Archive for Wednesday, July 25, 2012

City supports $12 million in incentives for Ninth, New Hampshire project

Tax breaks would help developers build underground parking garages

July 25, 2012


If the southeast corner of Ninth and New Hampshire streets is ever to become anything other than a vacant lot, it likely will take some financial incentives from the city to make it happen, city commissioners agreed Tuesday.

Commissioners at their weekly meeting cleared the way for a nearly $12 million package of incentives to be offered to developers of a proposed $43 million redevelopment at Ninth and New Hampshire that is expected to include a multistory hotel/retail building on the southeast corner and a multistory apartment/office building on the northeast corner.

Commissioners agreed to create a redevelopment district on both the southeast and northeast corners of Ninth and New Hampshire streets, which will make the area eligible to receive special tax breaks to help developers build a pair of private, below-ground parking garages to serve new development at the intersection.

In total, the incentives are expected to reach $11.8 million over an approximately 20-year period, but commissioners Tuesday stressed none of the money would have to come from the city’s current budget. Instead, all of the money will come from new taxes generated directly by the development.

“I wish this project would happen without this, but I’m confident it won’t,” said City Commissioner Mike Dever.

Commissioners approved the redevelopment district on a 4-0 vote. Commissioner Aron Cromwell was absent. Commissioners said the fact the property on the southeast corner of the intersection has sat largely vacant for the better part of 30 years led them to believe any significant development on the corner would be unlikely to happen without assistance.

Officials with the development group, which is led by Lawrence businessmen Doug Compton and Mike Treanor, said that was the case. Bill Fleming, a Lawrence attorney with the development group, said it is not economically feasible to build a project on the corner without providing parking. But because the lot is small in size, he said, parking will have to occur below ground.

“That is an expensive solution,” Fleming said.

Several more procedural votes are expected to take place before the end of this year to finalize the incentives package, but Tuesday’s vote set in motion a plan that will create:

• A tax increment financing plan to cover both the northeast and southeast corners. A TIF allows new property and sales taxes generated by the development to be rebated back to the development group to pay for qualified infrastructure expenses, which includes the private, below-ground parking garages.

• Creation of a transportation district development tax, which will allow for an extra 1 percent sales tax to be charged on purchases made inside the two new buildings.

• The use of industrial revenue bonds, which will allow the development group to avoid paying sales taxes on the purchase of building materials used to construct the buildings.

Commissioners heard nearly an a hour and a half of public comment both for and against the incentives.

“I don’t really think this is an incentive,” said Laura Routh, a Lawrence resident. “I think it is welfare.”

City commissioners, though, said a key consideration is the deal is being structured so developers will take the risk if the redevelopment does not perform as expected. The developers will be required to finance the entire project, and the developers only will be reimbursed from new tax revenues generated by the development.

If the development does not produce the revenue anticipated, the city won’t be obligated to make up the difference.

In other city news, commissioners deferred for three weeks a decision on whether to start the historic review process on whether property at 1106 R.I. should be demolished.

The three-week delay will give members of the Barland family more time to present a plan to rehabilitate or sell the property.


LeBo 5 years, 3 months ago

Poor pay taxes and don't own property. Rich get property and money for free!

Paul Wilson 5 years, 3 months ago

What taxes? If you're poor and pay're an idiot.

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

An idiot that eats food purchased in stores instead of taken from dumpsters (sales tax), gets to work with a car that needs gas (gas tas) and a license plate (vehicle tax), and gets paid through a payroll (FICA, SS) instead of under the table. What a dummy! How incredibly smart of you to realize the tax saving measures that could be realized by living under a bridge and surviving solely on handouts.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 3 months ago

Yet with an earned income tax credit, you might get all that back, and more. Additionally, you may be entitled to benefits such as subsidized housing, food stamps, etc. that have a value far in excess of what you contribute in taxes.

If I give you a dollar and you then give that dollar back to me along with another dollar's worth of stuff, can you really say that I gave you a dollar?

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

If you want to argue that "the poor" (broad broad group, that) consume more in taxpayer funded services with direct cash value than they have deducted from their paycheck, have at it. With math. I'd like to see your charts and who compiles them. To qualify for food stamps, I believe the maximum income level is somewhere around $10,000, since it's a program designed to prevent starvation. To qualify for EIC, the minimum income level is around $9000, since it's a program designed to reward working. It's the rare person that would end up qualifying for both. I'm sure you could get there more easily with a family, but it's still a pretty narrow window.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Section 8 works by making the rent cheaper, and the primary beneficiary is actually the landlord receiving the supplement in what they claim they'd otherwise be getting for the property.

Even so, I can't say it's a motivating factor for me to go out and become poor. Is it for you? The argument that the poor don't pay any taxes is clearly false, yet we see it repeated again and again. The implication is that being poor is somehow awesome or that poor people are somehow lazy and motivated by perks to stay poor. I've never found that to be the case. Being not poor is far more enjoyable than being poor, and I intend to continue in my not poorness as long as I'm able.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 3 months ago

It may not be a motivating factor for you. It certainly isn't for me. But I wonder what your experience is with the poor. I worked at a transitional housing program for some time. The numbers of individuals I encountered who made every effort to remain poor amazed me. It's been years since, but there was a time I could name names. I could make lists that were very long. And I could honestly say that those numbers represented a significantly large percentage of individuals that I encountered. So many were happy as heck to get Sec. 8, food stamps and then work 10 hrs./week, under the table. Or deal a little drugs. Or have several people staying in that housing that were not supposed to be there.

I don't think it's correct to say the primary beneficiary of Sec. 8 housing is the landlord. It's him and the tenant. One receives the cash, the other receives the housing at less than it's value. Both benefit.

I choose not to play your game of providing charts with math, etc. You can believe me or not. It matters little to me. The point is that we all know certain truths without charts, etc. We all know that not all the poor are lazy and want to stay that way. But we all should also know that some are lazy and some want to stay that way. We all know that not all of the poor break the rules when it comes to receiving benefits. But we all should know that some poor do break the rules when it comes to receiving benefits.

For Pork_Ribs to suggest that the all of the poor don't pay taxes or if they do, then they are idiots is clearly wrong. But it is equally wrong for you to suggest that all poor want to cease being consumers of public services and only idiots would believe otherwise. You are both incorrect.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

"But it is equally wrong for you to suggest that all poor want to cease being consumers of public services"

I don't know anyone who believes or asserts this. But the number of poor people in this country is much more attributable to lack of opportunity (we are in the midst of a thirty-year-long global race to the bottom, after all) than it is to willful laziness.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 3 months ago

My experience suggests otherwise. A typical scenario might be where someone comes for services and says they want to change their circumstances. Then they behave in ways very likely to continue their plight. And they continue their poor behavior despite being encouraged to behave in a different way. At some point, you have to choose to either believe their words or believe their actions. The former would lead to your conclusion, the latter led me to believe my conclusion.

Let me give you an example that I encountered over and over again while I worked in the transitional housing program. The program was designed to allow people a guaranteed place to stay while they became employed and saved their money to get into housing. Many did not become employed. Others saved and used their money to buy drugs with the intent to sell and make more money. But one very common scenario went something like this. They became employed, saved money and then bought a car to live in. Their rationale was that the car was temporary for use to get to work which would then allow them to get housing. All too often though, they bought cars in bad condition, cars that would not pass inspection, they did not register or insure. These cars, with people inside quickly came to the attention of authorities and they lost their "housing". But let me reiterate, they did that against the very strong advice of their case managers (me). While they are free to behave in any way they choose, at some time they must be held responsible for their actions. Of course they will say they didn't want this to happen. They wanted to be housed, or so they said. But their actions speak louder than words.

The question I would ask you, Bozo is this; if a person approached you and said, "I need ... ", would you believe them? And a follow-up question would be if you had repeated experiences where there was a disconnect between what they said and what they did, would you continue to believe them?

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

You choose not to back up your truthiness with facts. I do get it. Anecdotes are a far better tool for your argument, and I don't blame you for choosing it. Your experience was with a group of individuals for whom things had already gone very wrong to get them there in the first place.

I'd appreciate it if you didn't try to make a false equivalency argument with the strawman that "all poor want to cease being consumers of public services." Since, you know, schools and roads and libraries are public services. What I did say is that, in general, the "perks" of poverty are not incentives to stay poor.

You may find lots of people that cannot or will not do what it takes to pull themselves out of poverty, whether it's because of mental illness, addiction, lack of skills, or just plain motivation - but the nonexistence of Section 8 or food stamps wouldn't suddenly make them rediscover their bootstraps.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 3 months ago

I will say that you and I disagree when it comes to your statement that the perks of poverty are not incentives to remain poor. Sometimes, with some people, the perks of poverty are indeed an incentive to remain poor. When faced with the alternative of having to get a job, a job they probably don't like, and when that job will likely be a poorly paid job that will only make your circumstances marginally better, then the perks add up to a better option. If one has spent years avoiding the work necessary to gain skills that would lead to a fulfilling job, a career, then the perks do add up. When one finds having a boss so onerous that the perks of poverty do add up, then the giving of those perks does indeed prevent them from discovering their bottom. And when you prevent them from finding their bottom, you prevent them from even looking for their bootstraps. You prevent them from knowing that bootstraps even exist.

I make that statement based upon 15 years experience working in social services. I make that statement based on what I have seen. You? If you tell me that you have 30 years experience, and your experience is more recent, more relevant, I may consider deferring to your judgement. But if you tell me you looked at a chart in Mother Jones, or some such publication, perhaps you might consider deferring to my years of experience.

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

I do know a thing or two about poverty and breaking the cycle, yes. Let's just put it this way. Government cheese tastes like Velveeta. And since you're still reluctant to pull out the math, you're now adding an appeal from authority to pile.

Now there are times when a specific benefit is structured in a very stupid way, yes. I won't argue that someone needs to do the math and figure out reasonable ways for supports to taper off. That said, I don't here anyone saying, "Hmm, I'm middle class right now, but I could get a housing benefit if I dropped my skilled job and worked at McDonald's part time." Being not poor is still far more awesome than being poor. Getting there may be hard, but the existence of supports isn't the cause of the problem. That some poor people have invented coping strategies we'd consider maladaptive is not surprising at all. There's a whole tangled mess of things involved in poverty.

We didn't invent poverty when we introduced Section 8 or food stamps. If bootstrapping and an emphasis on self-determination with a dash of "anyone who works hard enough can make it" were the cure, why the Victorians have already given us the historical record of how well that works.

Inhumane Victorian workhouses didn't prevent people from becoming poor, no matter how much they were feared, and the Victorian bootstrapping attitude didn't keep 25% of the population or so from living at or below subsistence levels. The papers used to be full of accounts of starvation deaths. If you read Victorian literature, they talk about meals of just bread and butter or dried bread and cheese. Kids ran in the streets and either learned petty theft or worked jobs at an early age. Some of them died in those dangerous and unregulated jobs. But hey, lose one of those jobs and you were screwed. People crowded into housing units known as rookeries. Oh, and there were plenty of people said to gamble or drink all their money away back then, too.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 2 months ago

Here's the deal. If a person works 40 hrs. per week at the minimum wage of $7.25, that equals $15,080. Now suppose this person receives benefits such as free or subsidized housing, free or subsidized food, free of subsidized clothing, transit, health care, etc. Now suppose the value of all that is say $12,000. While this is just my hypothetical, I don't think the numbers are way out there. Now the difference between the 2 is just over $3,000/yr. That's the difference between working about 2,000 hours. The difference between the two works out to $1.50/hr. for a job the person probably hates and gives him/her absolutely no sense of satisfaction. I'm of the opinion that that is not enough of a motivation to make the person want to be employed. So yes, they choose to remain poor.

Of course, we can pay them more, raise the minimum wage to some very high rate. And businesses will certainly pass those costs on to us all. (Just think of it as a huge tax increase). Or we can lower the benefits, raising the difference between the two scenarios. Or we can do what we've done for the past 40+ years. Wage a war on poverty that will never be won and will never make any real difference.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 3 months ago

Only if you don't drive, eat food you don't grow and live outside.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

Nothing like supporting "Always Low Wages" which require food stamps and Health Wave to live in Lawrence,Kansas.

Pork barrel corporate socialism hard at work.

No doubt this project will be sold off to an outside firm in Chicago, New York or perhaps KCMO which means the money is out of here = no long term impact for Lawrence.Kansas.

The Summit across the street will also be sold off to outside investors..... I speculate.

justforfun 5 years, 3 months ago

Well it's about time. Let's get the project rolling!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

Gee, the suspense was killing me. Which one of the commissioners got to bring in the rubber stamp?

CLARKKENT 5 years, 3 months ago


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

"In total, the incentives are expected to reach $11.8 million over an approximately 20-year period, but commissioners Tuesday stressed none of the money would have to come from the city’s current budget."

No, but all future city expenditures will be paid for by taxpayers-- and these folks have just been relieved of that obligation, meaning other taxpayers will be making up for the $12 million hole commissioners just created in city tax collections.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

That just doesn't jive with the purported goal of all commissioners and the developers involved, whose stated goal is to promote growth-- and this project is very much part of that plan.

If this particular project isn't going to carry its weight in paying for the costs that come with all this growth, somebody else will-- and it won't be the folks who can't afford to hobnob with Compton, et al, or this batch of city commissioners.

Deb Stavin 5 years, 3 months ago

I'm sure those street-level retail spaces will be snapped up as quickly as the ones at Hobbs Taylor Lofts. This building shouldn't happen until those spots and the Borders building are leased.

farr700 5 years, 3 months ago

Are you kidding? And the vacant lot was a better alternative how? The taxes are coming from money the projects generate themselves. Don't want to be part of paying that tax? Don't spend money in those two buildings!!!!!!!!! Typical anti-growth, small minded liberal. It's passing because it's smart, and good for the local economy.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

"And the vacant lot was a better alternative how?"

It doesn't destroy the livability of the neighborhood to the east.

flyin_squirrel 5 years, 3 months ago

Neither does a new building being built on a lot that has been zoned CD for decades. As the saying goes, don't move in next to the airport and complain about the planes.

BigAl 5 years, 3 months ago

farr700. I am a proud center/right democrat and I say "build it". I am for the West Lawrence Rec Center also. I simply do not understand these people that are against progress that benefits the vast majority. Doesn't matter if you are liberal, conservative or right down the middle. There simply is not a good reason NOT to do this.

farr700 5 years, 3 months ago

My apologies for the "liberal" generalization. I should have said "left".

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 3 months ago

If this property is so unusable, then why does Doug Compton own it?

I have an unusable 1972 Opel in my garage, and without tax breaks from the city it will never be developed. Where do I sign up?

MattressMan 5 years, 3 months ago

Here you go granny, all you gotta do is ask

Also remember it is not free of taxes, they will still pay property tax but just at the current level which is around $8000

scaramouchepart2 5 years, 3 months ago

He didn't own it unitl the city commission approved the project and gave him the money so he would not have to risk his.

texburgh 5 years, 3 months ago

So we are building them a private parking garage - one WE CAN'T USE - so they can make more money for themselves because apparently they don't own enough of Lawrence. Compton and Treanor are nothing more than welfare cheats. All the folks who post here continually about people who want a "handout" when it comes to food stamps or health care are remarkably silent on these two moochers. They've been hogs at the government trough for years. Cut them off.

MattressMan 5 years, 3 months ago

Compton and Treanor are business men doing exactly what they have every legal right to do. The TIF laws are on the books, they would be stupid not to try and get the best deal possible for themselves and future tenants.

flyin_squirrel 5 years, 3 months ago

You complain about the 901 Building using the city parking garage, and now you complain that they are building a parking garage...

BigAl 5 years, 3 months ago

You just can't please some folks. The majority of posters on here just like to hear themselves whine. Build it!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

Courtesy of the city commission, the risk was just transferred to local taxpayers.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

Very simple-- future revenue needs of the city will be picked up by everyone else, meaning other folks' taxes will have to be at least $12 million higher than they otherwise would have been.

But I understand that you go by the new math that says wealthy folks don't have to pay taxes, because they are just that special.

flyin_squirrel 5 years, 3 months ago

Once again, someone who doesn't understand a TIF and the fact they are financing it, not the city....

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

The city gambled that they wouldn't build the project or any project on that property for decades. The payoff will be that the taxes collected on that property will go back to the developers instead of to the city, who would otherwise get the tax income. The city also gambled that net businesses downtown would grow. They'll lose tax income if existing retailers move their business into the new building or if it forces the existing downtown hotel to close.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 3 months ago

Speaking of risk, isn't it also true that there is risk in doing nothing. We are currently in a housing slump that has crippled that industry. Workers in that industry, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, etc. have all been adversely and disproportionately hit. Because of that, isn't it probable that when we speak of the unemployed, we're talking about them. When we speak of people who are underemployed, we're talking about them. When we speak of people whose homes are in foreclosure, we're talking about them.

The risk of doing nothing is that the plight of these people will continue and worsen. And people in those circumstances have a very real cost to government and taxpayers. Whatever you think the risk is to taxpayers when giving incentives, those must be balanced against the very real risk of unemployment payments, housing assistance, food assistance. In other words, an overall loss of productivity within the trades industry. That cost is what happens when you keep an empty lot an empty lot.

Zachary Stoltenberg 5 years, 3 months ago

"City commissioners, though, said a key consideration is the deal is being structured so developers will take the risk if the redevelopment does not perform as expected. The developers will be required to finance the entire project, and the developers only will be reimbursed from new tax revenues generated by the development.

If the development does not produce the revenue anticipated, the city won’t be obligated to make up the difference."

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

Yes. Financial risks. If this doesn't pay out, the development group responsible will simply be... still pretty rich.

I appreciate that people take financial risks, but the actual risk takers are not rewarded in the same way that the faux risk takers are. Not only does this project not spell financial ruin, chances are good that if it goes south, they can figure out a way to get the city to bail out the project.

scaramouchepart2 5 years, 3 months ago

No they do not take financial risks. They make the city taxpayer to take financial risks without a vote. The jobs are parttime low wage and do not support anyone.

bballwizard 5 years, 3 months ago

Very cool project and it will provide jobs. Sure they are not great paying jobs but they are jobs. My business partner who lives in Iowa is moving to Lawrence because he loves the dowtown area and projects like these just keep enhencing downtown's appeal

geekin_topekan 5 years, 3 months ago

Good point. Brownbeak makes jobs go away. Compton bring jobs in. maybe Doug should run for office.

Paul Wilson 5 years, 3 months ago

Under Brownie...unemployment in Kansas has gone from 7.6% to 6.1%. In Sebelius' last term alone it went from 4% to 7.6%. Understanding that National Economy fuels this as well. But, stats don't lie. As a business owner, I have been able to hire two more full time people. Businesses come and businesses go. The trend under Brownie and over his term is lower unemployment. With the billions of dollars stolen from taxpayers to "stimulate" the economy...Obama has not been able to make a dent in national unemployment. Cities throughout the country under Liberal leadership are filing for bankruptcy or real close. Overtaxing business owners who actually hire people will cause unemployment to skyrocket. Always has....always will. I'm just curious as to what actual stats your opinion that, "Brownbeak makes jobs go away" is formed on?

geekin_topekan 5 years, 3 months ago

When his faith based agenda turned all SRS transportation monies over to a corporation out of St.Louis, my job went out the window because rather than allowing the small business to continue, it could not compete with corporate entity with the mass numbers and fleets. The small business went under because it outsourced the funds to an Missouri corp.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

At the same time this $12 million and the other millions for their project at 11th and Vermont are being handed down we are seeing a host of other tax increases such as a proposed sales tax,property taxes,water and sewer rate increases and who knows what other city rates are up for increases. Any way you look at it all are tax increases.

More than $12 million tax dollars will never make their way to our cookie jars

Local government subsidies were just funneled from the poor and the middle class to the rich.... not all the wealthy only those which are politically connected and demanding preferential treatment.

The local 1% are active in Larryville and have spoken.

jafs 5 years, 3 months ago

The industrial revenue bonds are a nice addition, so they don't even have to pay sales taxes on the materials used to build these projects.

So, who pays taxes? Customers and employees, both groups that are essential to any business success.


jafs 5 years, 3 months ago

Believe me, I won't.

I refuse to shop at any business that charges an extra "tax" for the developer's use.

But, the point remains - the developers get the breaks while others who are critical to the success of the project don't, and in fact will pay more in taxes due to the extra tax.

jafs 5 years, 3 months ago

Also, this article doesn't mention it, but these new proposals will be exempt from having to pay for any of the current parking garage, which was a requirement of this district when it was enacted.

flyin_squirrel 5 years, 3 months ago

Try again... 850K of the TDD is going to the existing parking garage.

jafs 5 years, 3 months ago

Yes, I saw Chad's clarification.

But, that's about $650K less than they would have paid under the original rules.

patkindle 5 years, 3 months ago

You really cannot blame city hall for this one The voters have approved every tax increase Put before them, 2 for the mt buses, plus the library And probably more I don’t recall. The voters want the city to take charge of their lives Tell them when and what to do, how to do it And are willing to pay for the pleasure Lawrence voters do not want to think on their own They want to be carried from cradle to grave By the government, it is the way of todays usa

jafs 5 years, 3 months ago

Make up your mind - I can certainly blame city hall, since we don't get to vote on it.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

Local taxpayers just forked over $12 million tax dollars to subsidize low wage jobs and guarantee a profit for the developers.

Rich People Create Jobs! And five other myths that must die for our economy to live.

For decades, America's economic policies have been based on the notion that catering to corporations and the wealthy is the way to stimulate the economy. Republicans routinely insist that we need to bail them out, lower their taxes, allow them to repatriate hundreds of billions in overseas profits, and free them from annoying government meddling. If we don't, the "job creators" will stay in a funk, and the economy will stay in a rut.

But here's a pesky fact neither corporate America nor the GOP establishment is trumpeting: After-tax corporate profits are currently at an all-time high. The problem businesses face isn't lack of cash but rather a lack of confidence that consumer demand will pick up in the future. So they're not expanding or hiring at the rate they should be.

Rich people don't create jobs when we hand them big windfalls. They create jobs when the economy is growing and they have customers for their businesses. And the key to solving that problem, at least during a deep economic slump like the one we're in now, is to focus like a laser on more stimulus, easier money, higher inflation, and a weaker currency. Unless we want to relive 1937 over and over and over again. As Bill Murray said, "Anything different is good."

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

Sales taxes are a significant portion of the resources for the budget. Has anyone forgotten that this city commission has been promoting the idea of a sales tax increase?

salinalawrence 5 years, 3 months ago

Okay, now that this matter is resolved we can get back to deciding which elementary school to close.

flyin_squirrel 5 years, 3 months ago

Congrats commissioners for doing the right thing. This will help stop our downtown from becoming another Aggieville, by more people living next to my downtown retail business. Without a growing population living in downtown, we will only be an entertainment district (see Arensburgs, Maurices, American Eagle, Sacred Sword, the card store that is now Noodles, etc...).

There is no reason Downtown Lawrence couldn't be a weekend getaway place for people in surrounding areas, but we have to accept downtown growth for that to happen.

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

We also have to stop moving things to big boxes out on the edge of town.

flyin_squirrel 5 years, 3 months ago

Agree. If we are going to spend TIF, TDD, and other future tax dollars, it should be used for infill development in/near downtown. Keep downtown the center of Lawrence.

Jennifer Alexander 5 years, 3 months ago

I am not very wise when it comes to the City giving tax advantages/breaks to businesses/new development so maybe someone can help me out here. How is this different than the city giving Olive Garden a break to fill the ugly vacant lot at 27th and Iowa? Were those breaks going to be paid by the people? I feel like development in Lawrence takes place either in downtown or west Lawrence. What about the rest of the city?

farr700 5 years, 3 months ago

One key difference is, much of this space will be used for people to reside. That's a big difference. People that LIVE downtown, spend downtown.

Jennifer Alexander 5 years, 3 months ago

Very true, I never really thought about it like that. Hopefully they can fill the apartments that will be built.

pizzapete 5 years, 3 months ago

Because people who LIVE outside of downtown don't spend downtown? Who resides in a hotel? Paris Hilton?

flyin_squirrel 5 years, 3 months ago

Oh pete, you silly guy... Stick to pizzas.

Elaine Elliott 5 years, 3 months ago

They should have to use Lawrence companies to build and not be able to lease out of the city, since the city is giving them incentives. We are always ready to help Compton, we should make sure he gives back.

pizzapete 5 years, 3 months ago

I know right? Having a huge hotel next to your house makes the value of your house double in price. If we could all have a huge apartment as a neighbor we'd all be rich.

George_Braziller 5 years, 3 months ago

Shacks? When was the last time you drove down Rhode Island Street?

2002 5 years, 3 months ago

The facts are that the project will provide urban style housing opportunities near the commercial core of the city. From a land use perspective it is a great idea. The financial deal actually will make money for the city over time as taxes from increased property values will exceed the up front assistance given.

Here are some other facts: I've been in and around Lawrence for 50 years and since I can remember the east side of Lawrence has been run down, and poorly maintained. Certainly not every property, but overall. East Lawrence has always been filled with anti's that oppose most everything. So when you mix lack of personal private investment with opposition to everything you get stagnation. It is great to see public and private development investment at the edge of downtown and east Lawrence. I hope that in the future this style of development extends farther into east Lawrence. It would be great to see New Hampshire filled with three and four story dense housing as well as maybe Connecticut and New York.

jafs 5 years, 3 months ago

Another facet of this - given recent changes in state tax policy, I imagine that developers will be able to not pay income taxes on most of their income.

So, developers don't have to pay income, property or sales taxes while average folks get to pay all of those, including the employees and customers who are essential parts of the projects.


Whether or not this will be a net gain for the city over long periods of time is totally uncertain - it might be, and then again, it might not be.

jafs 5 years, 3 months ago

If you continue to insult me, I'll ask you to stop responding to my posts.

I never said they're breaking the law - my problem is with the laws that make this sort of thing possible, which is why I oppose tax abatements, TIF's, etc.

You know nothing at all about my personal life, and I prefer to keep it that way.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

Compton, and especially his $100K underlings, treats his employees like total crap.

Paul Wilson 5 years, 3 months ago

Yeah...those evil successful people should be stopped....they should be forced to work for free. I'm glad you don't live here either...we have enough jealous people with their hand out as it is.

JackMcKee 5 years, 3 months ago

If Compton wants to play Monopoly, he needs to do it with his own money and quit using taxpayer dollars. This is a private parking garage that won't be open to the public. The City of Lawrence should not be helping Doug Compton pay for his projects. It's bad enough that the city just let Compton take over half of the downtown parking garage. This town is absolutely corrupt to the bone.

MattressMan 5 years, 3 months ago

"It's bad enough that the city just let Compton take over half of the downtown parking garage."

Sorry Jack but that's not right, there isn't any parking in the existing New Hampshire St garage reseved for the 901 building or tenants. Parking is first come first served. IIRC the city didn't give him cut rate on parking passes either.

You also complain about a private parking garage that you can't use, rent a room if you want to use it, pretty simple. If they didn't build a private garage you be right here complaining that their patrons are parking in the existing garage.

JackMcKee 5 years, 3 months ago

What a deal, only $200 for a parking spot. With advice that like you must be a financial whiz.

It's de facto taking over the garage when 100 cars are semi-permanently parked in the spaces, and for pennies a day.

JackMcKee 5 years, 3 months ago

I hate to get all Mom talking to a 5 year old here, but if Kansas City jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

Could the LJW explain exactly how all of the $11.7 million tax dollars will be spent?

"City commissioners, though, said a key consideration is the deal is being structured so developers will take the risk if the redevelopment does not perform as expected. The developers will be required to finance the entire project, and the developers only will be reimbursed from new tax revenues generated by the development.

If the development does not produce the revenue anticipated, the city won’t be obligated to make up the difference. "

If the developers cannot afford the $11.7 million dollars as we speak and the project goes sour how will they come up with the taxpayers $11.7 million?

Is this a loan? If so why would a bank not finance the $11.7 million?

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

"If you think this is exclusive to this town you are sadly mistaken. Just take a look at about 10 large projects in Kansas City that are all requiring TIFs."

This is not Kansas City and Kansas City has a way different tax base than does Lawrence,Kansas. Kansas City has a population of 2 million. Which does not alter the impact of tax dollar handouts.

I say to developers build what you can afford and make it work. That's a practical and fiscally prudent approach.

IMO what we have is small town pretending to be big city for those wanting to bring big city to Lawrence,Kansas.

This is all about trying to create "inflation extreme boom town real estate economics" which is what brought the economy to its' knees.

I say to developers build what you can afford and make it work. That's a practical and fiscally prudent approach.

Why should taxpayers be subsidizing any for profit venture whatsoever? Can we say duped?

Austin Bergstrom 5 years, 3 months ago

Lawrence Kansas...the only city in the United States to offer incentives to developers! Get a clue naysayers! Thanks for investing in downtown....can't wait to see it finished!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 2 months ago

Of course, everyone else is doing it, that must make it the right thing!! I'm so glad you cleared that up for us.

(I bet you wear your pants halfway down your crack, right?)

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