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#1 2008-02-18 22:27:02

Kevin
Administrator
From: Tanglewilde
Registered: 2004-09-08
Posts: 6,929

Chron: Former councilman looks to clean up on city's Dynamo boondoggle

Related to Anne Linehan's post from Sunday -- today the Chronicle reported additional interesting details on Mayor White's proposed giveaway to the Houston Dynamo:

Houston has offered more than $15.5 million to buy five downtown blocks that could be a future site of a Dynamo soccer stadium.

The city council could vote on the deal this Wednesday. The purchase price assumes the land is worth $49 per square foot, almost quadruple the assessed value of $12.50 per square foot, according to Harris County Appraisal District records.

The five blocks are owned by various corporate entities controlled by former Councilman Louis Macey. To acquire a sixth block, owned by a different company, the city has offered to swap a block nearby that it already owns.

What a potential windfall for a former councilman!

Sorry, but this highly lucrative insider wheeling and dealing doesn't quite pass the smell test (even though the local media continually remind us that Mayor White's administration is the most ethical since... well, maybe ever!).



Link to post:  http://www.bloghouston.net/item/6577

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#2 2008-02-19 05:17:34

Anne
Moderator
Registered: 2004-09-08
Posts: 3,833

Re: Chron: Former councilman looks to clean up on city's Dynamo boondoggle

Geez, and today's Chron story is even worse (worse as in the details are even more eyebrow-raising):  http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5551093.html

Is Anne Clutterbuck really the lone voice of reason on this boondoggle?  What's up with Louis Macey:

The seller, Macey, said he would be disappointed if the land is not used for a soccer stadium.

"My kids wanted to hold onto it, because it's very unusual for someone to be able to block up as many blocks as I have," Macey said. "They think it will be a lot more valuable in the future.

and then these two bits:

To ensure the land would be used for a soccer stadium, Macey wanted to add a clause to the sale contract with the city. But White persuaded him not to add the restriction, Macey said.

[snip]

As an added incentive for Macey, the city has offered to abandon a block of Jackson Street between Capitol and Rusk. Macey owns a parking lot there, just south of Minute Maid Park. The street's closure could give him flexibility in developing it.

Is there anything else Mayor White would like to do for Macey??? 

And one of the city's alternative uses for the land if the soccer stadium doesn't work out is to use it for the new police HQ.

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#3 2008-02-19 12:36:30

houtxcharles
Partisan Hack
From: Midtown
Registered: 2006-02-23
Posts: 583

Re: Chron: Former councilman looks to clean up on city's Dynamo boondoggle

Anne wrote:

Geez, and today's Chron story is even worse (worse as in the details are even more eyebrow-raising):  http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5551093.html

Is Anne Clutterbuck really the lone voice of reason on this boondoggle?  What's up with Louis Macey:

The seller, Macey, said he would be disappointed if the land is not used for a soccer stadium.

"My kids wanted to hold onto it, because it's very unusual for someone to be able to block up as many blocks as I have," Macey said. "They think it will be a lot more valuable in the future.

and then these two bits:

To ensure the land would be used for a soccer stadium, Macey wanted to add a clause to the sale contract with the city. But White persuaded him not to add the restriction, Macey said.

[snip]

As an added incentive for Macey, the city has offered to abandon a block of Jackson Street between Capitol and Rusk. Macey owns a parking lot there, just south of Minute Maid Park. The street's closure could give him flexibility in developing it.

Is there anything else Mayor White would like to do for Macey??? 

And one of the city's alternative uses for the land if the soccer stadium doesn't work out is to use it for the new police HQ.

Face it, Bill White is determined to have this stadium built at any cost. Economics are not driving this project, nor are the interests of the people of the City of Houston. Unquestionably, additional obstacles will pop up, mainly because those involved now understand they have a sucker waiting to be taken in Bill White. Each and every time one of these obstacles comes up, Bill will throw taxpayer money at it to make it go away.

I think we are about to see the most expensive soccer stadium in the nation about to be built. Maybe this disaster will serve as proof to others that allowing public officials a blank check to support projects designed to afford benefits to a very few individuals isn't good public policy.

My guess is that the final price tag goes over $100million and the city will pick up at least $60million of it, directly or indirectly. Once the City is on the hook for the money, AEG will sell the team at what will be the highest price ever paid for a MLS team. The new buyers will lose money on the team but will recoup all losses and make out quite well on the stadium deal.

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#4 2008-02-20 08:43:30

Royko
Member
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1,752

Re: Chron: Former councilman looks to clean up on city's Dynamo boondoggle

They can name it the Obama Dome!


"I'll keep my God, my liberty, my guns,
and my meager earnings; whereas,
you can keep "THE CHANGE!"

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#5 2008-02-20 09:52:52

HouTex
Member
Registered: 2005-07-11
Posts: 174

Re: Chron: Former councilman looks to clean up on city's Dynamo boondoggle

I wonder if the public will ever learn they are getting ripped off big time by financing stadiums with public money.  The whole selling point is "it's good for the economy" and "it makes us world class".  What a lie.  http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/?id=35549.  I have never been to the baseball stadium and only went to the football stadium during rodeo time because my daughters wanted to go.  I have never been to a Rockets game, Aeros game, and offer no financial support for million dollar drug addict cry babies.  Why should I pay for something I do not use?

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#6 2008-02-20 11:47:25

houtxcharles
Partisan Hack
From: Midtown
Registered: 2006-02-23
Posts: 583

Re: Chron: Former councilman looks to clean up on city's Dynamo boondoggle

HouTex wrote:

I wonder if the public will ever learn they are getting ripped off big time by financing stadiums with public money.  The whole selling point is "it's good for the economy" and "it makes us world class".  What a lie.  http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/?id=35549.  I have never been to the baseball stadium and only went to the football stadium during rodeo time because my daughters wanted to go.  I have never been to a Rockets game, Aeros game, and offer no financial support for million dollar drug addict cry babies.  Why should I pay for something I do not use?

Because it will put money into the pockets of certain people that Bill White is counting on to pay the tab for his run at statewide office. Plain and simple.

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#7 2008-02-20 13:37:13

FilioScotia
Member
Registered: 2006-08-06
Posts: 264

Re: Chron: Former councilman looks to clean up on city's Dynamo boondoggle

Am I reading this wrong?  Does this article really say that Metro is willing to adjust a proposed route of a future Metro Rail line to accommodate this stadium?

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/met … 54299.html

Metro will do this to keep the Mayor and the downtown business crowd happy, but it won't adjust the rail route on the west side to make residents along Richmond happy?

What's wrong with this picture?  Am I missing something here?

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#8 2008-02-20 13:46:50

yamadude
Member
From: Jersey Village
Registered: 2005-12-14
Posts: 1,015

Re: Chron: Former councilman looks to clean up on city's Dynamo boondoggle

15.5 million for five downtown blocks isnt too bad actually. I know people who just sold one block over by those bayou lofts (Next to the baseball stadium) for $24 million. Of course there was a building there but they tore it down.

As far as what its being built for, I think its not the best idea but maybe Houston can brag about having all these stadiums one day. Of course Houston will have to catch up and build things that actually matter and help the citizens of Houston before having bragging rights. When that time comes, the stadiums will probably be another astrodome.

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#9 2008-02-20 15:23:52

CK
Member
From: Rice Military
Registered: 2005-04-28
Posts: 640

Re: Chron: Former councilman looks to clean up on city's Dynamo boondoggle

Bottom line, we the sheeple are only here to facilitate the ends desired by people like Bill White.

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#10 2008-02-20 18:13:35

Kevin
Administrator
From: Tanglewilde
Registered: 2004-09-08
Posts: 6,929

Re: Chron: Former councilman looks to clean up on city's Dynamo boondoggle

FilioScotia wrote:

Am I reading this wrong?  Does this article really say that Metro is willing to adjust a proposed route of a future Metro Rail line to accommodate this stadium?

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/met … 54299.html

Metro will do this to keep the Mayor and the downtown business crowd happy, but it won't adjust the rail route on the west side to make residents along Richmond happy?

What's wrong with this picture?  Am I missing something here?

I read it the same way as you do.

Neat how that works, huh?

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#11 2008-02-20 22:15:46

Royko
Member
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1,752

Re: Chron: Former councilman looks to clean up on city's Dynamo boondoggle

YAMADUDE,

I have to be careful about what I say about this.

This area has long been underserved with utility capacity and updated infastructure.  So, with land valued by the Appraisal District at $12/sf based on property owners' proving it is not worth more, why are taxpayers being tapped for $50/sf?

Where's the DA?  Have the taxpayers been swindled again?


"I'll keep my God, my liberty, my guns,
and my meager earnings; whereas,
you can keep "THE CHANGE!"

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