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Indianapolis Mayor Ballard's North Of South Taxpayer-Financed Deal Frought With Risk For Taxpayers

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democraticinsurgent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 08:39 AM
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Indianapolis Mayor Ballard's North Of South Taxpayer-Financed Deal Frought With Risk For Taxpayers
It's all about making the city look good for the 2012 Super Bowl and raising money for his re-election campaign. Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard could give a damn less how much he is putting taxpayers at risk in a proposed $155 million development project that includes a high-end hotel especially designed to serve Eli Lilly's needs, apartments and retail space called North of South on the southern edge of the downtown area. Despite this being everything against what he stood for as a candidate in 2007, Ballard sees nothing wrong with pouring out tax dollars into a private development and even making taxpayers serve as the principal guarantor. Experts tell the Star's Jeff Swiatek the deal is "stacked with risks" and "highly unusual."

A former mayor of Pittsburgh finds it "gutsy." A New York real estate attorney calls it "extremely unusual."

They're referring to Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard's proposal, revealed last week, to guarantee an $86 million loan to build a hotel, apartments and office and retail space near Eli Lilly and Co.'s headquarters on the south edge of Downtown.

In essence, the city would be taking on the role of banker by financing the privately developed, mixed-use project. Few cities are willing to go that far.

And, perhaps, for good reason.
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LittleGirl Donating Member (377 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 08:35 PM
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1. Indianapolis is a great city.
It has the big city feel with the hometown atmosphere. Arts, Education, Music, Arts and a circle monument park in the center. The canal is a huge draw downtown. Way to go.

Now, don't mess it up with poor management decisions.
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democraticinsurgent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 12:45 PM
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2. Our Repub mayor is doing his best to screw it up
Mayor Ballard was dubbed "The Accidental Mayor" when he won an upset victory in 2007 over an overconfident Democratic incumbent (Bart Peterson). Peterson shot himself in the foot with some poor decisions and got unfairly blamed for property tax increases that were caused by the state.

Since then it has been open season at city hall for lobbyists and insiders to grab their piece of the pie. Ballard does not appear to be in control, but the law firms and lobbyists do. This parking meter deal is only the latest in several money grabs.

Anyone who's truly interested in the attempted parking meter sell-off should read Aaron Renn's post about it, from his blog Urbanophile:
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