Monday, July 16, 2007

Square Update

The Redevelopment Commission meeting discussed a number of resolutions related to Harrison Square at their July 16 meeting held at 4:30PM. Member David Wright was not present.

The meeting agenda can be read by clicking the link below:


Items of interest:

Resolution 2007-43: Approving a Real Estate Option Agreement, Purchase and Development Agreement and Parking Garage Use Agreement for the Harrison Square project.

Passed unanimously.

Resolution 2007-44: Approving a contract with Martin Service Systems for the demolition of the Harrison Square site.

The contract was split into 5 sections, essentially breaking up the demolition by time phases. There were two respondents to the Request for Proposal and Martin Service Systems was awarded the contract, which was valued around $700,000. The Resolution passed unanimously.
Resolution 2007-45: Ratifying and approving acquisition costs for real estate located in the Jefferson Illinois Economic Development Area, as amended

It was noted that there is still one property which has not been closed upon, and that since the last meeting, another property had been closed. The as of yet unclosed property was said to be planned for ratification at the next regular meeting of the Commission. The Resolution passed unanimously.

The Commission also discussed other Resolutions not listed on the agenda. Voting on these additional Resolutions was deferred for a special meeting, which is expected to take place on July 23 at 4:30PM.

These Resolutions included the following:

Resolution 2007-47: Regarding Harrison Square condo and retail development

Material discussions were said to be concluded. It was stated that the City will sell the land at $27 per square foot and that Barry Real Estate will invest $14.5 million (both hard and soft costs) at a minimum into the development, which is said to include 60 residential condo units and 30,000 square feet of retail space. $1.4 million will also be spent by the City for improvements to the surrounding area and the City will help Barry Real Estate to become a TIF member and to help with CRED financing, which must be applied for by the end of the year. At a 90% take level of the retail/condo development, Hardball will enter into a time period for which they have exclusivity for whether or not to pursue further phases.

Resolution 2007-48: Regarding Ballpark License Agreement

The license (separate from naming rights) is expected to last until December of 2029, with 5 year extensions available. The agreement is said to closely follow the details outlined in the original Memorandum of Understanding between Hardball Capital and the city. The city will contribute no less than $230,000 per year into a maintenance fund, with naming rights gained by the city used as a source. The city will pay for interior and exterior security for City sponsored events. Hardball Capital will be responsible for paying for additional suites over the planned for 12 already existing suites. Hardball will cover operating and maintenance expenses. Events at the facility will either be scheduled by the City or Hardball Capital. The city will receive revenue from the ballpark if (paid) attendance is over 275,000 per year.

Naming rights for the ballpark are said to be down to a short list and that once a company is picked, there will be a period of exclusive negotiations with that company. A 10-15 year naming rights agreement is said to be the most common.

Resolution 2007-49: Regarding Ballpark Management Agreement

This Resolution is also said to closely follow the Memorandum of Understanding. Management of the facility is expected to be conducted by a Hardball related entity and done so at a level of Single and Double AA Minor League Baseball standards. Hardball will submit an annual budget, for which the City has a right to audit.

Resolution 2007-50: Regarding Hotel Agreement

The hotel agreement is said to be in place as of July 16, with a minimum of a 250 room, full-service Courtyard by Marriott agreed upon. The hotel will have 3500 square feet of meeting space and is said to be consistent with the overall Harrison Square design. There will be $1 million in streetscape improvements and the City will assist in obtaining tax credits.

An interesting idea that was discussed was to have a covered walkway to go from the new hotel and through the Indiana Hotel and Embassy in order to connect to the Grand Wayne Center. The idea deserves mention because of the opportunities it creates for the future redevelopment of the Indiana Hotel and provides direct access to the Embassy for guests of the new hotel. It will also be interesting to see how the walkway is integrated into the upper portion of the Indiana Hotel, which at the current time is of a less than optimal condition. However, having the connection between this new hotel through the Indiana Hotel provides a great foundation for a renewed Indiana Hotel. The walkway is expected to cost less than $1 million.

March 1, 2010 was given as a drop-dead date for the completion of the hotel, with late 2009 being the expected completion date. There is also said to be an option for real estate on Jefferson west of the hotel site for the possibility of future expansion of the hotel onto that area, which would add 170 rooms to the hotel. In the parking garage (still at 900 spaces), there will only be 250 spaces dedicated to hotel guests, instead of the 300 previously stated, with 20 more spaces for employees of the hotel.

(Unknown resolution number): Regarding Lincoln agreement for parking

An agreement was said to be reached which would give the development all of Lincoln's employee parking spaces north of Brackenridge to the development, essentially limiting Lincoln's contribution to Phase 1 of the project, at this time. The city has an option to acquire 511 spaces for an appraised value of $910,000. Lincoln will then contribute $910,000 to the Redevelopment Commission for use of the new garage. The money is expected to go into a long term maintenance fund.

There will be 400 temporary spaces provided during construction of the parking garage. After completion of the garage, Lincoln will have 511 reserved spaces from 7AM to 6PM on Monday through Friday for employee use. Entrances to the garage will be on Douglas and Harrison streets, with 28 ADA compliant spaces planned.

The Redevelopment Commission will subcontract the operation of the garage and it was stated at the meeting that a Parking Authority for all downtown parking is still the best option for managing parking in the downtown area. Wayfinding signs for parking is said to be on schedule for this fall.

DFWB should have electronic versions of the Resolution documents within the next day or two.


Jeff Pruitt said...

"The walkway is expected to cost less than $1 million."

And where does that money come from?

John B. Kalb said...

Jeff - The walkway will be designated as "infrastructure" and therefore paid by us taxpayers - what did you expect? Russ Moore would pay for it?
Barry Real Estate gets to be a TIF member - What the H is that?
Barry Real Estate gets help from City of Fort Wayne with CRED financing? This is a net wash - Hardball "invests" $5 million in the stadium - then the city helps them get almost $6 million in Indiana State Tax Credits (which were to have been used to help fund the Krock Estate/Salvation Army project at the old YWCA location on Wells Street - which went North to South Bend instead). Since Barry Real Estate will never in a 100 years ever pay income taxes to our state in any way close to this $6 million, the city will help Barry find an Indiana company that does pay that amount of income taxes, sell them these credits for a discount (estimated at $5 million). So, everyone who pays income taxes in Indiana will pay more, except for the company that buys these credits. So Barry gets out with NO MONEY CONTRIBUTED TO THE STADIUM. Really a great deal for us as taxpayers-NOT!!! John B. Kalb