Wednesday, March 28, 2007

City of Norfolk coughs up $22 million for new downtown tower

At the moment, across from the Federal Courthouse in Norfolk is nothing but a mostly empty lot. Soon, however, construction on Granby Tower will begin.

Harry Minium from the Virginian-Pilot wrote in an article published today:
The final step before construction begins on downtown's tallest building was taken Tuesday night when the City Council approved a $22 million subsidy for the 34-story, $181 million Granby Tower.

Mayor Paul Fraim said financiers were waiting on final approval for the city subsidy before releasing money to begin construction of the often-delayed project. After an 8-0 vote approving the $22 million performance grant, financing papers will be signed next week and full construction will begin by early May, Fraim said.
This isn't evidently money coming from taxpayers (unlike the whole Broadway at Chrysler fiasco). As Mr. Minium noted,
A loan will be taken out to pay the developer, and it will be repaid from a portion of the $5 million in annual local tax revenues officials expect will be generated by Granby Tower.
It's a loan against portions of future tax receipts.

In the past, I've been a little hesitant about things like this. There was the money the City gave to Hooters to put a restaurant in Waterside. There was the whole "golf course as collateral against MacArthur Center" thing. Both of those paid off, and the City more than reaped back what it put out. They were, looking back now, sound investments by the City.

I can only figure this will pan out, too.

Photo with this post lifted from Thalhimer.

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