April 19, 2014 |
See complete forecast
Copy and paste the link:
warren buffet goes on every talk show, is featured on every liberal media outlet (CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC etc) about how the rich need to pay their fair share, even stating he pays less taxes than his secretary, and everyone gobbles it up without question....then, it turns out one of his companies has been fighting the IRS for the past 10 years because the tax bill is $1 BILLION DOLLARS.
not a peep from the liberal left on here about mr. buffet's hypocrisy...since he backed obama, it doesn't apply....but what if mr. fritzel was a big democratic backer, locally and nationally? then, he'd be good, right? i wonder if mr. fritzel will come out as a big democratic donor? then it should be smooth sailing.
jhf - that's why I oppose speculative investments by cities and other public entities.
Predicting the future is risky.
Let the developers take the risks, and let cities provide infrastructure and basic services. If developers are right, and make money, great. If not, that's a shame, but that risk is part of their game. It shouldn't be part of the city's game though.
And, meanwhile, they should pay their taxes.
"Irrational optimism" is behind all of the boom/bust cycles I know of, from the Great Depression to our most recent mess. I prefer a more cautious approach.
Compton defaulted on a 20m loan in topeka and with this on his resume, the city of lawrence gave him a free pass on his latest building on 9 street. Lawrence city commission has no shame when it comes to dealing with these guys.
I think the current city commission needs to pull the plug on a rec center, period!
If KUEA wants build something, let them go ahead. When they are completely finished, the city commission can re visit the idea. How simple can it be?
In the meantime, the commission needs to focus on running the city! And the rec center is not a priority!
Do you think there should be a citywide vote on a new rec center?
If you agree, please sign the petition below that calls for the City Commission to put the rec center project to a public vote in April:
SIGN PETITION HERE
Funny we havn't heard a word from our illustrious Governor about this one? The poor get their taxes increased by 5000% so they can subsidize these multi-millionaires who don't pay any taxes at all. It makes me sick to my stomach. The rich are all in bed together & everyone knows it while the middle class gets their unions & benefits stripped away from making a decent living & the poor & middle class pay for the ever higher sales taxes for groceries so they can eat (God forbid). But do not worry folks because Mr. Brownback will be at church on Sunday before the cameras so everyone knows he is a "Christian" man who helps & feeds the poor as Jesus taught him to do, right?
Hit piece. Few facts. Lots of innuendo.
"Thomas Fritzel, the key private partner in Kansas University’s proposed $50 million Rock Chalk Park athletics complex, is part of an investment group"
What percentage does he own? Is he a minority member or a controlling member? What does the Operating Agreement dictate on what is required to make a decision for the LLC? Simple majority? 2/3? Unanimous?
Lots of mud slinging in the article without a lot to back it up.
Sheahon Zenger quote, January 15, 2013:
"Thomas and Dru Fritzel stepped forward months, if not a year ago," Zenger said, "and said they'd really like to help the University of Kansas in this cause. We can't thank them enough for their benevolence. Their partnership has been outstanding."
What does KU's athletic director Sheahon Zenger think about Thomas and Dru Fritzel now.
My error in my prior post. Should had read "alternation of generations" a valid biologikcal concept (or theory to the creationist non-believers)!
The Fritzel Family has long been in the Lawrence area, many extended family members operating businesses as well as a large agricultural dairy operation., All that I am aware of operated these endeavors is a very up-front and honorable manner; and now comes along an individual who seems to violate the honorable impression of his forebearers. I'm sure that Gene and Charlene are proud of their son Tom's work in the community, but I also bet that the seemingly seedy manner in which he operates give them some "legacy" pause. The old theory of "alternation of genations" seems to have life here!
i find it hard to believe that our city leaders cannot have been aware of this situation, do we really think there isn't going to be more to this story
Is it just the picture or are those the ugliest houses you've ever seen? They appear to be stacked on top of one another with the garage all you can see of the house. Unless we are looking at the back of the houses, that is one hideous development. There don't appear to be any yards.
Perhaps all developers seeking tax breaks, incentives, etc. should be required to provide detailed information about any back taxes they owe, loans they're delinquent on, etc. and the paper should make that information easily available to Lawrence residents.
And/or the city commission should decline to provide any such favorable treatment for those developers.
No,......LLCs were not invented by JESUS !
LLCs are more like a Roman creation, dressed in sheep's clothing, that allow a few hungry incorporated wolves, to crucify the public thru backhanded business practices, under the loving gaze of "Sam The Pseudo Christian Sham" and our "Legislative Masters-from Lecompton West";...AKA, Topeka, Ks .
Let it be known that Limited Liability Corporations ( LLCs ) are created to exempt their member owners from the liability of the corporations financial debts and operations.........so, this is what Governor Sam, thru his Tax Exempt LLC Creations, is trying to bring to Kansas, to improve the state & economy ???....it obvious, LLCs didn't work that well, in Junction City !!!!
If you intended to operate a responsible ethical corporation that pays it's bills, why would you need a major LLC shield against anyone holding you responsible, for your corporate $ debts & activities ??.
Can you say "Rip Off Artists, Incorporated" ? Can you say "people who make substandard, the standard of the day;... and cop the LLC legal protection, to protect themselves from the expected behavioral blowback" ?
Those are the first things that comes to mind, when I see the title of LLC on a business card or in a business listing somewhere !!!
GREAT WHITE SHARKS HAVE FINS THAT STICK OUT OF THE WATER,.... SO ....THAT YOU'LL KNOW WHAT'S ABOUT TO HAPPEN TO YOU !!!! ......IGNORE THE OBVIOUS, .....AT YOUR OWN PERIL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Fritzel, Sutherland, and associates clearly did little due diligence on the "Olivia" project and/or they are not particularly astute. Anyone with a modicum of experience with the military (do any of these gentlemen have even the slightest bit of military service?) would have known that the highly transient population in the military will rarely be interested in buying homes in the area of a post or base. This is especially true for enlisted soldiers during a time of war. The enlisted soldiers who tend to live in the Junction City area would comprise the greatest market, but they will either rent, or if housing is available on the base/post, they will choose to live there. The result for Fritzel, Sutherland and fellow "investors" was predictable and not deserving of sympathy. Carpet-bagging and attempted exploitation of the military for their personal gain come to mind.
Among many questions for Lawrence, as several commentators have mentioned, is whether Fritzel has even a modicum of knowledge or even interest in building facilities that will qualify under NCAA standards? It would be a shame if the new track does not meet those requirements--how many of these has Fritzel built, who is he engaging to design the track, and how many tracks has that person or firm designed?
Chad-perhaps some disclosure about the relationship between the Simons, the Fritzels and the purchase of the 645 New Hampshire Building in 2005 by Postal Investors, LC. Did something go wrong with that deal so the Simons are out to get Fritzel?
Something smells funny.
As an aside: The article is hardly news since 2009, or can read about this on ForumTopix Junction City... Wilbur don't know much but "it's" there.... Go look!
I hope Bill Self sees the humane thing and pulls any funding from his foundation out of it.
KUEA isn't being set up. If anything that entity wants to dupe the public and convince us that because they are involved all is well.
KU can build what they want! End of story, but the City rec center needs scrutiny and is an entirely separate issue, we are being fed pie made with bing cherries and tart cherries,
The entire city commission needs to pull the plug on any involvement.
This will be resolved when Catalano begins the yard sign campaign.
Chad, please add a link to the letter from Fritzel you mention in the article.
Thomas Fritzel is setting KUEA up just like he did Junction City right before our very eyes. Endowment leadership is weak and questionable.
I agree with a lot of you who think the City & KU should run, not walk away from this deal! I thought it smelled a little before, but it really stinks now. I have NO use for anyone screwing over a VET!
Once again, this publisher lowers the standard for responsible journalism. I find the unauthorized photo of Mr. Fritzell (obviously at a KU basketball game) on the front page of the newspaper tabloidesque and an invasion of privacy. Did he give you are release for that photo? Your reporting is one-sided, mean-spirited and shallow. Perhaps we should ask who is wagging your tail LJW?
How about some in-depth research and responsible journalism that aims at revealing the truth, not making a villain out of a local business man.
I am cancelling my subscription on Monday. Phew-!
Thank you for the information. Your article was timely, informative and, given the general attitude of your newspaper and Lawrence city government, probably courageous. One item not discussed is the cost of infrastructure (streets, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, and sewers). These are high dollar items and the City Commissioners, as well as Fritzel, have been very ambiguous as to how those costs will be paid. This is the same issue giving rise to the situation now facing Junction City . Should we not be demanding more definitive information from our elected officials and Fritzel?
A man is only as good as his word. This is why corporations should never be considered people. It should also be a lesson that Thomas fritzel isn't to be trusted.
The mayor, surely he jests, aka the court jester
Man thats alot of money... Someone needs to be held accountable for that.
Fritzel claims that he is not making a dime on the proposed rec center, but rather, is involved because he "loves Lawrence." Any reasonable philanthropist with an ounce of dignity would have pulled the plug on this project the moment the attacks on his character surfaced.
That Fritzel continues to hang indicates but one thing: he is lying through his teeth when he claims he is not making a profit. Either that, or he is a complete fool.
Thus the question becomes: should the taxpayers of Lawrence be doing business with a person who is obviously a Knave or a Fool? Or perhaps he is both?
This is a perfect example of why these guys need to keep building and building with more and more tax breaks, tax abatements, special tax districts, tax breaks on building supplies and equipment and have no bid contracts. It's very much like a ponzi scheme where if they don't get a new set of suckers (we tax payers) set up every few months to help them to catch up on their payments on their latest building development, their jet airplanes, vacations to Rome, and yards full of zebras, their money starts to dry up quick. That's why we need to hurry up and get this recreation center built so Fritzell can finally start to pay off the taxes on this latest project with the taxes he's going to save with the incentives we're going to give him with the recreation center. How can anyone expect these guys to go on gambling with our money if we don't give them more money to gamble with?
Don't Mr. Chase's son-in-law have a few fingers in this PIE???
Let's elected him to some gubment office and call him "W" for short.
Did the LJWorld actually do some investigative reporting? Doubtful. One or more of the no growth ninnies spent some of their unlimited free time digging this up. These are the same folks that dig through old Maters papers looking for buried dead bodies.
Why doesn't Chad do a story about the sale of three lots on Indiana adjacent to the Varsity House , original, site which sold at auction. , well sorta. Anyway reveal the backdoor deal on that land! Why is that being withheld just as are players in the development of East Hills business park. , which is another convoluted public private partnership.
lol, where did they get their advice that the new influx of 'Big Red One' soldiers would want to BUY?! Of course enlisted soldiers who are stationed at a base for only 2-3 years would want to rent...especially in a down economy. Anyone with ANY knowledge of the military should know that fact.
With business people like this, is it any wonder Lawrence is business unfriendly. With friends like this, who needs enemies?
So what or who is Bliss?
Big deal. The sanctimonious people in government want his money. So what's new?
A couple of Fort Development owners currently direct KUEA, Sutherland sits on the executive board and Padgett is a trustee. Did these guys vote for Fritzel on behalf of KU Endowment to be in charge of their 50 million dollar project for KU.
Junction City was wrong. JC officials sought out builders and gave them free land and tax abatements shouting the troops are coming home and we need housing for them. These builders that all failed were presented with the tax incentives by JC, they were not asking for them but enticed by them. As for the tax default situation, thats between JC, the bank and the builder. The deal is way upside down so I would assume the LLC will walk away and throw the keys to the bank and JC and let them figure it out. If the bank did not collateralize the loan properly, that's bad banking practice and their fault.
"This is not a speculative development project"
Bliss LC (Fritzel) formed 7/19/2012
6 1/2 month old, unknown financial ability
Never built a softball stadium
Never built a soccer stadium
Never developed KU- NCAA track and field facilities.
KUEA reportedly giving Fritzel/Bliss a no-bid-contract on all infrastructure to serve Rock Chalk Park without detailed plans and specifications or independent cost estimates.
Six month old Bliss LC (Fritzel) is granted by this city commission an intent to issue up to 40 million in IRB's to build his project: of yet to be released plans and specifications or any independent cost estimates.
City also has authorized Bliss to proceed with construction KUEA land.....
Seuferling has been bamboozled---
a major embarrassment for KU.
Where's the Board of Directors???
Did anyone else notice these parts of the article:
“It really is not the citizens’ fault that their lots aren’t selling,” said Johnson, who in addition to serving on the City Commission is a housing developer.
“Some of us feel like we were overcharged,” said Jack Taylor, a Junction City commissioner who also is a real estate agent...
So, it appears to me that two of the city commissioners are competing real estate developers who imposed a no build ordinance on their out of town competitor's land. Sounds to me like the local Junction City Commission with two competing real estate developers voting, decided to shut down the out of towners while pushing their own real estate.
Chad, has the LJW ever done an article on how much back taxes are due to the city/county by developers? I was thinking they had, but I might be remembering wrong.
The screw job on Leavenworth aside, I think the failure to share its burden of the tax load should immediately disqualify Fritzel from even participating in the bidding process, much less being bonded in by KU Endowment, who is apparently already digging their heels in rather than do the right thing and kick Fritzel to the curb.
That 3.4 million dollar cut to area revenue represents a tangible deprivation to the citizens of local services and jobs and increases the proportional tax burden on all of us normal working citizens and small businesses trying to get by in a tough economy. Why would any local entity right now reward such locally damaging behavior by awarding any further contracts much less the additional monies in developer welfare that inevitably get requested and granted. I'm amazed Leavenworth had the balls to stand up and say "No" to the now-standard practice of suckling at the public teat by these speculators who can't seem to compete on a level playing field.
Pay your damn taxes and then you can play in the market again. Shame on KU Endowment for having no spine.
I say we put people that don't own businesses in city commission positions, especially ones that have done the job before. To much "I scratch you scratch" going on.. Same people in the commission all the time, only do things for themselves and not what's best for the community..
I know of investors who want to build in Lawrence but the city staff has run them off.
Due Diligence, anyone?
"Lawrence officials said they were not aware of Fritzel’s involvement in the Junction City project."
That cannot possibly be true ... well, it's probably true that the SAID they were not aware, but how can you be on the cusp of a major investment without having reviewed the background of the proposed partners and the history of their dealings with municipalities?
Calling BS on that.
btw .... The JC fiasco is a fine example of what a cesspool of greed might look like, and into which the City might be reluctant to wade.
“I hope that group is proud of itself, because it has caused the taxes of a lot of working people — a lot of them soldiers who have done two or three tours — to go up,” said Scott Johnson, a Junction City commissioner. “It looks to me like they have the money. They just refuse to pay it.”
So seniors and struggling families taxes go up and they can't afford to pay them, then what. Don't they eventually get sold for back taxes thus making these people lose their homes? Does Fritzel care that the elderly will lose their homes? Probably not. When he ran Gene out of business, long time employees lost their pensions leaving them with little for retirement.
Pay the taxes Fritzel.
"Everybody's predictions were wrong." I just had a vision of this line plastered on a bunch of signs carried by protesters in front of City Hall whenever the commission decides to sign all the documents etc.
This whole deal stinks to high heaven, but our commissioners are still lapping up all they can get. Their attitude is how dare the common citizen question their 1% overlords, even though Fritzel repeatedly demonstrtes that he is unworthy of the protected status his cronys in Lawrence have annointed him with.
Put it to a vote if it's such a great deal.
If this were happening with another town's commission, we could laugh and say "what a bunch of dumb hicks". However, it is not so funny when it is happening in our town.
the most telling section of this story:
Junction City has been left with the highest level of public debt per capita in the state and has been forced to raise taxes, lay off city personnel and receive special legislation from the state to carry an extraordinary amount of public debt.
Forshadowing for Lawrence? Wake up, people! Don't let these robber barons continue to pillage; stop the private profits/public risk runaway train!
thanks for good investigative journalism, Chad...the business beat is where all the bodies are buried
And yet, these are the people in the news. The movers and the shakers.
No one said we need to move and shake. The economy is our prison.
And its our very own local Plutocracy. Fritzel and Compton own this town, folks. We're just along for the ride and expected to pay them for the privilege of living in their town. No, I don't mind people making lots of money, but when they do it at the expense of others and take no responsibility, its not ok. Private profits. Public risk. Its happening everywhere.
(I'd like to know who'd want to live in one of those ticky-tacky houses? Looks like prison rehab housing.)
"Fritzel said the Olivia Farms project was dealt a major setback in 2007 when the Geary County Commission vetoed an incentive package that would have allowed the new property taxes generated by the housing development to be used to pay for the infrastructure."
Risky business across the board. If the developer could not afford the business expenses such as property taxes perhaps the business was out of its' league?
Are these the same type of arrangements floating around Lawrence,Ks? Why should property taxes be abated in this manner? No one knows IF the houses will sell or what their values will be worth. Isn't this a lot like cooking the books? Wall Street speculation?
"Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Locally Politically Connected Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (And Stick You with the Bill)."
A couple of things...
I grew up around JC and Manhattan. If you thought the GI's were coming back to buy houses you were nuts. More than just the Fritzel's guessed wrong on that one. In fact, I had a cousin who went bankrupt betting on GI's buying homes they didn't want. There is a reason you form corporations or LLC's; its to protect the assets of the owners. Mr. Fritzel as an individual owes Geary County nothing, nor should he pay for the debts of the LLC. Would it be "nice" if he did, of course, but despite the rumblings of the commissioner, he has no legal responsibility to do so. Finally, this has nothing to do with the agreement between the Endowment and Bliss. It's an entirely different deal. There is no speculation on whether KU needs the track, softball, soccer and tennis facilities, so put aside you r hatred of all things Fritzel and see this for what it is, a business venture gone wrong. It happens. As an aside, the Geary County reaction to the problem with many of the land speculators is also wrong. To not allow development if there are back taxes owed solves nothing, but insures that taxes will continue to be delinquent until the county forecloses on the property if they ever do.
Lawrence developers for a project to revitalize central Topeka's College Hill business district are in breach of their contract with the city because they failed to pay Shawnee County $130,196.77 plus interest for property taxes due May 10.
"First, the developer is currently in default under its loan obligations in excess of $16 million to the private bank group led by CoreFirst," he wrote. "In the event default of the loans is not remedied, the private bank group may move to foreclose on the property or appoint a receiver."
Topeka's city council voted in 2006 to provide about $5 million in tax-increment financing for a $30 million project in which Washburn-Lane Parkway Renovation built 183 apartments and 24,000 square feet of retail space on property it had acquired in the College Hill district, just northeast of Washburn University.
Link to the article:
Junction City fraud
Boom Town for Lawrence Developers
Freeman also said Tuesday that he and Wunder helped another Lawrence company -
Schumm and KU Endowment claiming they did not know about the Junction City business is nonsense. It suggests only three possibilities -- incompetence, lack of due diligence or outright lying. If you are going to go into business with someone, you should at least take the time to find out how they have performed in the past.
Wake up commissioners! The city should not touch this project with a 10 foot pole.
The most telling part of this is his comment that "everybody's predictions were wrong".
That's the problem with speculative development in a nutshell, and exactly why the city shouldn't be involved in it.
A lot of very well known Lawrence builders were in Junction City during this same period of time.
Likely are in the same situation.
Some of Lawrence names have been and perhaps still are in tax dollar trouble in Topeka,Kansas.
How about the big names in Lawrence,Kansas? Maybe not paying property taxes in Lawrence,Ks? Do they have the pleasure of cover up? or the turning of blind eyes?
Insider trading is risky business. Time to open all bidding to the world.
A Junction City lawmaker went to prison over the Junction City dealings. Beware....
Of course one had to read Topeka Capitol Journal/KC Star to know these things.
there is a petition on change.org asking the city to put rec center on ballot.
I do not think this project should move forward.
How come no one is looking at Dale Sueferling in all this wheelin' and dealin'?
Todd Sutherland on the executive committee of Ku endowment, failed to acknowledge his conflict of interest to KU endowment. Dale Sueferling must have his cranium up his anal canal. Looks like Ku endowment will become the poster child of cronyism. Ku endowment a non profit, Kansas Athletics a non profit, rock chalk park (rcp llc) is a for profit company set up by a non profit. Who paid the 3 million 500 thousand to fairway llc (owned by mike stultz) for the land? Looks like a lot of explaining to do. Did Fritzel buy the land and give to ku endowment or did ku endowment buy the land, and give it to Fritzel. Will the Assists foundation money for the Regional basketball complex go to Fritzel or to the city? Pull the plug start over. Will the Ncaa find Ku athletics involvement in this fiasco worthy of penalties?
How is it that the assists foundation is run out of the Ku athletic department, along with its website?
what kind of idiots would involve our city in a deal with someone with a track record like that
Oh, I I did notice that they had a "no bid" clause also. Hhhmmmm, how did that work out for ya ?????
But, we shouldn't be worried, this is 'different'. Yeah, right.
Question - who are some of the other partners in Fort, LLC ??? I am not up on all the details, but this situation out there seems awfully close to the time period when another Lawrence 'developer' got caught bribing Junction City officials. He had partners in that deal, but I don't know who. Any connection to Fort, LLC ?? There may not be, I truly don't know, but think it would be worthwhile for LJW to investigate before we go much further with this.
....“closed the last window” on a comeback for the project." Well, no Mr. Fritzell, the window isn't closed. Simply pay what you owe (or make some arrangements to do so) and my guess is they would be happy to give you permits to build rental units. This sounds to me a lot like, If I can't have it MY way, I will take my ball and go home. And me not paying what I OWE is YOUR fault, not mine. pitiful.
Dodging Taxes is about the most unpatriotic thing a person/business can do. Its like stealing money from your customers or defecating on a fallen soldiers grave. For someone who wants to do business in Lawrence with this athletic center I say....cough up your back taxes and we will talk. But not before. Developers make bad choices.
So now we understand better what a Limited Liability Corporation means.
Let's Loot Citizens.
Aka I've been Fritzeled!
So how much was Fort Development paid to put in the infrastructure? Did you notice about the bidding process.
Lawrence has run off private money thanks to McCullough and the city commission. This bunch prefers to work the "insider" deals.
If I had a million dollars just handed to me without having to work for it; I think I wouuld use it other than ruining my fathers business
Oread hotel part of the Olivia Collection and Olivia Farms as well?
Wilbur was never impressed with fake Hollywood names.
Lawrence runs off people with means to build,
Junction city welcomes them if taxes are current when building.
Lawrence not business friendly but only to a few?
Anyone for a vote on this project?
So the LLC goes broke, then what. ??
Looks like Fritzel is borrowing from Junction City to finance the sports complex in Lawrence.
I find it hard to believe Schumm wasn't aware! Even a dummie like Wilbur. Of course ifbChadbhadbwritten about the backdoor policy ofbselling ku lots on Indiana st. This issue would have came to light and for Seuferling to plead ignorance. is just too much. Kinda like the lot switching on Oread. Lets see hownScumm or a new mayor plays out the sale of the public asset aka land under the water towers.
The city should foreclose on the unpaid taxes, and then sell off the lots. This way, they will recoup some of their money.
Does not hurt to marry well either.
Well I'll start. If Thomas Fritzel's Dad didn't start Thomas with a million bucks or more (he didn't earn it on his own!) when he turned 18, we wouldn't be hearing about any of this. Gene Fritzel HAD a great reputation as a home builder. To bad Thomas got money hungry and is slowly destroying everything his Dad worked for. To bad for Gene.
Easy fix. To promote goodwill across the state, Kansas Athletics should work into the contract a clause that states that the first 3.4M of lease payments go to Junction City to repay the debt.
I can't wait for the comment on this one.
Very Classy, Mr.Fritzel.
Commenting has been disabled for this item.
Find more businesses on Marketplace
Arts & Entertainment ·