Well, not really. We refer to the City-County Council (CCC) acting to wedge municipal government into yet another downtown real estate deal, as reported by the IBJ online.
A developer has made a bid to IPS for the old Coca Cola bottling plant, proposing a $260 million project. Under the terms of the CCC action, if the current bid is not approved in one year, the city is "...required to buy the lot from the IPS for as much as $13 million." We're not certain what the wording "buy the lot" means since there is a very substantial building involved.
The proposal from the developer "...will receive scrutiny from the Metropolitan Development Commission...". The wording in the IBJ presentation which really raised the red flag for us is as follows.
"The controversial proposal (CCC action) is meant to let the city have more influence over a significant project it would otherwise be largely locked out of. That’s because (the developer) is not seeking city tax breaks or other assistance that would allow for more traditional negotiations." (Our emphasis.) Our little desk-top dictionary gives us a definition of "any long continued practice or custom" for the word tradition.
Probably an accurate usage here. It is a long-standing practice in Indianapolis for municipal government to insert itself into private development "negotiations", thereby altering the financial considerations thereof.
How dare this upstart developer try to by-pass "the system" by not asking for taxpayer subsidy? How does he think political contributions can be justified if government does not force its way into transactions where it has no business to begin with?
With the failure of this deal, there would no doubt be tax abatements, misuse of TIF funds and various other "side agreements" when the city gets through making its own "traditional" deal.
Does anyone wonder what downtown might look like if Mr. Ayres, Mr. Block and Mr. Wasson had waited for tax dollars?