Thursday, June 14, 2012

Another nail in the Old Capitol Green coffin

The board of directors for the Hinds County Department of Economic Development voted 8-2 on May 30 to recommend the county reject a $17 million loan request from Old Capitol Green developer Full Spectrum. Full Spectrum planned to finance the construction of a parking garage for the project with the loan. However, the company did not submit required financial documents to the county as requested for over six months. The Board of Supervisors will decide whether to extend the loan to Full Spectrum.

Old Capital Green is a mixed-use development that is supposed to be environmentally friendly. The Mississippi Development Authority provided $20 million in funds originating from bonds to Hinds County. Hinds County in turn has the authority to lend the money to Full Spectrum to build the parking garage. Its not just any parking garage either - 800 spaces with robots.

Full Spectrum representative Malcolm Sheppard requested $13 million from the county earlier this year but increased the request to $17 million in May. He said the Jackson Redevelopment Authority suggested Full Spectrum obtain the additional $4 million from Hinds County instead of borrowing it from JRA. Mr. Sheppard said JRA would then purchase the garage after the new market tax credit period expired. Mr. Sheppard said consolidating the two loans into one loan would be cheaper for his company. No work has begun on the project although Full Spectrum said construction will begin in August.

The Hinds County Board of Supervisors voted in May to send a letter to MDA requesting the money to loan to Full Spectrum. However, the board stated in the resolution it would only do so if the developer provided the requested financial documents. The financial documents were commitment letters from prospective tenants as well as tax returns and audited financial statements for the last three years*. Sources tell JJ Full Spectrum provided letters of interest (which are not commitment letters) and other financial documents to HCDED. However, the agency declined to recommend approval of the request after further review of the financial statements. It is not known whether Full Spectrum did not present all of the documents or if the financial condition of the company withstood review by the board. The board discussed the project for over an hour in executive session before it voted to send a letter to Hinds County attorney Crystal Martin stating its recommendation.

Online records for the tax collector do not show Full Spectrum owns any property in Hinds County. Full Spectrum representative Malcolm Shepperd told the Supervisors Full Spectrum provided the financial documents to the Jackson Redevelopment Authority. However, sources at JRA and public records requests reveal no such documents were ever submitted to JRA.

*Audited financial statements are balance sheets and income statements provided by a CPA.


Old Capital Green Update
Old Capital Green needs mo' money but has no papers
Old Capital Green has not provided financial records
December Old Capital Green discussion at Hinds BOS on video

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

But....they said they sent the financials...but, but, but....

Anonymous said...

There are 5 elements that contribute to the success of a downtown redevelopment. They are:

1) Waterfront
2) A large Fortune 500 company as an "anchor" with several thousand white collar jobs
3) A major university or hospital system
4) A sports venue
5) Public transportation system

There was a time 15 years ago when Jackson reached a tipping point. Had WorldCom elected to stay downtown -- and had it emerged as a successful company -- the Braves stadium may well have located there also. This would have given us two of the five elements to try to redevelop downtown. Generally, institutional investors look for at least three of the five before investing the BILLIONS that it takes to make a downtown flourish. Jackson has none of the five, and doesn't look like to improve on that score in the next 20 or so years.

You can file Old Capitol Green next to Farish Street and Harborwalk. There's just not the critical mass to support these projects. If Wall Street wont touch them, why should the taxpayers of Jackson or Hinds County?

Anonymous said...

Those five elements are impressive but don't compare to what we do have: The Stokes Twins.

Anonymous said...

The reason Worldcom pulled out was the ONE and ONLY Kenny Stokes who refused to go to the ground breaking. The reason the Braves went to Pearl was Harvey Johnson said he wasn't going to give a blackman $1,000,000 to bring them to Jackson. Pearl did and that's where they are. If you doubt this then just call Tim and ask him.

Kingfish said...

Wait a second. I remember the rest of the city council having a hand in the worldcomm deal. Weaver caught hell too.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:00....If I remember correctly WorldCom left downtown because they needed a zoning variance to build their new headquarters. Stokes refused to show up for the vote (he was maybe the committee chairman or something) and so they never could get a quorum...or something like that. So WC shrugged their shoulders and cut a deal with Mississippi College. Can someone recall the details for me?

And if I were the Braves I wouldn't have located downtown either. With no major businesses, or corresponding entertainment district there, whats the point?

Anonymous said...

Who was the guy on the city council smoking dope during the breaks and trying to shake down the cable company? Maybe he and Kenny didn't get their due. I'm sure they were just following Jesse Jackson's playbook.

Kingfish said...

Sachmo.

Anonymous said...

I remember when Bernie announced the move to Clinton, Kenny blustered loudly: "We not gonna take dis!"

Anonymous said...

@7:30. I worked for a local developer several years back. While talking with a local business instrumental in trying to bring new development to downtown, their director told me that the Braves called the City several times to discuss the stadium idea and no one never would return their calls. Also how dare you make such a racist statement.."white collar jobs"..The city council would not go for that!

Anonymous said...

9:00 - what "blackman" (sic) got $1,000,000 to bring the BRaves anywhere? I remember Harvey being quoted as blowing off the Braves economic impact by saying "baseball is a white man's game" or something similar.

Anonymous said...

KF, I apologize right off the bat for being this stupid, but I don't get something.

the Hinds County Department of Economic Development
the Board of Supervisors
the Mississippi Development Authority
the Jackson Redevelopment Authority

Is it me or does this look strange to you too? 4 groups kind of approving this but not really approving it and each telling the other to go to someone else for the money.

At what point can one of these groups just say---this is stupid, stop. And which one of these groups has the controlling authority?

Shadowfax said...

As with everything else involving Jackson, are most of you beginning to spot the trees of common denominator through the forest?

Anonymous said...

10:42, the black man's name is Tim Bennett. I met briefly with him one time about another business venture. He had (has) a company called Overtime Sports, and also owns (owned) a college baseball league called the Cotton States League.

While I never saw the money myself, the story that he got it has been around since the Braves got here. The only part of 9:00's comment that raised my eyes is the part about the source of the money. I have always been under the impression the money came from the Braves organization.

I have no idea what his situation is currently. The last time I saw him was about five years ago.

Anonymous said...

That would be Tim Bennett - He is now in the process of bringing a team to Gulfport - It will be at the new Port - Tim is a good guy and very knowledgeable - He just couldn't work with Haaavey -

Anonymous said...

9:16
Louis Armstrong. Another of our stellar current city employees. Atta boy Harv, great hire.

Anonymous said...

10:42 the money came from inside the City's employee benefit fund, which at that time had over a 1,000,000 surplus

Anonymous said...

10:42 the money came from inside the City's employee benefit fund, which at that time had over a 1,000,000 surplus

Anonymous said...

10:42 the money came from inside the City's employee benefit fund, which at that time had over a 1,000,000 surplus

Jerry: That's illegal.
Kramer: No it's not.
Jerry: Well, it's certainly against the law.
Kramer: Well, um..yeah.

Anonymous said...

Armstrong was re-hired by the City under the Melton regime. NOt defending Harvey, but will Bluntson or Lumumbo really do better?

Anonymous said...

4:14
Johnson has left that convicted felon in his position with the city. Thanks so much for setting the hire date straight without, of course, defending the moron that has been in charge of the city.

Anonymous said...

Why would the M Braves ever wanted to be in Jackson? It is quite a pit and all the druggies would have robbed everyone.

I hate to be the buzz kill, but no amount of money in the world will ever revitalize the downtown area.

Anonymous said...

8:35, I think the conversation with Jackson had to do with upgrading Smith Wills and putting the MBraves there. It got into a "give us what we want, or we'll go to Pearl...no you won't...yes we will...no you won't...yes we DID."

Shadowfax said...

Did Maloney promise 'no credit check financing'?

golden eagle said...

This will get done, unlike Harborwalk. And to anonymous at 8:35 on June 14, hogwash! Lots of events happen in Jackson and no one gets robbed, shot, killed, etc. Stay away if you don't wanna go.

Shadowfax said...

Eagle; What are those (lots) large events happening in downtown Jackson where no crime occurs concurrent with the event? And when you provide your list, remember you said 'lots'. Your admonition to 'stay away' has been answered. People stay away from Jackson in droves. Imagine walking to your car in Jackson at the end of an 11 p.m. ninth inning.

Anonymous said...

Shadowfax - quit picking on eagle, and just admit that no one has EVER been robbed or beaten after a game featuring Jackson's NFL team, Jackson's NBA team, Jackson's NHL team, or Jackson's MLB team. The massive crowds, made up of wealthy Mississippians who make these games possible, leaving after every game discourage the thugs.

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