Friday, July 6, 2007

Board Gives Nod

Convention and Tourism Authority agrees to give $2.5M to Harrison Square

"The Fort Wayne/Allen County Convention and Tourism Authority agreed Friday to contribute $2.5 million over 10 years toward the Harrison Square project. If city officials can persuade Harrison Square developer Hardball Capital, of Atlanta, to kick in another $1.25 million, as City Councilman Tom Smith, R-1st, asked, that would halve the contribution from the Grand Wayne Convention Center. The tourism authority controls the Grand Wayne's budget.

Smith appeared before the board Friday morning and asked its members not to approve a payment of $250,000 per year before city officials asked Hardball for another $1.25 million. But board members did not want to risk delaying the project, so they amended the agreement, requesting city officials to seek but not require the additional money from Hardball."

Grand Wayne board OKs $2.5 million for Harrison Square

"The approval came despite a request from City Councilman Tom Smith, R-1st, to have Hardball Capital pay for half the $2.5 million. Smith said because Hardball is a partner in Harrison Square – the company will be building retail and condominiums as part of the project – it should also help the city finance public portions of the hotel. Hardball owns the Fort Wayne Wizards and is paying $5 million toward the $30 million cost for a new downtown ballpark."

"The board voted to allow the city to request extra support from Hardball, but its money was not contingent upon the city getting any additional support."

Convention authority approves hotel funding for Harrison Square

"In approving the $2.5 million, Convention and Tourism Authority members included a resolution that would allow the authority to take advantage of any hotel funding that could come from Hardball Capital LLC, which is developing Harrison Square's baseball stadium and retail and residential space."

"Deputy Mayor Mark Becker said Hardball's investment already is substantial. Becker said the company does not need to demonstrate any more commitment to the city. He did, however, tell the authority he would discuss the idea with Harball officials."


John B. Kalb said...

Mr. Becker - In what way is Hardball investing in the stadium or the hotel? I see a $5 million tax credit (net to them by selling at a discount to company who is really paying income taxes to the state of Indiana) which Hardball will then "invest" in the stadium. Sure looks like more of our tax money going to Hardball and then they "give it back" as their??? investment?? What a bunch of hooey! John B. Kalb