Bobby Monks and Co are looking for another government handout

17 posts / 0 new
Last post
Steven Scharf
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2002 - 1:01am
Bobby Monks and Co are looking for another government handout

Robert Monks son Bobby Monks and his partner Tim O’Neil is looking for another government handout in the form of a TIF from the City of Portland. Not only that they want to shelter 100% of the increment (which is all of the taxes since the building is currently tax exempt), they have no plan to increase staffing and they want a waiver form the recently enacted LEED certification requirement of all project involving city resources.

The project is the redevelopment of the former Baxter Library on Congress Street for use by an advertising agency, VIA Marketing that currently employs 64 people in Portland. The library was sold to the Maine College of Art in 1983 after the opening of the Main Library in 1979. (I need to find out what the terms of that sale were.)

The memo says that there would be room for expansion, but does not outline how much or what VIA’s plans for expansion are.

The Baxter Library building is marketable without need for a TIF for the right price. Of course Monks & O’Neil’s financials on the project will be confidential so we will have to trust that council is not giving away the farm on this.

Note that State Senator Justin Alfond and Greg Shinberg did not seek a TIF for their redevelopment of the USM Portland House Dormitory which is right down the street. That project in my mind might have qualified for some of the criteria of a TIF.

Let’s see how long it takes for the press to pick up on this one.

Steven Scharf
SCSMedia@aol.com

Dan Billings
Offline
Joined: 10/02/2005 - 12:01am
Considering Mr. Monks is an

Considering Mr. Monks is an investor in the Press Herald, I wouldn't hold your breath.

Steven Scharf
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2002 - 1:01am
I was thinking of the

I was thinking of the Forecaster, The Bollard, The West End NEWS or even the upstart Portland Daily Sun. Actually Channel 13 was the first to pick up on the Fireboat Crew Quarters issue with Diana Ichton calling me saying she saw my posting here at AMG.

Steven Scharf
SCSMedia@aol.com

Steven Scharf
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2002 - 1:01am
The meeting on this was

The meeting on this was tonight.

The discussion has been tabled for two weeks until the next CDC meeting. You won't be reading that in the paper tomorrow, because no reporters showed up to cover this from the PPH or any other media outlet.

Some interesting facts revealed (some of which I suspect they did not want to leave the room).

State Senator Justin Alfond and his partner in the Portland House project showed up to support the development. They want the 64 employees to patronize potential retail outlets in their building.

VIA employees are very well paid. 3 earn less than $30,000, 31 earn $30,000 to 60,000, 19 earn $60 to $100,000 and 11 earn over $100,000.

They are getting new market tax credits which were described as tax credits for areas deemed to be distressed. (I am hard pressed to find anything distressed about this location). They are also getting a $25,000 grant from the city which was not described further.

The TIF is for $165,000 in financing that they cannot make up elsewhere.

The purchase price of the building was originally $800,000. Has been reduced to $705,000 plus MECA is financing $100,000 of the purchase price.

VIA is leasing for 10 years with an option to buy in the 7th year.

Steven Scharf
SCSMedia@aol.com

Melvin Udall
Offline
Joined: 05/01/2002 - 12:01am
Now that you mention it,

Now that you mention it, Steven, what's the status on the fireboat housing?

Steven Scharf
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2002 - 1:01am
There will be nothing new on

There will be nothing new on the fireboat crew quarters until the next finance committee meeting on Sept 24.

Steven Scharf
SCSMedia@aol.com

Chris Coose
Offline
Joined: 11/04/2003 - 1:01am
That is a great block, the

That is a great block, the Baxter building is outstanding, VIA is a unique downtown business. I hope they are able to put it all together so to build a solid, vital, busy Congress St.
In the good old days I heard that VIA empolyed nearly 200 people. They have an international client base.
Some TIF's make sense for the long term.
Imagine if this could be catalytic to getting the State Theater up and going again?

Steven Scharf
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2002 - 1:01am
VIA Marketing is not going to

VIA Marketing is not going to have any affect on the State Theater Bldg. Their problems go much deeper that what one company moving to Congress Street will provide.

BTW, lost in all of this is that VIA Marketing is abandoning Danforth Street, which in my mind needs the help more than Congress Street.

Although the Baxter Building is currently vacant, I suspect there was a lot more traffic then they will generate on Congress when the school was there.

Steven Scharf
SCSMedia@aol.com

Steven Scharf
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2002 - 1:01am
They talked about the

They talked about the international client base and the trouble getting advt people to live in Porrtland.

I wonder how many of the higher priced positions are held by longtime Mainers.

Steven Scharf
SCSMedia@aol.com

Bruce Libby
Online
Joined: 01/17/2006 - 7:08pm
Let's see I smoke I go to

Let's see I smoke I go to Joes Smoke SHop,I eat so I go to restaurants,I party I go to a bar/club,I want coffee I go to coffee place, fairly everyday occurances for a number of people. How many people need a advertizing agency? More of the wacky planning mentality that has lead to all sorts of fleecing of the public,just in a different part of town!

Chris Coose
Offline
Joined: 11/04/2003 - 1:01am
"How many people need a

"How many people need a advertizing agency?"
Companies with a lot of money that will end up paying large salaries to a lot of local individuals.

Steven Scharf
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2002 - 1:01am
Speaking of trickle down,

Speaking of trickle down, City Eco Dev Director Greg Mitchell claimed that this development will probably provide one additional job for each employee that VIA has in the Congress Street area. My question is what is going to happen to the 64 extra jobs we will lose in the Danforth Street area?

Steven Scharf
SCSMedia@aol.com

Chris Coose
Offline
Joined: 11/04/2003 - 1:01am
Steven have you seen the VIA

Steven have you seen the VIA space in that building on Danforth? They'd be leaving it a billion times nicer than when they arrived.
How is it that you grieve downtown progress?
Oh, poor Danforth St.
That just ain't the case. The street has benefitted from the presence of this company.

With all the lousy stories of development and lousy planning downtown Portland has experienced and in this economy you'd think you might be able to break out of your "just say no" structure on occasion.

I don't know the details of this deal but I do know the neighborhoods and the parties involved and in this climate it is great to see any development that brings Congress St. way beyond that which we are used to.

We are seeing major downtown tax deferred properties getting changed to taxable properties. If it is necessary to support this slow climb up then it's a heck of a lot better than what's been happening over the past 40 years downtown.

I'm glad you look at each case and i would offer that you take a look at the global landscape on occasion.

Steven Scharf
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2002 - 1:01am
This TIF is on tonight's

This TIF is on tonight's agenda. The council loves to approve things like this the night before election day when the press is busy with other stuff.

Steven Scharf
SCSMedia@aol.com

Naran
Offline
Joined: 10/06/2004 - 12:01am
Don't feel bad, Steven. Our

Don't feel bad, Steven. Our board typically has a meeting on the night of elections. Talk about nobody paying attention....

Dan Billings
Offline
Joined: 10/02/2005 - 12:01am
The Bowdoinham Select Board

The Bowdoinham Select Board is meeting tomorrow night. I am going to go vote, then go to the meeting, and then go back to get the results of the sidewalk vote. The schedule works well for me.

Bob Stone
Offline
Joined: 06/08/2003 - 12:01am
I'm a fan of the Bowdoinham

I'm a fan of the Bowdoinham Town Manager. Very professional and pleasant.

Log in to post comments