Boise is ripe to be #1 on the “EASY PICKING” list compiled by developers.
The BOISE WEEKLY’S George Prentice reports city officials have cut a deal to defer $500,000 in fees owed by Gardner Development, the outfit which has been anointed to build the latest version of the “Transit Center” which is planned beneath one of their latest dream towers.
We suspect the firm is either woefully short of cash and credit or really brilliant at using the public’s money. Billed as “public-private” partnerships, both of the planned structures will use public funds, and apparently won’t pay fees at least for now.
Try to get your parking tickets “deferred” and see how far you get. Perhaps if motorists offered their support of bike lanes, parking 10 feet from the curb, and a devotion to downtown Boise, they could get some concessions.
Meanwhile, Greater Boise Auditorium District board members are set to meet today to decide on an attempt to subvert the Idaho Constitution and contribute $38 million to a Gardner project for a ballroom and kitchen. If approved, the board will ask a judge allow the district to buy into a condo, pay for 24 years, own the building, but call it a lease.
UPDATE 6/10/14– Statesman city hall reporter SVEN BERG offered up more details on the issue.
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Jun 9, 2014, 8:23 am
Don’t forget that the transit center will be too small for all the buses we currently have operating. What happens when Valley Ride needs to add bus routes serving downtown?
And the encroachment on what used to be public right of way continues. I’m talking about Grove St and 8th St used to be real streets through what is now the Grove Plaza. And the transit center will further encroach by forever taking part of Main Street and Capitol Blvd.
So much money and effort wasted on the bike lane project yet only a few bicyclists have pointed out the Grove Plaza and the Gardner project’s impediment to bicycle travel.
Even if there wasn’t a ton of money laundering, the design is poor at best.
Jun 9, 2014, 1:59 pm
Any outfit that cannot come up with the most basic of fees–building permits should be viewed with extreme caution. It is an interest free loan by the city. Not generally known and certainly not advertised the Nampa Library had to pay much above market interest rates and a balloon payment on the end which was all orchestrated by the Gardner Company. Their pullout on the building of the commercial building can also be viewed as a shortage of funds or credit –take your pick. Judicial confirmation on the bonds should, in addition to the lack of confidence in the people be another indication of build it and read the fine print later. Red Flags everywhere.
Jun 9, 2014, 5:25 pm
Dave, are you saying the judicial conformation process is unconstitutional?
EDITOR NOTE–Not at all. The proposed action by the G-BAD is unconstitutional in that they are attempting to deny citizens the right to vote on long term debt. They want a judge to declare 24 years of payments and ultimate ownership is merely a “lease.” I will file briefs with the court at the appropriate time.
Jun 10, 2014, 9:36 am
I wonder what voters/taxpayers would say about this if given the opportunity to weigh in on the question. This is apparently a common tactic on the part of developers.
In Caldwell a developer got an interest free loan of $150k for 10 years. He sent the URA a check for $140 at the end of 10 years and asked that the remaining $10k be forgiven.
How much free stuff is enough with these people. Gardener stiffed the city of Nampa on a URA project and now Boise can’t wait to hop in bed with these people.