Downtown hotel 1

An artist’s rendering of the downtown hotel and conference center project, as viewed from the northwest corner of Patrick and Carroll streets.

A state agency, not a private development company, would own the conference center portion of the proposed downtown hotel project under a new draft memorandum of understanding between project partners.

The new agreement outlining funding, ownership and operations of the roughly $84 million project was presented on Wednesday to the mayor and Board of Aldermen for review and discussion.

The decision to give conference center ownership to the Maryland Economic Development Corporation marks the most significant change to the project as planned and outlined under prior agreements. Previous plans called for hotel developer Plamondon Hospitality Partners to own and operate both the hotel and conference center.

Richard Griffin, the city's economic development director, on Wednesday explained the change as a way to further separate the public and private components of the project.

"There was a sense that, because of the amount of public investment going into [the conference center], that there needed to be public ownership," Griffin said.

The cost of the 200-room hotel and corresponding retail will be financed by Plamondon Hospitality Partners, the private developer awarded the project through a prior request for proposals, according to a December 2015 agreement between the city and Plamondon.

The 20,000-plus-square-foot conference center, parking and related public improvements will come from a combination of city, county and state funds, the prior agreement stated.

The Maryland Economic Development Corporation, run by members appointed by the governor, borrows money and issues bonds to help state and local economic development agencies "expand, modernize, and retain businesses, and attract new ones," according to its website. It also lends money to companies to maintain and develop facilities, the organization website stated.

The 2015 agreement also named the Maryland Economic Development Corporation, as well as the Maryland Stadium Authority, among a list of state agencies involved in "either a direct or oversight role as a result of financial investment."

The latest draft memorandum provides further information on the role of both agencies. Either could serve as the conduit through which the state funnels its anticipated $15 million contribution in fiscal 2018 and 2019.

Alternatively, state funding could come through a capital grant, as did the $1 million appropriation included in the state's fiscal 2017 capital budget. As a condition of its $1 million appropriation, the state required that all project partners sign an agreement outlining funding and next steps in the project before money can be spent.

Partners in the agreement are the city of Frederick, Frederick County government, Plamondon Hospitality Partners, the Maryland Stadium Authority and the Maryland Economic Development Corporation.

All five entities must sign the document. The aldermen are slated to vote on the agreement on Oct. 20. The Frederick County Council has scheduled a review of the agreement for its meeting on Tuesday.

The agreement must also be returned to the General Assembly’s budget committees for a 45-day comment period once it is signed by all parties.

Griffin said he hoped to have the agreement sent to the budget committees by Nov. 15 to give state legislators time to review the agreement before the start of the 2017 legislative session. The Maryland General Assembly has pre-authorized $15 million from the state for the next two fiscal budgets, but the funding is not guaranteed.

Griffin said that ensuring legislators have time to review the memorandum will help put project partners in the best possible standing to receive the anticipated state funding. 

More details

The draft document also provided more information on the estimated $84 million project cost, although Griffin emphasized the numbers are subject to change.

Plamondon will foot the $53 million cost for the hotel and retail, the draft agreement stated. The remaining $30.35 million will come from public funding sources. The public total is listed in the document as $30.35 million in one place and $31 million in another place.

The city of Frederick’s costs will be about $5.95 million: $2.2 million in tax-increment financing or a similar funding mechanism, $3.5 million in cash and bond revenue from the city parking fund; and $250,000 allocated in the city's fiscal 2012 capital budget, according to the draft agreement.

The county will also use tax-increment financing or a similar mechanism to provide $2.8 million in funding, according to the agreement.

The TIF allows the city and county to use a portion of the anticipated taxes generated from the project toward funding the development.

The Maryland Economic Development Corporation will issue the TIF and parking bonds.

Both bonds will be paid for from revenue derived from the project. Griffin emphasized that city and county taxpayers will not be at risk if the project does not generate the anticipated revenue or falls through completely.

Investors who purchase the bonds will take the fall if revenue does not meet anticipated levels, he said.

Plamondon will bear risk and responsibility for the operations and potential financial shortfalls of the hotel and conference center, according to the agreement. The change in conference center ownership does not affect previously agreed plans for Plamondon to operate the conference center and share 10 percent of all cash revenue from conference center activities with the city.

The city could bequeath its planned ownership of the on-site public parking to the Maryland Economic Development Corporation under the draft agreement. The city aldermen on Wednesday, however, did not indicate interest in this option.  

The agreement also includes provisions that any party can terminate the memorandum at any time for any reason.

Staff writer Danielle E. Gaines contributed to this report.

Follow Nancy Lavin on Twitter: @NancyKLavin.

Breakdown of public costs for downtown hotel and conference center

Source: draft memorandum of understanding as of Sept. 30, according to a report submitted by Richard Griffin, the city’s economic development director •or a similar financial mechanism. ••amount allocated in city’s fiscal 2012 capital budget •••estimate includes approved $850,000 in grants, plus $1 million that was requested in fiscal 2017 but has not been allocated.

Funding source Contribution (in millions of dollars)
city TIF bonds• $2.2
city parking fund (cash) $1
city parking fund (revenue bonds) $2.5
city CIP•• $.25
county TIF bonds• $2.8
Hotel tax revenue $3.5
state DHCD grants $1.85•••
state fiscal 2012 bond bill $.25
state fiscal 2017 capital grant $1
state fiscal 2018/19 capital grant $15
Public total $30.35

Nancy Lavin covers social services, demographics and religion for The Frederick News-Post.

(102) comments

mrnatural1

Let's start with just one statement from the list I posted below:

"Money’s always available for good deals. If an entrepreneur, family, friends, investors, venture capitalists, and banks aren’t willing to fund a project, maybe taxpayers shouldn’t either."

Perhaps the supporters of the proposed hotel/conference center would like to address that?

Why should taxpayers fund any part of this project when conventional sources have refused to?

Presumably, if there was a solid business plan, financing would not be a problem.

Burgessdr

Mr Natural. Your lack of knowledge is showing. Conventional sources will be funding 100% of the hotel - just like all other businesses , conventional sources will be funding 100% of parking - just like all of the other public parking decks in the city used by all other businesses, and conventional sources will be funding 100% of the street improvements needed - just like all of the street improvements in the city. There is no problem with financing. There is a solid business plan, that is why the city, the county, the state budget office, other state agencies, and the governor support it. The vast majority of the businesses in Downtown Frederick and throughout the County support it. You might want to do your homework better.

mrnatural1

The supporters of this project are unusually quiet when it comes to answering any of the questions I posted below. I wonder why that is? You'd think that if there is a legitimate reason(s) why we should provide public financing for this private project they would be more than happy to answer a few questions.

The hotel/conference center scheme reminds me of the "Monorail" episode of The Simpsons:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDOI0cq6GZM

mrnatural1

More from: https://fromdc2iowa.blogspot.com/2014/04/tussling-over-tifs-pros-and-cons.html

~~~~~

"At a minimum, here are questions to ask before approving TIFs:

What is this government’s past record, when we compare promised results with ultimate return or loss?

Why is this project needed?

Why does that need exceed all conventional needs for public funds?

What will other government units lose? How much more will their taxpayers have to pay?

Of all possible TIF projects, why is this one a top priority?

Who benefits: all citizens, a small segment or primarily the recipient?

How much money is involved?

Why are those who will profit unwilling to invest what is needed? Are their reasons equally applicable to taxpayer funding?

Does the business plan indicate financial success, or reveal risks of failure?

If and when the recipient fails, skips town, goes bankrupt, or misses deadlines, how will taxpayers be protected?

What relationships are there between the potential recipient and the officials approving the funding?

How will the recipient’s unfunded private competitors be harmed?"

~~~~~

Again, I would be very interested to hear the proponents of the conference center address these very reasonable, legitimate questions.

mrnatural1


From the blog I linked to below:

"The issue is not whether a TIF has a single benefit. Benefit-cost analysis requires we total all the costs and burdens of that TIF and weigh them against its individual benefit.

Few if any can pass that test.

* Ideological hypocrisy. How can those supporting free private enterprise, capitalism, and marketplace forces, who think “government is the problem” and want it “off their back,” justify taking money from the public collection plate?

* Anti-democratic. City councils need voters’ approval of bonds for legitimate government projects. Yet they can give our money to their friends’ private projects on a whim.

* Lowered credit rating. TIFs can impact credit ratings. Coralville went from a Moody Aaa credit rating, the highest, to a “lower medium grade” Baa2 in two years.

* Opportunity costs. Spending money on one thing costs the lost opportunity to spend it elsewhere. Johnson County Supervisor Rod Sullivan once found a diversion of $700 million of property off the tax rolls. As a result, either we pay more taxes or Supervisors cut needed programs.

* Unfairness to neighbors. The TIF-granting body’s neighbors often lose out as well – other communities and school districts with less money in their budgets.

* Unfairness to competitors. TIFs tilt the playing field. They unfairly upset a free market, punishing honest competitors and benefitting no one except the TIF recipient.

* Risky business. Money’s always available for good deals. If an entrepreneur, family, friends, investors, venture capitalists, and banks aren’t willing to fund a project, maybe taxpayers shouldn’t either.

* TIFs complicate taxes. We don’t deserve more tax complexity and even less transparency.

* “Money can’t buy love.” Why compete with bribes? A business that needs port access to the Pacific Ocean isn't coming to Iowa. If it did, it would leave for a bigger bribe. Maytag, offered $100 million to stay, left anyway.

* TIFs are unnecessary. The Corridor is one of the fastest growing, lowest unemployment areas of Iowa. We already have what businesses want: skilled labor, transportation and communication infrastructure, quality education, cultural attractions and outdoor recreation.

* TIF grantors’ poor skills, record. The subsidy-grantors' record is not great. Elected officials are more skilled at keeping contributors and constituents happy than at evaluating taxpayer-funded business proposals. TIFed projects have gone belly up, missed deadlines, and new jobs goals. With reasonable follow-up and transparency we’d know about many more. But TIFs in Iowa have more lenient provisions, and less oversight, than in most other states.

* “Need” is unknowable. Many projects will go ahead without subsidy. If tax breaks are available, of course developers will say they need them. Maybe this is blackmail. Maybe they need to look harder for funding. There’s no way to know."

~~~~~~

I would like to hear proponents of the conference center address any/all of these very serious, universal issues.

mrnatural1

For a solid list of reasons why TIFs are a bad idea, go here:
https://fromdc2iowa.blogspot.com/2014/04/tussling-over-tifs-pros-and-cons.html

Burgessdr

Mr Natural, Google then copy and paste from a blog is hardly providing knowledgeable discussion.

bosco

How much confering does Frederick need?

KellyAlzan

Apparently $85 million worth

rpkrauss

It may just be me but in the artists rendition doesn't it look like the person with the two kids is having to drag them into the Trolley Cafe'. "C'mon kids our taxes have paid for this coffee so you're going to drink it whether you like it or not!" Whooooo!!! I'm seeing a metaphor here.

DickD

Well, they are not kicking and screaming, do you think they expect ice cream, not coffee?

DickD

No matter how you slice and dice it, it still is corporate welfare to the Plamondons and Randalls. The Randalls could not get this amount of money for the building they want to get rid of from anyone eles. The Plamondons could not get free hotel parking any other way and they will benefit from the convention center at the cost of our taxes.

petersamuel

This City hotel project gets stupider and stupider. “In order to separate public and private components of the project” the Joint MOU brings in the scandal ridden state agency MEDCO, the guys who brought taxpayers the farce of Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort. Cost in 1998 was $54m. It was going to bring hundreds of new jobs and stimulate local business, all the regular baloney. The thing was barely used, maintained by a skeleton staff. It lost taxpayer money every year through 2012 when they decided to liquidate it. It raised $7m at auction. It is now a struggling casino. That was the value MEDCO brought to western MD. MEDCO’s only other venture into the hotel/conference center business was Chesapeake Bay CC, near Cambridge, an even greater fiscal disaster with no discernible local benefit. CBCC opened in 2002, began defaulting on its debt several years ago and as of latest annual report has liabilities of $273m, assets $102m so is in the hole financially $165m. Now the city DED proposes to bring this crowd in to own and manage the City conference center. MEDCO itself is in deep financial trouble: assets $617m, liabilities $851m, in the hole $228m. Injecting MEDCO into the downtown hotel brings extra layers of legal complexity, more opportunities for political buckpassing, extra expense and a genius for losing lots of money and ballooning debt. We are out of our minds if we go along with bringing this crowd to Frederick. see http://medco-corp.com/at-a-glance/reports/

Old Geezer

The latest proposal concerning the downtown Frederick Hotel, Conference Center and Parking Deck has issues that appears to mix public and private funds:
• The State of Maryland will own the conference center,
• The City of Frederick will own the parking deck and the property under the hotel,
• The Developer will own the hotel, and pay a lease fee to Frederick.
Wow, how convoluted is that? This project gets more and more incredible and unbelievable.
I am waiting for more smoke and mirrors to be presented to the taxpayer. In addition, the use of public and private financing is a clever way to lose identity on “what was spent for what”, and with poor bookkeeping practice, could place the taxpayer on the hook, for years to come.
Whatever happened to the developer buying the property, developing it into a hotel, and hoping that he will have enough customers to pay for it and make a profit?
If there is a perceived need for a Convention Center, for the City of Frederick, Developer, go right ahead and build it, with your own money,
And if the city wants to make parking available for its citizens and to indirectly help the hotel with parking, at least the taxpayer should be made aware of his tax dollars at work.
Would anyone out there with better information and knowledge, please point out any website that shows the taxpayer is making money on ANY conference center in the United States?
Have a read yourself: http://www.hotel-online.com/Trends/ERA/ERAImpactConventionCenters.html Read paragraph 3 in particular. Here’s another: http://www.governing.com/blogs/bfc/col-convention-center-promised-benefits-rarely-materialize.html
In my humble opinion, I see potential squandering of public funds to help pay for development of a private hotel.

jerseygrl42

Very well stated OG and it appears this is panic time to try to save this convoluted project; a couple of months ago the cost of the parking deck was eliminated from projected cost by Griffin and that cost IS NOT in the figures provided in this article, the cost for the whole project is well over $100 Million; so bottom line regardless of this ridiculous multi-ownership/ multi management plan the taxpayers will be in for MORE than $50 Million while tens of hundreds of our school kids are trying to learn in trailers and I-270 is a parking lot....if this hotel project can't stand on its own two feet it should not be built.

DickD

The Governor can find money for this boondoggle and cannot find money for our schools. Shows you where the Republican priorities are.

jerseygrl42

absurd comment

DickD

Jersey, you better examine your own comments.

DickD

Jersey, you do know what the Republican Governor did with money set aside for schools, don't you. What is absurd about that? There are numerous web sites that state how Republicans are trying to destroy the public schools. Maybe you need to read up on it, rather than make remarks like this.

DickD

OG, you have it exactly right![thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

gary4books

PAYDAY!

kimberlymellon

Is the City still going to pay $3 million to FNP owners to buy the hotel site? I read that the economic life of a hotel is 30-40 years which sounds right given code and design changes and construction quality. How long are the bonds for? Also like pad sites around town, will the city of Frederick have to pay to tear it down when Plamondon has profited and decides it is no longer an economically profitable location or building?

KellyAlzan

Don't forget about the bed bug infestation that this hotel will bring to Patrick street......

Comment deleted.
richardlyons

Don't give up your day job.

armillary

Oh it's pest control you're in? Or just familiar with bed bugs?

DickD

It would be far cheaper to just give the Randalls the $3 million for their building and just forget the hotel and convention center.

KellyAlzan

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

Burgessdr

Typically 20-25 year bonds

kimberlymellon

The majority of proponents for this project own a property with a garage for their vehicle. They don't experience a lack of parking, aggressive ticketing and towing practices of the City Dept of Public Works of residents and low income workers and visitors vehicles. They don't recognize our Mayor and Aldermen have recently increased and/or doubled fines with obvious intentions of raising the required bond debt revenue for this project. Our community's economic vitality is being put to risk to provide a conference center that leaders have yet to honestly propose to tax payers. And now, they propose that we will answer to MEDCO's private bond investors with those parking fees and funds for decades.

Fredmd21704

the city has plenty of parking, and the new conference center will have its own parking. try again, and try harder next time.

KellyAlzan

Where?

Fredmd21704

It might help if you actually ventured into Frederick instead of writing from California MD.

KellyAlzan

Ok, now answer the question

Thewheelone

[thumbup]

Jane and Ed

The headline is a little misleading. MEDCO bonds are NOT BACKED BY THE STATE. The legislation that set aside Millions in the Capital Budget depends upon a 4 party MOU between, Plamondon, City, County and Maryland Stadium Authority. It does NOT include MEDCO as one of the 4 parties, or authorize Frederick switching from MSA bonds, which would be backed by the State, to MEDCO bonds. What we have now is a 5 Party MOU, a new business partner.
The legislation states that this set aside is for the Downtown HOTEL and Conference Center, not just for the Conference center so somebody is selling us a bridge in Brooklyn by saying the public funds are ONLY for the infrastructure, which they pretend includes the Conference Center.

MEDCO bonds are used when the state has no confidence in the viability of the project and these are high risk revenue backed bonds.
This new Memorandum of Understanding states that Revenues from City Parking Fund which has always been used to build public parking decks, now will be vampired to service the DEBT for the high risk MEDCO bonds.That is probably why the city parking fees and fines have been going up, in anticipation of this foolish risky deal.

Before they pass the new MOU, we should all have the time to ask and get satisfactory answers. The city plans to Vote to approve this MOU is is 14 days!

We asked the Mayor to let everyone have a chance to circulate it, bring it before our independent financial advisors, bring up our concerns, be involved in the discussion and give constructive feedback in a second WORKSHOP, and to POSTPONE the Vote until November but it seems this is being railroaded through as if the barn is on fire, because the Department of Economic Development has not made this MOU public earlier. We should have seen this 2 months ago.

If MEDCO owns the Conference Center and/or Parking, and they issue the Revenue bond backed by the City Parking fund, what happens when city needs more public Parking? Do we have to wait? Do the parking fees and fines go through the roof to subsidize the hotel? How does that affect city employees, shoppers, business owners? Does the Parking Fund service the Hotel CC Bond debt first?
Why does Frederick want to put us in the same sinking boat as the two other disasterous MEDCO bond projects? Rocky Gap that had to go to Casino gambling to make up for losses, and still couldn't stop losing money, so the governor finally pulled the plug, and it was sold for a pittance to private investors. And the Hyatt in Cambridge MD is losing Millions. The losses are passed down to the taxpayers. Don't let them fool you. This may pretend not to cost you direct tax increases but increases in parking, water, sewer, hotel room tax, etc...we are all on the hook when this squirrelly deal fails. And the odds are against us. The glut of conference centers nationally and regionally in places where there is direct commercial jet service, and far more for conference goers to do, for example, Washington DC, Baltimore Inner Harbor, Ocean City.
Lets stop this crazy thing. Start over, Let the free market determine what kind of hotel we actually need without sponging off the rest of us.

gary4books

If the "free market" could do it we would have a hotel now. It takes some help to get one going, but the increased business for all the shops will make it a winner.

MAVRICKinc7

Aren't you selling what amounts to speculation ,guess work and hypothetic reasoning?

You started your thought out with "IF" while inserting "free market" as a reason to accept the gambling part of your proposal. Isn't this DEAL anything more than a cr*p-shoot?

DickD

You might add anyone setting up a conference center is going to go some place their attendees like and it would not be Frederick. Comparing Frederick to Baltimore, D.C. or Ocean City is a losing cause for Frederick.

ReadPhred

Absolutely not! My organization has twice wanted to hold conferences in Frederick in the past and went elsewhere, Baltimore in fact because there was no hotel space close to Downtown. conference attendees want to be able to walk to restaurants and friendly venues. There have been other opportunities for meetings but we simply stopped looking at Frederick because of lack of hotel space downtown. Most town hotels have meeting rooms and Business hotels often are near smaller convention centers. I've been to many conferences and meetings and Frederick would be an ideal place. I have colleagues in other organizations with similar stories and who also shake there heads that this issue has not been addressed by now.

MAVRICKinc7

Do you have STOCK in this deal? Can the same be said of your other colleagues, who ever they are, or INTEREST they represent? Beyond your wishful thinking what else do you know about this deal? FACTS would be a good starting point.

MAVRICKinc7

Does Frederick really need a Hotel/Conference Center and ANOTHER parking lot in DOWNTOWN Frederick? This proposed MOU and its many layered financial entities, sound more like a TRUMP deal and playing with tax dollars that eventually
wind up in the public's lap should any one of these financial creatures goes belly up to yet another scheme Frederick, Maryland has put on the table just to INTENTIONALLY confuse the public dime with the private and privileged few looking to create another PUBLIC 401 K account for their retirement days.and GAMBLING with public money to underwrite another one of their money DEALS that State, County and local legislation bought into decades ago.

What is it about USING other peoples money that makes money for the wealthy and privileged so appealing? How many layers of a big LIE, does it take to make believers and make the LIE into what APPEARS to be the truth, but eventually is found to to be the same LIE offered at its beginning? Isn't this what PERCEPTION relies in on in the making of a LIE?

armillary

Ever go to a Keys game? The city owns the stadium. Think having a venue for baseball helps the local economy? Think amenities like that distinguish us from Germantown or Gaithersburg, making us more than just another bedroom community, making us a destination? Was the Carroll Creek project a complete waste of money? Why do some take for granted the visionary decisions made in the past, but refuse to look toward the future? What's with the bunker mentality?

BlueDawn666

Did you miss question 3? Did you read and understand the MOU I posted a link to? Do you not understand we the taxpayers will be supporting this boondoggle forever ?
Do you understand how they have sucked the parking fund dry to finance this? Which means no more parking decks if and when we need them in downtown and that in order to fund that fund the city has raised the parking fees and fines in the city? And you are okay with that?

BlueDawn666

Also there is a glut of conference centers, again reference question 3, there is no evidence out there that these places turn a profit nor attract people to the locations they are in, now maybe if we were Disney land that could happen but we are not! There is nothing in downtown Frederick that will draw enough people enough of the time for that place to turn a profit, bunker mentality really? No it is more like a realistic mentality, just because you build it does mean people are going to come, there is nothing to come for!

Again if we were Disney land perhaps but we are not.

armillary

For folks with disposable income, and there are more of them now than ever, downtown Frederick is an authentic, unscripted theme park. The theme is American success. It's where people go to have fun, to see and be seen. Frederick's no Disneyland, and thank goodness for that. Frederick's the real deal.

BlueDawn666

For folks with disposal income what exactly is there to do in downtown Frederick that would take more than a couple of hours? Also what is there that would attract enough people for like forever, you know to keep them coming back forever? Also you realize that once the hotel is built it will destroy the real deal of downtown? The hotel is a huge monstrosity!

KellyAlzan

Frederick doesn't offer much. No theater. No major professional sports stadium. No nascar track. No major university. No amish. No colonial town. We have Latinos and we have the villages of Urbana.

MAVRICKinc7

What does "disposable income" have to do with walking the streets of Frederick and having fun with its antiquated and in some cases its failing infrastructural surroundings? AMERICAN SUCCESS is only a pitch line we keep using to lure people closer to the fire, while others prefer the shadows, so as not to be found out what the REAL Frederick, Maryland is all about. It's a GAME we are playing on a field that is so tilted and weighted so far to one side that WE can't possibly have anything to say how our tax money is being spent, when WE have NO SAY in the matter and a government who considers the public thought as nothing more than a check-off-box under the guise of DUE PROCESS.

Fredmd21704

i disagree, the creek project has drawn more people downtown. Downtown is thriving, surely you do go downtown, correct?

BlueDawn666

So is the "creek" supposed to be our attraction our Times Square? Lol well
you had better get to promoting that again what is there downtown besides a creek that is going to attract enough people all the time to support this monstrosity, also once the monstrosity is build you aren't going to be the real deal anymore!

KellyAlzan

LOL people are flocking to see the man made concrete creek!!!!!

DickD

To answer your question no, but why would anyone not working downtown go there? Shopping is easier, closer and cheaper elsewhere.

ReadPhred

I'm sorry you have such a negative view of Frederick. Many of us have a wonderful time here. Art, music, theater , restaurants, activities, history and more. I would say if you feel Frederick has so little going for it maybe you should relocate.

armillary

KellyAlzan, if you want a movie, go to a mall. If you want live theatre downtown, you've got the Weinberg and the Maryland Ensemble Theatre on West Patrick Street, half a block off Market Street.

DickD

ReadFred, I don't need to relocate, just not have my taxes stolen, that is all I ask.

KellyAlzan

Armillary, are u asking me on a date? 😍

MAVRICKinc7

Intentional DISTRACTION to move away from the historical truth of Frederick, Maryland?

Fredmd21704

because they don't like change. and most who are whining about this project, probably dont even venture to downtown.

DickD

Wrong, we do not like corporate welfare!

MAVRICKinc7

BIG ASSUMPTION don't you think? SO, how has Frederick, Maryland CHANGED in the last 50 years? Why is Downtown business interests complaining about the weakness found in Frederick; HIGH OFFICE VACANCIES and ATTRACTING more residents? What part of that realistic CONCERN don't you understand or comprehend?

AND your only solution is to ask our residents to RELOCATE if they don't like what Frederick has become over the last 50 years. You fail to account for a city surround by blight, crumbling foundations that ONLY the Historical Preservation Committee can gin up every chance they get to PRESERVE the City of Frederick as a waste basket dedicated to the PAST and not CHANGE.

I've made it to Downtown to all its bars, restaurants and antique stores.. When I leave DOWNTOWN I can't come up with a single memorable thought other than paying higher food prices and the cost of beer,ale and wine that I can get at half the price just in the outskirts of downtown Frederick. SO, what am I missing, or should I make it to the Baltimore night life, sea scapes, Inner Harbor and professional baseball just two blocks away. Take your pick.

DickD

The Carroll Creek project was necessary for all, to relieve flooding - started after the '76 flood. The City Stadium was built to attract professional baseball to Frederick. Neither were done for corporate welfare, this is for corporate welfare. The convention center and parking is being promoted by the Randalls for corercion of the Plamondons to buy their old business site. AND THEY ARE USING OUR TAXES TO DO IT.

ReadPhred

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

MAVRICKinc7

Aren't YOU trying to compare apples with oranges?

BlueDawn666

The Aldermen received the MOU on Monday and were expected to digest it all within 48 hours...and then vote on it. Dacey was.....
http://cityoffrederick.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=12&event_id=2768&meta_id=71986
It is so convoluted, twists and turns abound and if you can read through the lines us taxpayers will be on the hook for this boondoggle for ever.

Here are some question for the next meeting that should be asked.

Questions raised by 5-party MOU

1. Griffin and others have repeatedly stressed the importance of having Maryland Stadium Authority involved in the hotel project, and compared it favorably with MEDCO. Why is the Stadium Authority getting out. What scared them off?

2. The legislature in HB151/SB191 calls for a 4 party agreement (City, Plamondon, County, MSA) with the Stadium Authority being the state partner. How can a 5-party agreement with MEDCO the lead and likely only state partner satisfy the terms of state funding?

3. Why choose MEDCO to manage this project given their record — Rocky Gap, Chesapeake Convention Center? Why not a competitive procurement or recruitment of a manager to look after the interest of the public partners?

4. Why has the cost of the conference center portion of the project risen to $16.25m vs $13m some months ago?

5. What is the additional financing cost using Medco type agency financing with TIFs and revenue bonds as opposed to MSA and its access to general obligation bonds?

6. Why is the County involved in funding a project in the heart of the City? County dollars were secured by the City with a deal in which Parking Deck 6 next to County offices was an integral part of the hotel project providing 200 or more reserved spaces for county employees as well as hotel/CC parkers. Having secured County agreement the City DED then abandoned Parking Deck 6 but still wanted County $-millions. Why didn’t the County stick up for its employees and their parking needs?

7. The MOU says that costs will change as the project is fully designed. When will that be?

8. How is the public interest being protected in allocating joint costs between the developer and the public partners in the parking and conference center?

9. In one place the MOU states there will be 100 parking spaces onsite. In another place it says 200 to 300. Which is it? ...and the MOU says all sorts of stuff...never really pins it down

10. Why is the city paying 100% of the pre development costs now, rather than 2/3rds City and 1/3rd Plamondon, like the last agreement? And is that additional 1/3 being paid back to Plamondon for costs already incurred? Why is Plamondon not paying for his own predevelopment costs? He will own the Hotel, right?

MAVRICKinc7

ALL good questions. SO, why can't the FNP CLARIFY what it's reporting staff can only edit and render more confusing than it already is. Doesn't the Frederick News Post, above and beyond it's usual scripted disclaimer, have a real CONFLICT OF INTEREST, that's being covered over by State legislative members whose FAMILY TIES are as long as the Randall FAMILY is and has been for decades?

Ask yourself, WHO'S going to answer your questions with something other than government political speak and double talk?

Burgessdr

You are confused. City pays 1/3. Not 2/3. Not 100%

Burgessdr

The cost of the conference center is estimated at $8.3 million. Not $16.25M not $13M. All it requires to know that is reading the Forella report. Reading that is all it requires. Read before you speak.

Burgessdr

If you listened and read, you would know that they are shooting for 300 spaces. 100 spaces can be done without much effort, they are working on designing for 300. Read, listen, read, listen, is all it requires.

Burgessdr

If you read the MOU and listened you would know that the costs are allocated 2/3 Plamondon and 1/3 City. That is how it is being allocated. Not too difficult. Actually, it is 67% versus 33%. Slightly different than 2/3 versus 1/3. Its all in black and white

Burgessdr

No one said except for you that MSA is scared off. They are involved. Read the MOU.

Burgessdr

If you read and listened, you would know that DED did not abandon Deck 6. The state said it could only fund a parking garage ON-SITE. It was not DED decision, it was state budget office. Read and listen. Read and listen.

lewisantq

I think this project is another step in the continued improvement of downtown Frederick. The city has done its due diligence, has reached out and forged partnerships,both public and private. The city government has preserved our historic ambience while making the city an increasingly desirable destination location. Downtown Frederick is getting even better. Bob Lewis

KellyAlzan

And some people also think trump would make a good president

Fredmd21704

like yourself?

DickD

30 GOP ex Congressmen don't, they just signed a petition stating Trump is not stable.

MAVRICKinc7

YES!

Fredmd21704

[thumbup]

armillary

I agree with Bob Lewis.

MAVRICKinc7

SO, what does that make YOU out to be?

kimberlymellon

Bob, A privately funded, boutique hotel(s) in existing historic buildings or located just outside the historic district is something all agree upon. But have you and your neighbors taken a close look at the 85' or 6 to 7 story big box hotel model with a Marriott marquee blazing across it? Have you given thought to what the necessary night guest welcoming glow of a building will have upon our historic night scape of lit steeples and dramatic change in the backdrop of the skyline to be seen from the second story of most every home in Baker Park and City? Are the self described 'toasting' Aldermen from the skyline bar at the towers top really who you want gazing back at you and all of Frederick City? I wonder and worry about proponents who aren't really looking at this deal simply because we all would like a hotel. They have come and they will come again if we stop trying to steer the project to Chamber MEG cronies with our tax dollars. To fund this is to kill all hopes of fair competition and multiple small boutique hotels ever coming to downtown Feederick. I'm so ashamed of our city leaders for agreeing to this.

KellyAlzan

Along with the bedbugs that the hotel will bring to Patrick street

Burgessdr

The height limit by City code will be 60 feet. Your claim of 85 feet is pure misinformation.

KellyAlzan

a conference center is not needed.

Let the Plamandoon's do this 100% on their own, no state money, no state involvement, no state nothin.

The "Old MALL" site is more realistic. no parking deck needed.
.
Just STOP. STOP.

kimberlymellon

[thumbup]. Stop this insanity now.

EZ2CY

This hotel is going to generate a lot of money and taxes to Frederick. In addition a beautiful hotel will add to the landscape of this town. I do not understand why anyone would oppose taking a building that is unattractive and turning it into a beautiful safe space? The people that complain are the same kind of people that fought against cleaning up Timesquare in New York. There are cities begging for business like this!

KellyAlzan

you must not be from the area

Fredmd21704

Why, because someone doesn't agree with you?

Fredmd21704

you are exactly right. And most of these whiners don't even venture downtown.

rcjones66

[thumbup][thumbup]

gary4books

Either they work for Harpers Ferry or there at too many bed bugs downtown.

besmartten

Not agreeing makes me a whiner, ehh? I have only lived in Frederick county for 50 years and do not go downtown as often as when Sears was downtown. I hope my opinion counts for something.
I have never agreed with the Carol Creek project, except for the flood control value. The fake creek sold to us by then mayor Young has been problematic. His vision as stated then has never really been realized.
As I imagine, this boondoggle of something that we do not need, will never be realized as being sold. I suspect most don't either. Obviously this project is going to get done as those with money have more say than those without. So it goes, but do not tell me it is good for us in Frederick, as I do not see it that way.

gary4books

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]
The opposition is funded.

DickD

If they were using their money, not tax money, you would be right.

Fredmd21704

Using your same logic from the Mall post, the conference center will allow people to walk to work downtown who live there. The Old Mall is not a good location for a conference center as it is away from the center of the city. Lets be realistic here.

KellyAlzan

Where people go / don't go has nothing to do with state money and local hotel tax money being used to subsidize a private business. People living in California MD are opposed to this

Fredmd21704

It has everything to do with it, I get it, you don't like change. Were you against the state funding the creek project as well? Why would people in California MD (like i really believe that), is against something the don't even live near? Now you are making funny stories up. The Tax revenue and return will pay for itself.

gary4books

Some have said we should put it in a corn field since it will cost less there. The idea of real estate is LOCATION. Who will want to stay on the Golden Mile?

DickD

Who wants to stay in downtown Frederick at the price a Marriott will charge?

Fredmd21704

Kelly would, oh wait, she isn't even from here.

MAVRICKinc7

AND you're all for more CROWED spaces than the open spaces of rural Frederick County?

DickD

Being realistic is realizing there is no need for a convention center in Frederick.

MAVRICKinc7

HUH? REALISTIC? What do you know of realism in the context of what you are saying?

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