Developer needs $53 million more to subsidize downtown project

Now that the new facilities at the Downtown arts district are officially open, the DMN is pumping out stories talking about a couple of issues we wrote about a few weeks ago: What’s missing from the arts district and how we might need some public money to help bring about some street life in the area.

At the same time, the DMN has a story about how the $68 million we taxpayers pumped into a couple of projects elsewhere Downtown simply won’t be enough, and at least another $53 million in taxpayers subsidies will be needed to complete those projects (primarily residential, but with some street-level retail, too).

So the city council will be considering what to do about the latest subsidy requests to complete the Continental Building downtown. And guess what: The developer doesn’t want to put any more of his money into the deal, either.

So where are we? The council is being asked to approve additional subsidy money, in the form of property tax subsidies, even as the city just completed whacking $190 million from next year’s budget to keep things balanced. And even thought the arts district was largely funded privately, and is clearly the most successful of the Downtown nodes, now that it could use a little help from the city to boost the street-level ambiance, the cupboard is pretty bare downtown.



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