Not a rant

Usually I do a rant on Thursday but I just don’t have much to
gripe about so this will be a different post. It will involve
two stories from the FBI and two local topics. You may call
this post whatever revs your mill.

It has been a little over a year since hackers pulled off a big
high-tech heist of 2,100 ATMs which netted the crooks over $9
million in cash. If some computer hackers in their 20s can hack
into the system and steal this much money it makes me wonder if
there is a protected computer anywhere. For the FBI story on it
go here.

The FBI is looking for relatives of Civil Rights Victims after
a lengthy investigation. There are 36 victims that the agency
would like to locate relatives to update the family on the
status of the case and perhaps get more information. For this
story go here.

I was wondering about the free parking experiment going on in
our downtown. The cost is expected to be between $225,000 and
$275,000 and I’m told that there is sufficient monies in the
parking fund to cover the cost. I’m also told that the City
Council will revisit the topic before the next fiscal year.
A pilot program will probably be set up and as I expected a
summer trial may be needed to know the full impact.

The Blackhawk Hotel seems to be a hot topic of late. It
appears the contractors want a loan of almost $2 million. To
be honest I haven’t been following this so I don’t know any
particulars. If time permits I may look into it but I do have
some general thoughts. If the building is structurally sound
I have no problem with restoring it. I don’t know if a study
was done to see if the cost is going to worth the effort so
I’ll leave that up to those who do know.

That is a few of the things going on that I may or may not
know about. There is certainly a lot more going on than just
these few things. If you have something stuck in your craw
feel free to let us know.
Comments are always welcome.

22 Responses to Not a rant

  1. I’m pretty sure its not the Blackhawk they need the loan for, its for the Forrest Block building. They’re still going to town on the Blackhawk, whereas work ground to a halt on Forrest Block.

  2. anonymous says:

    Here’s one thing I don’t understand about the 100% occupancy rate, with some buildings having a waiting list of tenants who can’t wait to move in. Are the rents so low downtown because of subsidation of taxes that people are moving from other places to save on rent? If that is the case, that is unfair to other landlords that are paying full boat taxes and not getting any city handouts.

    I guess I think of it this way. If Northpark was at 100% occupancy rate, and had 50 businesses on a waiting list to get in, common sense tells me that Northpark would be raising the rent $500 or $1000 a month, or whatever the figure is until it balances for them to get the maximum rent and the minimum amount of vacancies. Should be the same for property owners downtown.

    I’m sure somebody will share the facts and solve this mystery.

  3. When I moved out of my 2 bedroom, one bath apartment at the Crescent Lofts, my monthly rent was $1002. It went up every time my lease renewed, since there is such a strong demand. So the answer is NO, rents are not cheaper downtown. Young people just want to live downtown.

  4. anonymous says:

    Ok. So how much would the landlord have to add to the rent of $1002 so that they didn’t have to take money from the city, AND pay property taxes? With the number of apartments in that building, I wouldn’t think it would be much.

  5. lofts says:

    Loft’s isn’t paying property taxes.

  6. anonymous says:

    I understand that most of the new apartments downtown are not paying property taxes for a long period of time. That’s my exact point. If these apartments have such a huge demand, the city shouldn’t be TIFing them, or giving them incentives, or being the guarantee on a loan.

    From what QCI states, they are getting as much rent as the other apartments in good neighborhoods, so to me that means that the owners of the downtown apartments are making huge profits on the back of Davenport.

  7. nitrous55 says:

    8:01, try asking someone who owns a building. QCI is going by what he knows as a renter. There places that have cheaper rent and there are some that are higher than $1000.

    As to whether the lofts pay property taxes, well, that is up to them and the government WE voted in. The city offered the incentive and someone took them up on the offer.

  8. Actually the Crescent Lofts (427 Iowa St, try the assessor page) pay thousands of dollars per year in taxes. But no one ever let the facts stop them from bashing downtown any chance they can get.

  9. cruisin2 says:

    I still don’t see the attraction of living downtown in a 3rd floor apartment with narrow hallways. Perhaps if I were younger I might get it.

  10. nitrous55 says:

    You wouldn’t have to worry about the lawncare or snow removal. People have different tastes. It’s better than tearing down these old buildings or letting them rot like some of the old auto plants up in MI.

  11. AnonymouS says:

    Just to set the record straight QCI, here’s the facts about the property tax on the Lofts.

    They are paying the same in taxes as if the building was sitting unoccupied in a unrepaired state. The tax amount for that is $17,898. for 2009. They will pay the highly discounted amount until the year 2015.

    The true value of the building is just under 4 million, but the Lofts is getting about a $125,000 assessment reduction because of Section 42 (low income housing) and an assessment reduction of $3,374.000 from an Urban Revitalization Tax Credit.

    If you do the math, their taxes would be about $149,985 per year, taking the amount they are currently paying per year at $17,898 and subtracting, it ends up being $132,000 less than what everyone else is paying who is paying 100% valuation for commercial property.

  12. AnonymouS says:

    Correction to above post.

    The Urban tax credit is $2,956,900 instead of 3,374,000

  13. And if it weren’t for those tax incentives, that building would still be sitting there vacant, increasing crime and lowering property values. I know that’s what some of you would prefer happen to downtown, but I think its a great example of incentives working the way they’re supposed to.

  14. anonymous says:

    I don’t remember when the Cresent Macaroni building was sitting vacant reports of crime going on there. I don’t believe that it affected property values either because if that was true, after the rehab work was done, neighboring property prices should have skyrocketed.

    On the topic of the small amount of taxes the landlord is paying, not even all of that money is going to the city, county, and school district because the Lofts set in the Downtown Smid District, so some of that tax money is skimmed off to be used by D-1 as they see fit.

    If the building was still vacant it wouldn’t be a drain on other city resources either. The way it is now, there is not much going to the school system to educate the children living there, so the cost of that is being paid by someone else. There is no more money going for city services such as police, medic and fire calls, compared to when it was empty, and not using any services.

    It isn’t fair competition to the rental units that are paying high commercial taxes either that didn’t get any discounts. The landlord at the lofts is in a better position to make extra profit, and to undercut the rents from those paying full price taxes. For every unit that the Lofts (and others like it) fills, there is one vacant apartment someplace else in the city.

    This is an example of the what democrats think is the fair way to treat everyone. Take it from the hard working people, and give it to those who don’t care to work as hard.

  15. anonymous says:

    It is a little hard to comprehend the thinking on these downtown rehab projects. If the downtown is the trendiest and most sought after place to live in Davenport, why is the City forced to give loans, incentives, tax reductions, and freebee’s to developers.

    If we follow that thinking, all of Elmore should be a TIF district so that business developers would only pay land value taxes for 25 years, and not pay anything for their building improvements.

    Of course Davenport would never consider doing that, and rightly so. Same thing with downtown. If that is the hot place to develop, investors would do it without incentives and the city guarantee’s.

  16. nitrous55 says:

    So you rather just let the downtown rot? Maybe instead of talking about it on blogs that are read by 100 people at most, get a council that think like you. Past and current councils want to attract people to the downtown. They set up these TIF areas. Get a council that think like you and they will end it, but that will never happen when you won’t do a thing about it.

    I like that they give incentives to fix up the downtown. The only change I’d do, is to allow businesses in the downtown and Brady/Harrison are up to Kimberly keep the LOST tax they collect. Maybe it is an unfair advantage local businesses have over the national big box chains, but too bad.

  17. anonymous says:

    Yes Nitrous. Think like Gene Meeker and Demolish Davenport thought years ago, and just tear down all the buildings downtown and make greenspace.

    That way taxpayers don’t have to pay for flood protection.

    Makes for a clear view of the Mississippi.

    The way god intended.

  18. anonymous says:

    For those interested in Demolition Davenport, you can see the properties still held in their name on the Scott County Treasurer’s website by typing “Demo Davenport” into the box that asks for the deed holders name.

  19. anonymous says:

    Cruiser:

    When Nitrous claims that less than 100 people read the blogs, how close to the truth do you think that is?

  20. nitrous55 says:

    Oh, yes. That wonderful view of the Rock Island flood wall. Ain’t nothing more beautiful.

    You need to get a new council in. The current one prefers to rebuild the downtown rather than tear it down. Try getting candidates who want to tear down everything south of 5th rather than worry about where QCI lives or if I’m correct that less than 100 people look at the local blogs.

  21. anonymous says:

    Several bloggers begged you to run Nitrous, because it’s obvious from your postings that you are one of Davenports ‘best and brightest.’ You declined to be nominated.

    Then there were some who requested that you post who you were backing during the election, as you are determined to get the best people elected. We needed you, as the local media did very little to get the word out. There were hardly any public meetings to meet the candidates. Even the mailings were very generic and made it difficult to make a decision.

    You are the Best and Brightest Nitrous. (Although I must admit that a few of the Casi card players think you’ve inhaled too much exhaust.) We need your vision in 2012. It’s just two short years away.

  22. nitrous55 says:

    I did. All you had to do was write my name in. I was not going to waste my time canpaigning without pay.

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