. The fire codes require that every bedroom as a main exit and a secondary exit (window) UNLESS it has a sprinkler system. With a sprinkler system in place, one exit is allowed. B Company seems conceerned as to the Lincoln Place having residential above commerical. It's a common design which is again allowed by both the building and fire codes. The codes call for a one-hour separation between commerical and residential and again, I believe, this has been done. Do you really believe that the fire department would allow a new development to be constructed that does not meet their own adopeted fire code?

B Company should take the following quote to heart.

"He who speaks does not know, he who knows does not speak" taoism


--ouch
2007-02-23 14:49:59 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I don't know who B company is and cannot speak to those issues. I do know, however, that according to this website, Lincoln Place has called the den in the 1-bedroom Rosettii model a "second-bedroom." I even called myself to verify this and the Legacy people (leasing agents) were calling the Rosettii a "double master" even though the "second bedroom" has NO WINDOW.

According to the international building code adopted by Loveland, "every sleeping room below the forth story shall have at least one operable
window or door approved for emergency escape or rescue that shall open directly into a public street, public alley, yard or exit court. The emergency door or window shall be operable from the inside to provide a full, clear opening without the use of separate tools."

Here is the point, anyone reading this blog should call the City of Loveland to inquire about whether your "den" in your proposed windowless basement remodel can have an attached bath and closet (and ask) if it can be called a "second bedroom." The answer will be no since you clearly don't intend on using this as a den. Also, ask if you can have the city rebate any additional revenue they receive from the increased valuation of your remodel to -you know- make the project pencil out. The answer will again be no.

The City Council and senior staff have one set of rules for most of us and another for developers who flatter them while buying them expensive dinners.

Your feeble attempt to label me as "no growth" is absurd. I own commercial property in Loveland and want to see growth. Quality, not high density low-income trashy apartment buildings that no one would want to live near.

Every commercial or residential Landlord who may see a tenant go to Lincoln Place just financed their their competition by paying taxes. It is inequitable and wrong!

Development needs to pay its own way. Sophisticated developers know how to milk our unsophisticated City Management. Of course our quality of life diminishes everytime a new development is erected that can't pay for the city services it requires - thus reducing the service available to everyone. Loveland's police response times is now dropping below the unincorporated county areas - this is a tragedy!

City money should be spent on acquiring land for parks and recreation and other uses that benefit the residents and businesses already paying taxes. Parks make Loveland a more desirable place to live and work and the increased property vlaues.

Lincoln Place and its lack of adequate parking stands as a monument to poor planning and poor leadership in city hall.

--William W.
2007-02-23 17:16:24 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Ouch- Sprinkers cannot stop the number 1 killer in fires - fumes. Unless a ladder company can get to the room it isn't safe for people to be sleeping there - that is why bedrooms need egress because even if sprinklers can supress the fire the toxic fumes can easily kill the residents on a higher floor.

Also, only the bottom floor is built with cement and rebar while the rest of the building (Lincoln Place) is simply wood. This is NOT common in Colorado and many cities like Colorado Springs WOULD NOT have approved these dangerous shortcuts in the building standards. It would be safer if the entire building were built to commercial code with cement and rebar instead of wood.

Firefighters in Loveland also answer to the Rural Fire District Board (read today's Herald article) and maintain and staff six stations 24/7.

Our staffing levels have not increased enough as the city has grown so lowering building standards while giving away taxes is not a good solution for the city.
--Eric K.
2007-02-23 18:25:34 GMT
Author:Anonymous
First to William. I will always admit when I'm wrong and since I do not have access to the IBC, I will assume you are correct with regards to the windowless bedroom/den. The fire codes usually are close to the building codes with regards to fire safety and life safety issues. With an exception in the IFC I would expect a similar exception in the IBC but I now have to assume that there is no such exception or you would have said so.

I guess beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. What you call a "low-income trashy apartment building" I call a nice addition to the downtown area. If I remember correctly, most of the downtown people wanted this project to go forward to help spur new development in the downtown area instead of only in the eastern secion of town. I believe they still feel this way.

As a commerical buidling owner in the downtown area, I sincerely hope your negative attitude on this development is not based on a fear of competition. I have always held the idea that competition is a good thing and benefits everyone.

Erik: Data will show that an automatic sprinkler system will and does save numerous lives. I think if you check, you will find that very few if any fatalities have occured in structures that have had a working sprinkler system activate during a fire. I'm sure you know that 97% of fires are controlled by a sprinkler system. Granted it's the toxic gases that is the number 1 killer in any fire but with a sprinkler system, the fire is contained to a small enough area to allow the occupant to escape. I do, however, agree with you regarding the staffing levels of the fire deparment. They are too low and the city needs to find the funding for additionl manpower.

Stick-bult residential over commerical is not a shortcut according to code...it is allowed. The only requirement that I am aware of with a wood frame residential over a fire resistive commerical is the separation requirements.


--ouch
2007-02-23 20:55:09 GMT
Author:Anonymous
--OUCH, I think you are either very confused or intentionally creating strawmen arguments to knock over instead of responding to the points that were made.

1. You said William is a "no growth" person because he stated adding new residents lowers everyone's quality of life. What he said was adding new residetns who are not paying for the services they use thus leaving everyone to compete is wrong and lowers everyone's quality of life - this is clear but instead of acknowledging you were wrong - you made-up a false argument to respond to instead.

2. You said William proposed adding infrastructure before there is growth - he did not. I read the post again and he clearly did not say this. Had the property not developed no new infrastructure would be required. You seem to be trying to avoid the fact that new growth is linked to new cost and services. Giving taxes away that are needed to pay police, fire and other essential services is bad for the city in the long run.
--Bert (not Ernie)
2007-02-23 21:03:38 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Ouch, you are right, "low-income trashy apartment building" is a bit much but the potential is there as the building ages and section 8 housing voucher people move-in. At the moment, it is still new and not trashy.

If you agree when wrong, I will ask you to not use people like wyself as evidence that we wanted Lincoln Place. What we agreed to was the Authority's objective of finding a use for the property that would be "residential in nature" along Jefferson, be consistant with existing architecture and building hieghts and looked like the drawing they presented of some townhomes with peaked roofs next to small retail. This webpage has it on their original story about this issue.

What we agreed to and what we got are two completely different things. I never any drawing of a five or six story building towring over the 1-story buildings on Jefferson, I never saw any drawing showing the cheap cinder block construction that was used on Jefferson or even the huge sign stating parking is only for residents.

I was shown drawings with open space on the block with trees and signs inviting the public to park there.

I don't believe the city intended this to happen but I do believe they were complicit by not providing the oversight people expect from government.


--William W.
2007-02-23 22:28:03 GMT
Author:Anonymous
William: You are right about the before drawings and the final result...sorry, I still like the looks of the development. Only time will tell if it becomes something else down the road. I appreciate your concerns, as everyone does, but I really don't believe it will become a section 8 housing complex. The 3 bedroom units, I have heard, are in the $1,500 to $1,600 range. Not too sure these tenants would allow a protion of the building to become section 8....An HOA will be in place.

Hey Bert, what tax dollars are being given away? The only tax dollars are those from the Lincoln Place development itself and only for a 6-8 year period of time. I believe the development would never have been started unless they were allowed to use the difference in taxes based on the higher property evaluation once the development is/was completed.

You can have either a vacant lot with very little property taxes going to the city or allow a development such as this, to use the tax difference for a while and then the tax diffence goes to the city.

If you have a vacant lot somewhere in the city and you wish to put a development on the property and need the TIF to make it happen...what should the city do...say no and collect the small amount of taxes on vacant property or say yes and have the area develop and down the road get more taxes for the use of all?

Here's a real life history lesson: Close friends of ours live in a different state. They purchased a condo with an appraised property value the same as our home. And yes, the appraised value is fair. The condos are selling for the same price that I could sell my home for in Loveland. My property tax in under $2,000 and their property tax is over $7.000. Why? Because there is very little commerical development, very few people moving into the area and very little sales tax revenue. The only way their city can pay for services is through property tax. Take away all the development that Loveland has recently seen, including Lincoln Place with its retail segment, and you take away dollars the city uses to provide services for all. What you then have in property taxes that are 3 to 4 times higher.

Good or bad city management, good or bad incentives for development, good or bad growth..I still would rather live here.
--ouch
2007-02-23 23:18:08 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Again, your premise is false that ANY developed property generating taxes is better for the city than ANY underdeveloped lot.

Benson Park and North Shore are not highly developed lots but generate revenue for the city because they are destination places for events where people bring money to spend in Loveland.

I know the City of Loveland did a study some years ago and confirmed what most people with a background in urban planning already know, residences cost more than they generate in taxes. Each new house built in Loveland actually costs the City of Loveland more to service than the single residence will ever generate in revenue for the city.

You are right, commercial carries the load and generates the "profit" if you will that makes a community more viable. However, only certain types of businesses.

High tech employers like HP and Kodak were responsible for much of the "positive" growth this city experienced. Retail can also be positive IF it is a destination retail where people shop from outside the city thus bringing new dollars into the community for jobs and taxes. You seem to assume that people who are upset about the recent subsidy of Lincoln Center are against all development. That is a very false assumption.

If your teenage kid brought home a Yugo and was excited to have paid $10,000 for it, you would be upset. Your teenager might assume that means you never want him/her to own a car but your difficulty is with the deal not the concept.

If the lot was used to house 500 new primary high-tech jobs in downtown, I would be apllauding the subsidy because the future years would not only bring tax revenues but the employer would be bringing higher paying jobs to town with money from other places - this is called a net positive effect for the city. I understand this is more difficult because like a mercedes, more sophisticated towns than Loveland are competing for those employers and they are not easy to attract. Instead, we have a crowded development of mostly residences that don't really generate revenue ever for the city because all those residents require city services thus its a wash except for the first 6-8 years when they don't pay the cost of those services becasue of the TIF.


McWhinny's developements do indeed bring shoppers from out of town. So, without the subsidy it could have been a positive. The question remains if after twenty years (when the subsidy stops) will Windsor and Greeley folks still be shopping in Centerra?

I know, the businesses in Lincoln Place. Mostly small retail will simply compete with tenants that I have downtown. Coffee shops, dress shops and pawn shops are not going to bring people to Loveland but instead simply distribute the downtown dollars already there with perhaps a small boost by the new residents.

Payday loans and ever more liquor stores will keep any high quality employers out of Loveland since those businesses are indicators of high-crime areas in most urban areas. Whatever tax the PayDay Loan or Check Cashing places generate doesn't compensate for the cost they create to the community in the long term.

Lastly, you seem to know there will be an HOA at Lincoln Place which means they will sell them as condos. This also means you believe the developer lied to the Council when Mr. O'Connor said those rumors were untrue.

In any event, here is why i mention Section 8 housing. Given your premise that they will sell them as condos and create an HOA - you need to realize only 14 are 3 bedroom while the majority are one bedroom or smaller studios. Once the original owner moves on and rents the condo, they will be anxious to rent to anyone who can provide payment so the section 8 will not be a group desicion (an HOA cannot outlaw section 8 vouchers - it is each Landlord's desicion). Even if they could, the small number of higher value units is an insignificant minority that couldn't change the direction of the HOA.
--William W.
2007-02-24 15:27:13 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Thank you William. I have been in commercial real estate for 30 years and also find the check cashing and furniture rental places as a scary sign of Loveland's decline from quality.

You need to know why the O'Connnors denied they will convert to condos. They wouldn't be able to rent if people knew that at the end of their lease they will need to buy or move from the unit. Plus there is a more important legal reason for not just selling them as condos new.

Why rent first? That is easy to explain. There are lots of stupid laws that require NEW CONDO developers to carry liability for 10 years into the future. If somehting in the construction (like elevators etc..) fails, the guy who built the place is on the hook because the HOA's (just like new homes) have become a nightmare for local builders. These California lawyers the HOA's now employ are driving liability insurance for all builders through the roof.

The O'Connors are going to do it the smarter way. A condo conversion doesn't created the same liabilty for the owner because it is no longer considered new construction. When the buyer takes them to court, because they bought an existing unit, the laws are not as strict since most condo conversions are older buildings where the current owner may not be aware of problems in the construction of the building.

You are right about one thing, 200 units means 200 owners the city will need to chase down if there is a drug problem or crime in the building. Once the original owners move away, they usually don't care about the ambiance anymore they just want the rent - any tenant will do that especially if HUD pays the bill.

Yes, it is a sad day for Loveland when the Downtown Authority and City Council applaud their desicion to buy a Yugo for $10,000. Most cities I do business in would never let the O'Conners over build like that and especially not let them get the TIF for that type of place.
--Jack
2007-02-24 15:46:03 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I really don't understand this statement by Ouch----

"I believe the development would never have been started unless they were allowed to use the difference in taxes based on the higher property evaluation by"

That money was just granted AFTER the development was nearly complete. When they eliminated public parking and decided to renegotiate the MFA everything was back on the table. Sophisticated city management would have simply said OK and not feel obligated to give money to the development since they didn't keep their end of the bargan.

Ouch - I did the math and the $917,000 subsidy accounts for only 3.53% of the total project cost of 26 million.

I don't understand why our city needs to negotiate for 50 business parking spaces where the required amount should be 73 for the 22,000 sq. ft. this doesn't make sense. Let me understand - taxpayers pay while the developer doesn't meet the minimum parking requirement and we are "anti-development?" Please.
--Janey
2007-02-25 05:09:49 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Thanks for making the point that the subsidy is only 3.53% of the project cost...a small amount for a development which a lot of the downtown buisness owners were in favor of (see the article in this mornings paper).

The subsidy was agreed to prior to the start of the development. With the removal of the public parking, the MFA had to be looked at and a determination had to be made if the money from TIF would still be allowed. It was not a new or different subsidy! If the newspaper was correct, the council elimated $66,000 in waviers because of the change in the parking status.

William is correct with regards to the cost of services versus money gleaned from some of the building happening in Loveland. Any residential subdivision leaves a negative with regards to city cost versus income, but do we stop all new residential development? And I fully agree with pawn shops, liquor stores and check cashing places not helping the downtown area or paying their way and I would be very suprised if the city gave or would give any incentives to these types of businesses. William, your a downtown property owner...tell the owners of the buildings to stop leasing to these types of businesses.

The Lincoln Place development will probably not pay its own way but according to the Reporter-Herald this morning, a lot of the downtown people are in favor of it. If I am not mistaken, this was one of the big reasons whay the city approved this development in the first place...including giving TIF money and fee waviers.

Anything that this city does, gets half negative and half positive comments. Dog parks, Lincoln Place, snow removal, new residential, public art work, McWhinney's projects, affordable housing, etc. You name it and someone will be at odds with it.

I guess we all either smile or frown depending which side of the issue we're on. Even if the development turns into section 8 housing, those who belived we need more affordable housing will smile. Time will decide if Lincoln Place is a good or bad thing.




--ouch
2007-02-25 14:41:38 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Much of what you say it true. However, there is a slow accumulative impact of negative developments that will be impossible to turn-around later once the trend is in motion. No one decides to become a lower income higher crime area of the city or region for that matter. Vigilance on the part public policy makers is required to prevent Loveland from becoming the low-income center of Northern Colorado. Too many people involved locally have no real URBAN development background and clearly don't understand how things could change for the worst with higher density.

Lastly, the Reporter-Herald is the worst source for information on how citizens or businesses feel about an issue. Of course, the puff piece by the Herald on Lincoln Place pretended that those of us who own property or businesses downtown are supportive. The Herald is nearly always defending the developer or city hall regardless of how residents feel.

Evidence of this fact is that 3 of the downtown businesses or property owners who spoke to the City Council on Lincoln Place at their last meeting (nobody in favor except the developer)were NOT HAPPY with the proposed changes and offered alternative approaches the Councilors chose to ignore. The Herald also ignored their voices.

The Herald actually wrote an editorial supporting the City of Loveland snow removal policy for residential areas while letters and calls to the paper were 10-1 against their lazy and uninformed conclusion saying everything was fine.

Other cities handle these matters better and perhaps becasue they have an independent media watching what they do.

Coverage on KFKA (1310 AM) on Lincoln Place was excellent and well informed. Nearly everyone else looked to the Herald (which didn't even run a story before the meeting) and missed the story altogether.

I suspect the downtown community was in favor of the bait but not what was left after the switch. Any poor sap reading only the Herald wouldn't even know why the Council insisted on a minimum number of commercial spaces (a smart move by Council)or what that there is a controversy over the changes at Lincoln Place.

Look at it today, the sign says clearly that only residents can park there, 40 of the 200 units are rented, and the parking is nearly half full. You are right, only time will tell. But as a loandlord for many years I have never known tenants to have less cars than they tell you - they always have more.
--William W.
2007-02-26 16:08:30 GMT
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