Member since Feb 4, 2010

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Re: “The Next Stone?

A good listen. Fresh Air with Terry Gross speaking with a NYT journalist on Cities efforts to attract corporations with subsidies. Spoiler alert, it's often not good for taxpayers.…

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by freesilver on 03/13/2015 at 12:45 AM

Re: “More Richmond Chefs React to Stone Brewing Decision

It is a land give away of prime real estate to a wealthy, out of state corporation. For 88 "decent" paying jobs at the brewery. 200 mostly low wage, part time, tipped employees at the Bistro. JOBS! More like the brewery needs slaves to do the work.

Another objection I have is the lack of transparency and community input on the deal. The people who spoke in support of it were mostly members of the business community and the folks who weren't I suspect where drummed up by the business community. It was presented as a done deal to the Council and they are so uninspired and desperate to look like they are doing something.

At the heart of the matter is class warfare, Jones and Council choose to serve the interests of The 1%. The deal represents a disappropriation of public land for the benefit of a privately owned for-profit corporation. Additionally, there is nothing to prevent them from purchasing after 25 years, then selling the land at tremendous profit as they pick up stakes in 30 years looking for that next "economic development" handout.

These sorts of deals are not "good investments" for the residents of the City. It's crony capitalism.

Check this out,……

I live a half mile from the brewery site and I am planning to boycott Stone which is unfortunate for me because it's in my backyard and I like beer.

8 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by freesilver on 03/12/2015 at 11:25 PM

Re: “More Richmond Chefs React to Stone Brewing Decision

Oh yeah, then there is the crux of it. I object to the 20+ acres and the $31m facilities being sold to Stone Brewing at the end of the 25 year lease period for $25,000.

10 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by freesilver on 03/12/2015 at 10:29 PM

Re: “More Richmond Chefs React to Stone Brewing Decision

Here is my objection to the deal, I posted on a thread on the RVA Realspeak facebook page last night.

The 20 acres for the brewery site is made up of many different parcels most of them owned by RRHA. Three parcels were privately owned, one by a cement mixing company, one by CSX, and the other by Cheaspeake & Ohio Railroad (looking at the wikipedia, looks like C&O became CSX). A railroad line does run thru the E. Main Street side of the property. So an interesting side note is CSX a beneficiary by getting out of a tax liability to the city.

Not all of the parcels were available on the City Assessor's website. There used to be a street in the area called Lewis Street that no longer exists, several of the parcels in the ordinance listed Lewis Street. So from what I had access to I determined the value of the land around $700,000. Which I suspect was artificially low because the land was owned by the City and the area is undeveloped. By design or policy. The land was not being actively marketed for sale.

The $31 million value Wayne cites is the cost of the the "improvements" on the land, the 220,000 square foot brewery ($23 million) and the renovation of the Intermediate Terminal Building (8 million) for the Bistro, which Stone will be paying back to the EDA over next 25 years at the fixed rate of $148,500 per month on the brewery facility and around on $52,000 a month for the Bistro.

The biggest benefit to the Stone is the low "rent." $148,500 a month is $1.78 million a year. Industrial space in Richmond cost between $5-$10 square foot. And I'm pretty sure those properties aren't located 1-2 blocks from the James River. At the $5 sq/ft pricing the 220,000 sq/ft facility should cost $1.1 million per month. They are paying 68ยข per square foot for a brand new building a block from the river. Over the course of 25 years (not including price escalation provisions which are normal for commercial leases), they will pay $44.5 million in rent which will pay the the debt service on the EDA paid and contracted facilities and I believe a portion of the rent will also be dedicated to funding staff for the EDA. Stone will be saving at least $285.45 million off the price of market rate lease.

I haven't calculated the what a commercial rent on the Intermediate Terminal Building should be. But I image commercial real estate on that portion of the river would be quite valuable. I don't object to the incentive of the low cost rent for 25 years, but I do object to the giving of the land after 25 years. The ITB is currently valued at 1 million dollars and they will also be absorbing a portion of the 5 acre site that the builing is located on. And that property is currently valued at $4 million. I believe the City should retain ownership of the land and continue to lease the land, that way the land acts as a source of venue to the city for years to come. Richmond Bizsense reported, after a few years, Stone expected to make "hundreds of millions of dollars" PER year. Why should the city not partake of of a small portion of that for a brewery and restaurant OWNED and BUILT by the City?

Also keep in mind that the state is giving them $5.9 million in cash incentives, the City is giving them $2 million in cash and $3 million to "match" the state's $5m in permit fees, services such as the water infrastructure, closing Wharf Street, and reconfiguring traffic at East Main and Dock Streets. And then there is the $700,000+ for the 20 acres of undervalued land and the $1m Intermediate Terminal Building.

Stone can also write off the cost of the rent on taxes as a business expenditure. I also hear that they will be paying the property taxes but I think there may some sort of deal on the City's machinery tax (reduced for a period of time?) but that may be included in the city's "match" to the state. I wonder if there is anywhere to go to find out what all the promises made to Stone are? Council legislation? ECD documents? EDA agreements?

22 likes, 21 dislikes
Posted by freesilver on 03/12/2015 at 10:03 PM

Re: “Stone Brewing Goes on the Offense

Who else went on the trip to brewery in California? The director of the Neighborhood Resource Center? Who else? Who paid for their visits? Public money vs. private money.

7 likes, 23 dislikes
Posted by freesilver on 03/03/2015 at 8:43 PM

Re: “Legislators Hand CenterStage a Win

The Performing Art Center didn't seem to help 525 at The Berry Burk, the restaurant that had Ukrop backing directly across the street from the Carpenter Center and has now long been closed.

The state's buildings are tax exempt, and legislators from across the Commonwealth don't have any problem denying Richmond tax revenue that it is due.

Does the private, for-profit management company, SMG, that manages the facility along with the Coliseum and the Altria Theater, even pay lease rents on the facilities the City has recently spent millions to renovate?

I suppose this should come as no surprise since Thomas Farrell, CEO of Dominion Power, is also the chairman of the Performing Arts Center. Dominion is a major campaign contributor to members of the General Assembly.

7 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by freesilver on 02/20/2015 at 11:53 PM

Re: “Site Work Begins at Stone

Ned, you forgot to mention that the EDA negotiated lease offers Stone the option to buy the land for $25,000 at the end of the 25 year lease. One of the parcels, the Intermediate Terminal Building which is just one of 20-30 parcels is proposed to be the Bistro/beer garden is currently assessed at $4.4 million.

The city should retain ownership of the land, continue to lease the land to Stone for intervals of 25 years at the city's discretion. It would be a source of venue to the city for years to come.

10 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by freesilver on 02/06/2015 at 2:46 PM

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