In 2007 Loveland’s City Council was asked to allow use of Centerra “public” funds to construct an $80 million parking garage for a private McWhinney development. Chad McWhinney’s dream to build vertically a “densified” project fell-apart despite the subsidy after all he could attract was a bowling alley and Mexican restaurant from Ft. Collins.
His partners in Promenade sued him for competing against them (it was later foreclosed when McWhinney and Poag McEwen failed to pay creditors) and now McWhinney has tricked the City Council into subsidizing yet another attempt to lure retailers out of the mall he lost to foreclosure – all at our expense.
Back to the justification. Our beloved newspaper the Reporter-Herald dutifully ran two prior stories this time about a “mystery” fortune 500 employer ready to bring hundreds of jobs if only the city would allow McWhinney to build a parking garage using our public dollars – the false choice again.
You don’t need to read our entire story but please watch the two meeting video clips and also study the map revealing where the city’s sales tax revenue really comes from – not substantially from Centerra. In one video , McWhinney’s representative fails to give any percent or number of parking stalls that Agrium (the mystery employer) will require in the garage only saying it will be extremely low – meaning not really hundreds of employees coming as promised before Chad McWhinney pulls her off the stage.
The other video clip is Chad McWhinney speaking bolderdash about the MFA (2004 agreement with the city) and nobody on the council willing to challenge him. As a citizen of Loveland it is embarrassing to watch. It is clear the subsidy is for McWhinney to build 400 more apartments (he made a ton from the last subsidy for multi-family), more retail to lure existing retailers away from Promenade and another hotel not to mention another office building.
No requirements to bring jobs (like vNet), no requirement of balance to ensure retail actually raises tax revenue to city and especially absent is any protection for existing commercial building owners in Loveland to protect them from McWhinney using his taxpayer subsidized complex to poach their tenants.
Mayor Pro Tem John Fogle was absent but the remaining 8 voted unanimously to amend the MFA once again – allowing taxpayer money to build a parking garage on parcel 206 plus failing to call back any Bass Pro related subsidy. What are they thinking?