Wednesday, February 27, 2008

What's with all the economic incentives for developers?

What's with governments giving money to developers? Is it not possible to ask developers to stand on their own? Ought we not let the market do what the market does?

From Harry Minium at the Pilot: Norfolk council OKs Ghent office, retail complex
A new $30 million office, bank and retail complex called Ghent Station has won the City Council's approval.

The council unanimously endorsed the 127,000-square-foot commercial development at the western end of 21st Street in historic Ghent on Tuesday night.
The cost to the City: around $2 million dollars of income as the city sold the developer 3-1/2 acres for the project... 3-1/2 acres that they're paying $3 million for... but that an independent appraiser put at worth $5 million.

I guess this isn't as bad as it could be. Remember what Meghan Hoyer told us on Valentine's Day as to what the City of Portsmouth was going to be on the hook for:
According to documents from the closed meeting, Portsmouth would give Lincoln $5.65 million in the form of an economic development grant. The city would be responsible for paying off $1.1 million in debt that remains on the Holiday Inn and for nearly $8 million in necessary infrastructure repairs to the area.
Photo with this post is from the Ghent Station website on the artist's rendering page and is used without permission.

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