NS VIDEO: Open forum with the Electric Works project developers
Developers for the proposed Electric Works project sat down with News-Sentinel.com columnist and reporter Kevin Leininger and Journal Gazette editorial page editor Karen Francisco on Tuesday night at the Grand Wayne Center to answer questions from email submissions and some submitted from the over 100 people who were in attendance about the project.
If you don’t have time to sit through the hour-and-a-half video, we made it easier for you to get to the parts you want to see. Below is a list of the questions and where they occur in the video for you to fast forward to.
37:10 — Do the return-on-investment figures reflect development on the west side of Broadway Avenue or on both phases of development?
38:12 — How do you go about repaying the loan with no taxes being generated for quite some time?
43:55 — Is the Pilot you are looking at $400,000 a year?
44:40 — Will the community enhancement fund be separate from this pilot?
45:44 — In a $225 million project where construction has begun, why does $15 million make or break the project? The city’s committing the $15 million of the $65 million requested. Why does that gap mean our community gets nothing instead of something phased or scaled to reflect the funds available?
47:20 — How much infrastructure cost will there be? Will that be a part of the $65 million and how would a sale-leaseback work? Would someone else then be owning city streets, sidewalks, etc?
52:17 — On the environmental remediation, you’ve estimated about $7 million. We’ve seen projects in this community and elsewhere on a much smaller scope that has come across unexpected problems once construction was underway. How comfortable are you with that $7 million figure and what contingencies are allowed?
53:46 — You mentioned the American Tobacco Campus previously as the template for this, but it’s also been pointed out by city councilman Arp and others that it hit about the time of the recession, there was some scaleback of the project and it languished for a while . . . what happened there with one of your partners, Bill Streiber, who you mentioned? What have you learned from that, if anything, in case the economy would weaken again, which it inevitably will? How are you protected and how is the public protected should that happen here. And, can you settle once and for all, did anyone go bankrupt on that project?
58:13 — You point to Durham, but Durham is a part of a larger region . . . But, I think of the metropolitan area where the population is 1.8 million. It’s a much larger community than we have here . . . this project is a much larger project than American Tobacco. Talk about potential tenants. Can this area draw the tenants you need to sustain this and are you going to be cannibalizing businesses that already exist here?
1:03:08 — Your development fee of about $16.7 million has drawn a few raised eyebrows. Talk a little about when and how that will be paid out and how much equity does RTM have in the mix at this point?
1:06:38 — Would you explain the distinction between RTM Ventures and Broadway Redevelopment Partners?
1:07:31 — What’s wrong or OK with Legacy Funds as a loan and not a grant?
1:08:44 — What are the plans for the north side of the railroad tracks, specifically Levina Street, Jackson and Union Street, and are there any plans for the GE buildings west of College Avenue and west of the river?
1:11:13 — With the growth of housing in the downtown area, it is crucial that we have a viable grocery store nearby, within walking distance, if possible. What is the likelihood that a full-service grocery will be included in the plans for Electric Works?