consultants are sandburs

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

City of Ramsey - At it again with a damned Community Center run in through the backdoor, pie-in-the-sky private sector fluff, perhaps, reminding one of the McDonald's in Town Center BS story that arose out of Darren Lazan/Bob Ramsey times and ways; without burgers ever being sold although promises most surely were sold. A sucker born every minute, town-wise, is that McDonalds story, or if not, submit a comment explaining otherwise.

This "full agenda" link, start at p.16 of the PDF.

Council Work Session, minutes, and gee, what rose colored glasses all along the council table.

Valentine's Day minutes, be my valentine to the city from a private sector Developer [crabgrass]:

Flagship Fitness & Aquatic Center

Free land, for a promise? How would this be justified, if it ends up being give-away and/or tie-it-up land like the McDonald's fiasco? Don't these council folks have a learning curve? Ditto, staff, since they were there for the McDonald's full monty, whereas some on council are newbies as to those Landform - Big Mac promisings.

This link. An alternate agenda link.

It seems at the very least the City Attorney should be involved in drafting a purchase and sale agreement for the land, by a contract for deed rather than a deed up front, where a deed can be escrowed along with escrow instructions about releasing the deed upon completion and a use/occupancy permit being issued by a fixed date, or a release of deed back to the City from escrow in the event some time line is unmet without being excused and extended by subsequent council vote. Along with something that can be recorded out of escrow as notice of extinction of contract, for public record notice of there no longer being a contract burden on City title to the land. Basic stuff.

But if I read the thing correctly it's an indoor pool. Little else.

Does it even have a basketball court? Something useful like that? A weight/equipment room?

That last questioning is without reading the proposal. That's their job. Read too, in careful detail, by counsel. (Don't be penny wise and pound foolish.)

Back to the McDonlads full monty - who owns that prime site now? Did the fee simple absolute title revert to the City for lack of development, or was the city slicked by somebody on getting title w/o any performance/deadlines protections? Who did what to make the situation however it is?

Who owns the "McDonalds" site, being the fundamental question; the secondary question is if not the city, what was paid to put that parcel into its present status, anything, at all?

On these pie-in-the-sky developments, the City needs protections against non-performance, so that next proponent can gain a shot without a parcel's title being clouded as not fee simple absolute property of the City.

Learning curve. That is a phrase easily used, difficult in actuality.

BOTTOM LINE: This "cute" backdoor way to a community center; why give free land? If it is a viable investment, then the developer/promoter buys the land and does without TIF. If it is not viable that way, then send the developer/promoter folks packing.


But wait. There's more. This Strategic session thing, where greatest achievements - our tenure - was page after page. My take on the greatest achievement? The linked minutes show that nobody threw out their shoulder or dislocated their elbow, despite all the self-congratulatory back patting that went on. A medical miracle.


Then, "PDI" financing. Who dat? This websearch, and in light of that return list, who dat, once more? Wouldn't J.P. Morgan or Citicorp be more reassuring?

Then, a few links: The promoter corporation has been in existence since 2007, not earlier.

Adrian Haid seems the principal, this link, Lots of irons in the fire; so will he personally guarantee the entire project, his personal wealth at risk, in its entirety?

Address: 7212 Stewart Drv., Eden Prairie, MN 55346 (Haid prominent again.)

Bizapedia. Complaintsboard. Yelp (same family of corporations?) FaceyBookey.

This paragraph (at p.17 of this pdf) scares the shit out of me, and you too - taxpayer financed parking ramp redux:

Lastly, staff would like to note, Flagship Fitness has indicated a willingness to work with the City on using this project to spur the construction of a parking ramp. For example, rather than the City contribute free land and TIF (as depicted in this proposal), the City could construct a parking ramp and provide Flagship with parking ramp stalls as the City contribution to the project. For Flagship Fitness, this option would drastically reduce the amount of land they would need for their project (i.e. remove surface parking). Additionally, this would eliminate construction costs, for Flagship, to construct a surface parking lot. For the City, this could help us justify/ spur the construction of our next parking ramp (which would benefit other projects, help push the vision for our urban downtown, and maximize the development potential of The COR). Lastly, staff would note--having a project "in-hand" would help staff apply for grants to help fund the construction of a parking ramp (typically, grant sources don't like funding parking ramps on speculation of development).

Useless, unneeded second mostly empty Ramsey Town Center parking ramp, to pair with unneeded first mostly empty Ramsey Town Center parking ramp by the choo-choo. WHY???????

Again, who is "PDI" and what would their position be, a first mortgage, so that any security interest the City might attain would be junior?

Why use initials? PDI has to stand for something, and why the hesitancy in naming a name that residents in Ramsey could then websearch?

Never heard of any PDI. Have you? If you know who PDI is, please let us all know, via a comment. What size, a billion dollar venture, less? A traded company, or private? And the stuff online did get into monthly membership charges, but upfront enrollment fees, contract durations, all that, in the air. Ben Dover, the Ramsey Taxpayer asks:

What's in it for me?

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