Sunday, February 10, 2013

The DOR merry-go-round continues

The battle over the future home of the Department of Revenue rages on as competing bills emerged from committees in the House and Senate. The House version places the site at the old Worldcom building. The building is in the Speakah's district. The Senate version moves it to the Landmark building in Downtown Jackson. What is interesting is there is already a process in place for determining the new site. The legislature is trying to void the procedures used by the Department of Finance & Administration. The Mississippi Business Journal reported:

Whiplash could be a consequence of watching recent action in the Legislature to determine the next home of the Mississippi Department of Revenue.

Soon after a bill to put the DOR headquarters in downtown Jackson’s Landmark Center via a $7.6 purchase passed the Senate Public Property Committee, House Speaker Philip Gunn successfully pushed a bill through the House that would put the headquarters in Clinton’s South Pointe Business Center, the former home of WorldCom.

Gunn’s bill calls for a lease or purchase and contains no maximums or minimums that the state would pay. Gunn is insisting that the 500 or so employees of the DOR should move no farther than Clinton when the lease expires June 30, 2014 on the metal warehouse the agency occupies in nearby Raymond.

Gunn killed an effort last year to move the agency from Raymond into the now-vacant Landmark by preventing a House vote on a unanimously passed Senate bill.

Sen. David Blount, a Jackson Democrat, authored last year’s bill and introduced an identical measure this session. The full Senate was expected to vote on his bill sometime Friday morning.

A companion bill from Blount calling for consolidation of more than 25 state offices spread around the metro area into the Capitol Complex passed the Senate earlier this week and is headed to the House for a vote. Blount said his bill to purchase the Landmark is key to making the office consolidation plan work because nearly 150,000 square-feet of office space would still be vacant in the Landmark after the Department of Revenue moved in.

If Blount’s bill clears the Senate Friday morning, it would go to the House Public Property Committee. Gunn’s bill would go to the Senate Property Committee.

Since the bills call for vastly different actions on the same subject, some sort of reconciliation may have to be done, Blount said in an interview Thursday afternoon.

It’s conceivable as well that the bills could die in the respective committees.

In that instance, a default could come into play. That would be an RFP process that is underway. In that process, the Landmark Center, South Pointe and the Ergon Properties’ Diversified Technologies complex in Ridgeland are vying to become the new DOR headquarters through a lease arrangement.

The RFP process has been underway since November. The three properties emerged from a selection process that started with a handful of buildings in the metro area.

Kevin Upchurch, director of the Department of Finance and Administration, said the back-and-forth going on in the Legislature has no bearing on the RFP process. The only way the RFP selection would become moot is if the Legislature passes a bill designating the new home for the DOR and the governor signs it, Upchurch said.

In the meantime, the DFA is doing test fits, which “in layman terms is reviewing what it would take to pick up the Department of Revenue and drop it in each of the three facilities,” Upchurch said in an email.

The test fits will show the financial impact of retrofitting the facilities to meet the operational and space needs of the Department of Revenue, he said. “When this is completed, we will move on to taking Best and Final Offers from each of the three proposers.

“This will conclude the information gathering part of the process and the final grading will then be done and the winner selected.”

The test fits should be done by the end of next week and final offers must be received no more than five days later, according to Upchurch.

A final decision on the new HQ is up to a five- member selection committee consisting of representatives from DFA and DOR. The final determination will based on scoring criteria agreed to at the start of this process, Upchurch said.

A lease deal has been seen as one way to avoid Legislative meddling into the HQ decision, since a lease does not require lawmakers’ approval.

Blount said, however, he thinks going the lease route is a money-loser for the state, since the price of the Landmark Center has dropped from $14.1 million to $7.6 million in the past 12 months, a reflection of downtown Jackson’s increasingly weak office market.

Having the RFP become the default option “would be unfortunate because I am convinced purchasing the building is the best option for the state and would allow the consolidation of the state offices,” said Blount, a commercial real estate professional.

Breck Hines, executive VP and principal of Duckworth Realty in Jackson, handles leasing for South Pointe Business Center. He said he thinks the state is going to win on the money side regardless of which of the three properties wins the RFP selection. All three have motivated landlords, he said.

“You put the three buildings up against each other and say, ‘What kind of deal are you going to make for us?’ You’re going to get a heck of a deal.”

Not surprisingly, Hines thinks South Pointe is the most well suited of the contenders for the HQ designation. “The cost to prepare the building for occupancy is going to be much less” than it would be for the other two, he said in an interview Thursday.

He said the complex could accommodate the DOR’s needs for a 33,000 square-foot printing facility and requisite high ceiling without doing new construction. If South Pointe emerges the winner of the RFP, the space needed for the DOR can be built-out and ready for move-in by spring 2014, he said.

“That’s what we do for a living,” Hines said. “It’s really not that quick of a turn.”

A Cushman & Wakefield analysis completed in late 2011 ranked the Landmark Center over South Pointe and other properties in the metro area. Cushman & Wakefield, an international commercial real estate firm, concluded the Landmark represented a better fiscal and operational option for the state.

The study noted tenant improvements for either the Landmark or South Pointe would run about $8.4 million. However, it put the cost of a full-service lease at the Landmark at $12.90 a square foot and South Pointe at $18.75 a square foot. South Pointe would have an annual lease escalation cap of 1.5 percent and the Landmark a cap of 1.75 percent, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

Hines has charged the Cushman & Wakefield study was flawed and did not accurately assess his firm’s lease offer.

Today – more than a year after its completion – the study’s value is nearly nil, Hines contended. “It does not apply to this year,” he said. “Circumstances and needs have changed
.”


One must ask what is the point of having an established process if the legislature is going to start mandating where each building in state government should be.

One last note: What is interesting is one of the final sites is in Ridgeland and owned by Ergon. Sources tell JJ the Mayor of Clinton has been um, heavily lobbying the Speakah to keep the DOR building in the Clinton area. Interesting because 40% of the Speakah's district is in Madison County. That would be funny: Rosemary on one side and the Queen & Gene on the other, all giving him hell over where to put that building.

Oh, and don't forget if nothing happens because the bills die, that is fine with certain interests. JJ reported last year:

"Now why exactly would anyone think the Speaker might intervene in such a deal? Is it just about several hundred jobs for Clinton or is it a deal for someone else? Let's take a look at the current lease. The building is 30,000 square feet and made out o metal. Looks like an erector set construction from the 1950s. Hinds County land records state Deviney Brothers, Inc own the building. Company documents state Robert Deviney is the President and Billy Deviney is the Treasurer. Marc Brand incorporated the company.

The state signed a contract on August 1, 1996 with Deviney Brothers, Inc to lease the building for $62,504 per month. 130,000 square feet were leased at $5.74 per sq. ft. and 2,200 square feet were leased at $1.75 per sq. ft. The contract price was $750,050 per year. The term of the contract was two years. The lease has been renewed several times since the original term. A five-year extension was signed in 2006 and expired on June 30, 2011.

A second lease was signed in 1998 as well and was extended for five years in 2006. It ran concurrently with the other lease and was renewed on July 2, 2011 and expires on June 30, 2014. The state pays $4,375 per month under this lease ($52,500 each year). The total amount the Department of Revenue pays to lease the erector set on 1577 Springridge Road is $802,550 annually since 1996.

What is interesting is while the leases stay the same, the county tax records show the assessed value of the property is declining. The assessed value decreased to $2.6 million in 2011 (The "true value" from the assessor's website was used.), from $3.161 million in 2001. The assessed value declined from $474,141 in 2001 to $390,770 this year.

$802,550 a year to lease an erector set to the state and a speaker to drive the black Trans am. Nice gig if you can get it." Copies of contracts

Needless to say, the Devineys are big wheels in state politics.

107 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Mississippi State Legislature is a relic of the 1800's, a relic of the past rooted in an agrarian society, it is sad, truly sad. The body itself is way too large for the population that it serves, in a state of 3 million residents, there is no need for 122 House members, 100 or less would be appropriate, and no need for 52 Senate members, 40 or less would be appropriate. It is a dysfunctional system.

The members outside of leadership have no staff, no dedicated office space, save a small cubicle-like space, no dedicated office telephone number, just a bunch that gets 10k per year salary and resorts to "milking" the daily per-diem through adding as many days to the schedule as possible, trying to justify their existence. The entire set-up is a recipe for failure and uninformed members who jostle amongst themselves for a small sliver of a perceived small pie. What a way to operate a state that never rises above a "number 50" ranking among states in almost all categories.

Anonymous said...

Landmark needs $13.8 million in improvements. No telling where the MBJ comes up with their number.

Move DOR downtown and PiLT for Jackson will be forever off the table.

Kingfish said...

The sales price is $7.4 or so, depending on who you talk to.

I used to go there on a regular basis as my dentist had an office there until recently. Could've used a facelift from what I can tell but the building didn't seem like it was in bad shape.

As for the leg, I would like to have a one house legislature, shrink the size of the districts a little but in exchange for that have one house only. I see no reason for two houses.

Anonymous said...

$13.8 comes from the C and W study after architects/DOR toured last year. PILOT is already dead,Dead,DEAD. This should be a no brainier even for our elected village idiots.

Anonymous said...

Sales price is $7.4 but needs improvements of $13.8. The owners want out and it is obvious there are no buyers. Wait another year and the sales price will go even lower.

Shadowfax said...

Is there a reason to have a Lt. Governor? Or a Speaker Pro Tem?

Anonymous said...

New construction for the building would be $76mm.

Bill Dees said...

Phillip Gun has no right to call himself a conservative. Any politician who wants to waste the taxpayers' money in this fashion is no different than any run of the mill, spendthrift Democrat.

Anonymous said...

AMEN AMEN AMEN 10:03!!!

Anonymous said...

Whatever they do, be it stay where they are or move to a different location, something needs to be done about the dysfunctional employees of the DOR. It is clear that some employees have their jobs due to family members being in high places.

Anonymous said...

This one is as clear as it can be. Where is the TEA PARTY WHEN YOU NEED THEM? This should be open and shut DONE. The idea of wasting tax dollars for provincial bias is not new, but this would be a doozy of a waste.

Anonymous said...

Yo Breck!!! Circumstances have changed? Like the 1 mm commissions you and Ted will receive if DOR goes to Clinton? Or the fact that the Landmark Center is about half the sales price it was last year when Haley Barbour and C and W selected it? And Lordy wasn't you boss TED chair of DJP last year. What is up with that?

Anonymous said...

The tea party harpy damns 'em when they do and damns 'em when they don't.

Anonymous said...

To follow Tate Reeves' preferred direction regarding future bond indebtedness the $13.8 million needed for Landmark improvements can not be paid for with bond dollars.

Anonymous said...

Haley Barbour never recommended the purchase of Landmark.

New construction isn't being discussed.

Anonymous said...

The 1 million per year lease payment DOR
spends now will float a $20mm bond. Slam dunk.

Burke said...

Gunn is a bright, nice looking fellow with a decent resume. He's also in over his head. He acts as if he's Chairman of the Property Committee. Or worse, as if he's a lawyer-lobbyist hired to argue passionately for a client who is trying to win with influence what cannot be won with reason.

Anonymous said...

11:51 you not of what you speak. Haley DID recommend the lease OR purchase of the LMC. As I'd the C and W study.

Anonymous said...

Read Barbour's letter to the Legislature dated September 30, 2011. Last paragraph. DID NOT RECOMMEND PURCHASE. (since you are so fond of CAPS)

Anonymous said...

No shit 10:32. Where IS the Tea Party? KIM WADE what say ye? This is so typical of "Conservative Republicans". Really conservative with government money they can't get and someone else can, but bring me the bucks when THEIR
ox is getting gored.

Gunn really should be ashamed. Hopefully he was misquoted.

Phillip where is the Tea Party? Where is your fiscal conservatism?

Anonymous said...

So why are Blount and Gunn attempting to hijack the State's bid process for determining the best space and deal for the relocation of the Department of Revenue?
Isn't the State's current RFP/bid process intended to determine the best and least expensive option for Mississippi, including the costs of retrofitting and operating each of the 3 exiting properties?

It appears Gunn's power-play is to force the World Con building as the location for DOR regardless of any cost considerations...and Blount is using outdated studies and a tired argument that because the Jackson site is half price, it must be the best deal.
It is disillusioning that neither of these selfish politicians appears to be considering anything other than what they consider best for their districts regardless of what the actual costs are or what might be best for Mississippi for the long term.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone ever stop to think that maybe, just maybe, the Speaker and DFA are operating with just a little more information than what is public at the moment? Maybe the current RFP process has uncovered a potential really good deal for the Department of Revenue...but they cannot talk about it until the process is over in a few weeks? Is it reasonable to assume that Landmark downtown has gotten cheaper in the last year, but none of the other options have? Probably not. I don't know the Speaker but as I understand it, he's no idiot. I wouldn't be so quick as to burn anyone at the stake like you all seem to want to do without all of the information...

Anonymous said...

CL today--headline today--Office Space:Power vs Plan

Gunn says 'We believe is's in the best interests of my constituents for it (Dept of Revenue" to be in Clinton.

Guess the powerful Speaker forgot that part of his district is in Madison County...including parts of Ridgeland, Madison and Flora...

Madison voters what say you?

Anonymous said...

1:07 his comments make him look like an idiot. Doesn't even know the costs of a building his house passed regarding purchasing it. And to the 1:04 comment. The Millsaps study was just finished and certainly not outdated.

Governor Barbour's Landmark recommendation recognized the at that time 27% vacancy rate, and the top two recommendations from Cushman and Wakefield were to lease , and next, to purchase it. It is half the cost now

Anonymous said...

1:07--if this is true---then let DFA complete the RFP/bid process and why slam a bill mandating the Clinton site through the legislature before the bid process is complete--why not let the bid process work?

Anonymous said...

1:07 if that is true, why does Duckworth and Ergon both have heavyweight lobbyists hired? This is pure politics.

clintonrebel said...

How the DTI building is even in play is beyond me. I can see the logic of it being in the capitol city and I can see the logic of not wanting to rip 500 jobs out of a small community, so Jackson and Clinton make sense, but to take it out to the forgotten section of Highland Colony? Blount and Gunn are just cancelling each other out so that the other doesn't pull a fast one, the DFA process should be allowed to make the decision without undue political bias.

Anonymous said...

Are DFA and the Speaker working together?
Nice Spin 1:07, do you work for the Speaker or DFA?

Anonymous said...

1:07 if that is true, why does Duckworth and Ergon both have heavyweight lobbyists hired? This is pure politics.

Anonymous said...

I agree, let the bid process work. Seems like free markets always deliver a better price than any politician driven purchase.

Anonymous said...

My contacts inside the House have mentioned frequently that little sympathy exists for Jackson's plight as long as Harvey Johnson refuses to hold a vote on the special sales tax legislation to fund infrastructure and road repairs. Even after another bill amending the original enabler was passed and signed in 2011 Johnson still refuses to put the tax on the ballot. Many House members are not inclined to help Jackson until Johnson asks the city to help itself first.

Anonymous said...

The state cannot purchase a building that does not have a law directing it. The lease of a building requires no law. This is the reason two laws have been submitted. One to the house and one to the senate. The DOR RFP does not mention purchase, only lease.

Anonymous said...

"why not let the bid process work?"

Good question for David Blount.

Anonymous said...

1:27, What is the current occupancy rate for Jackson and surrounding areas? Has any of these so called studies factored in Jackson's crime rate or cost for state employees to eat and park downtown? Has any study compared the 3 buildings under consideration? Who paid for the Millsaps study? Please send us a link so we can all take a look.

Anonymous said...

1:27, it appears all sites under consideration plus the Deviney's have lobbyists. Most legally registered as such, some not, including elected officials such as Senator Blount and Speaker Gunn.

Anonymous said...

1:43 see 1:41 to answer your question.

Anonymous said...

Purchase or Lease, the two pieces of legislation in question do not contemplate the true cost of either property or the costs to retrofit or operate either of these buildings.
Guess they are just the new leadership's attempt to mimic the power politics of the past, and our new conservative, yet empowered politicians are ramming their choices down our throats, again...regardless of price.
Though we ended all of this when we kicked out Billy McCoy and the Boys///guess not...

Anonymous said...

1:26 see 1:41 for your answer.

Anonymous said...

Can't believe anybody would be quoting the Clarion Ledger as if it is a credible source. They ignored the fact that David Blount is trying to pull the DOR into his own district. Sam Hall needs to get back into politics, he was a much better campaign manager than he is writer. You can't write about issues you can't understand.

Anonymous said...

why is the state buying more property? i thought most states were trying to get away from that. what happens to the property taxes if the state buys that building downtown?

Anonymous said...

Wow 2:30 that is a stretch. He (Blount) was fighting for it downtown last year when Clinton was in his district. Read the report. Landmark is the obvious choice.

Anonymous said...

It is all theater. If no bills pass, then DFA makes the right decision and Gunn looks like and he was fighting for his district. The State gets what it needs and so does Gunn.

Anonymous said...

It has not taken long for the power of the Speaker's position to go to Gunn's head. At least Blount is pretending to present facts from 'studies' that justify his claim that the Landmark Center in Jackson is the best choice for the tax commission.
Gunn seems to be determined to use his power to force the tax commission to stay in Clinton. If Blount prevents Gunn's bill from passing, and Gunn does the same to Blount's bill, what will prevent Gunn from using his vast budgetary power over state agencies to force his will and derail the RFP process? To echo, others responding to all of this blog...why won't they just let the process work?

Anonymous said...

Again. The DFA is considering leases only. The.senate bill is to buy the building which DFA cannot do without a passed law. Damn.

Anonymous said...

3:10 are you inferring that DFA has already capitulated to Gunn's choice?

Anonymous said...

2:52 would have us read the report. Which report, the old one or the biased paid for by Jackson advocates report?

Anonymous said...

Purchase or Lease, the two pieces of legislation in question do not address the total cost of either property or the costs to retrofit or operate either of these buildings.
Guess this is the new leadership's attempt to mimic the power politics of the past, and our new, 'conservative', yet empowered, politicians are ramming their choices down our throats, again, just as Billy McCoy and the Boys once did.

Anonymous said...

Too bad Senator Blount can't work as vigorously to reform our system of public education in Mississippi. All he does is oppose change and seek to throw more money at approaches that don't work. He wants efficiencies in state government but he'll be damned if JPS is forced to do better.

Anonymous said...

At least Blount is pretending to present facts from 'studies' that justify his claim that the Landmark Center in Jackson is the best choice for the tax commission.

Why hasn't Blount released the study to the public? If consolidation makes sense then open the study kimono and let's see what other locations besides the Landmark building were considered.

Anonymous said...

The figures backing Blount's proposal DO include all costs associated with the Landmark Center, including moving costs. The Else School of Management considered every aspect, and private developers weighed in heavily with their findings. It is clear and compelling. This is what is driving the politicos nuts.

Anonymous said...

3:35 WTF has that got to do with this?

Anonymous said...

Bill Brister can't find his way out of a paper bag.

He has no specific expertise to qualify as an expert for a proposal of this size and scope.

Anonymous said...

3:21, Damn! Are you thinking they won't sneak language into a bond bill at the end of the session?
Even after DFA determines the best deal...

Anonymous said...

3:39. The study has been released to the public and sent to every news outlet in the metro. The Chamber has it as well.

Anonymous said...

3:42. We knew you would return! Read the part that says its findings were similar to Cushman and Wakefield. I guess you think they are rubes as well?

Anonymous said...

KEEP CALM and LEASE LANDMARK

Anonymous said...

3:40, please send us a link to the Else study. Did it really consider all of the property options or is it biased focusing mainly on Jackson properties? Also, since you know so much about it, perhaps you can tell us who paid for the study.

Anonymous said...

Yeah 3:42, Millsaps is known around the world as a bogus MBA program. Try again.

Anonymous said...

3:40, please send us a link to the Else study. Did it really consider all of the property options or is it biased focusing mainly on Jackson properties? Also, since you know so much about it, perhaps you can tell us who paid for the study.

Anonymous said...

KEEP CALM AND LET THE RFP/BID PROCESS WORK

Anonymous said...

The link I would think is on the MBJ website. If not I will call them tomorrow and see. I was at a presentation given on it and picked up a hard copy which was readily available.

Anonymous said...

What strikes me as odd is how it appears no homework was done by Gunn backing his proposal, yet he carried the house like a banshee. Talk about good ole boy politics!

Anonymous said...

Who paid for the study? Simple question that is being avoided.

Anonymous said...

Taking the Landmark building off the tax rolls will represent a HUGE PROPERTY TAX LOSS for Jackson ($237,465.67), JPS ($317,098.30) and Hinds County ($156,850.92) at a time when all three entities are facing extreme budgetary shortfalls.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Gunn looks like a big old Republican red meat redneck and Blount looks like the well prepared, educated Democrat. That sucks.

Anonymous said...

Guess the same folks that paid for Cushman and Wakefield. Guess you think both organizations would "cheat"? Shame on you!

Anonymous said...

Not after reappraisals 4:11. DJP will take a huge hit too I would think.

Anonymous said...

4:11 has a great point. State buys property and screws the local community out of tax revenue...hmm...clearly Blount and Gunn are not thinking about how forcing the sale of their favorite properties will actually hurt their struggling communities.

Anonymous said...

4:13 Apparently the State paid for the outdated Cushman and Wakefield study and folks are simply curious about who 'commissioned' and paid for the Millsaps study! Did you? Also wondering if the Millsaps study takes into account all of the options the DFA RFP/bid process is considering. And one last thing--Does the esteemed Millsaps study allow for a best and final bid?

Anonymous said...

4:13 you are over my head. These are Senator Blount questions.

Anonymous said...

Cecil Brown (D) to Tom Weathersby (R):

"You should be commended for defending the indefensible!"

Ha, how would you like to be (Tom) presenting the speaker's bill and get that comment thrown at you.

Anonymous said...

LOL 3:42! I was thinking it but wasn't going to say it.
i had public school teachers that were more knowledgeable than brister. I thought it was funny that this is the best somebody could get to do their study

Anonymous said...

Ha, how would you like to be (Tom) presenting the speaker's bill and get that comment thrown at you.

From Cecil Brown? Cecil Brown is a joke.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me the politicians should just stay out of this and let the RFP/bid process work - or at least get a good analysis based on those bids of what will be the best deal for taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

How is Gunn going to get away with such a public snub to the 40% of his district that's in Madison County?

Madison County voters and elected officials ought to be up in arms.

Anonymous said...

1:13 Philip Gunn doesn't give a shit about the part of his district that is in Madison County. Never has.

Anonymous said...

Madison County voters will say move DOR to Ridgeland. Anyone who thinks that Madison County voters want to throw good money after bad in downtown Jackson are smoking the wacky weed. Gunn won't suffer even one iota of political loss from this.

Anonymous said...

Seriously doubt February 10, 2013 at 4:11 PM that any study has taken into account the negative tax ramifications. Why hasn't the media asked Mayor Johnson for his opinion on David Blount's bill? Curious omission don't you think?


Anonymous said...

Aww, now y'all give Gunn a break...he is just trying to protect his hometown...as is Blount...it's politics as usual...and to think we are all hopeful things would change after McCoy and the Boys were sent home...

Anonymous said...

Gunn won't suffer one iota of political loss for advocating the DOR stay in Clinton regardless of the costs - over what could be a better deal for taxpayers in Ridgeland?

Gunn doesn't care about 40% of his district where most of the GOP donors in the state live?

I just find it hard to believe that there won't be political consequences for Gunn's actions on this.

Anonymous said...

"LOL 3:42! I was thinking it but wasn't going to say it.
i had public school teachers that were more knowledgeable than brister. I thought it was funny that this is the best somebody could get to do their study"

Read that. You were public school alright. Gaezus!

Anonymous said...

5:24 take your meds! You are at it again! Do you not have a dog to kick or something?

Anonymous said...

Wow. 81 comments. I'd say you struck a nerve, KF.

Well done.

Anonymous said...

Thank God the obnoxious Shadowfart has not been stalking here except one time today. There is a God!!!

Anonymous said...

Release the study. Why hasn't David Blount made every effort to make it available for all to read?

Anonymous said...

Oh blah blah blah. It was released last week. Maybe KF will get a copy so all of you haters can read it and phucking weep. Wont make any difference tho b/c the redneck provincial village idiots will follow the big dog and make you haters happy when they kill the downtown location.

Like Ross said: "I luv Missippi!"

Anonymous said...

1:43, and 1:46 - you are wrong. The state can purchase a building without a law allowing it. Many instances - the only requirement is that "if" they purchase it while the legislature is in session, it requires legislative approval. Otherwise, Chmn from both houses have to sign off on DFA purchasing.

But - thanks for playing.

Anonymous said...

Barbour didn't recommend buying any property, including the Landmark Building. The C&W study did recommend leasing part of it - but certainly appears that the C&W study was influenced by Speed and others that needed support for downtown rental rates.

C&W included in their evaluation criteria that the property be within 2 miles of the Capitol! Why would that be needed? Only a couple of the employees at DOR ever have a reason to visit the Capitol and nobody at the Capitol has a reason to go to DOR - unless of course, they haven't been paying their taxes.

Using the C&W study is nothing but a ruse by Blount trying to take care of his clients - and constitutents. But, I bet clients come first!

Anonymous said...

The state shouldn't be buying any buildings - and there is no need to put the 500 employees of DOR into top notch office areas and certainly not any reason to locate them in downtown Jackson on Capitol Street. No private business would take their "back office" folks and move them into either the Landmark Center or the old WorldCom. (Or DTI for that matter.)

The public interface with DOR on Springridge is basically twofold - those that need vehicle titles in person rather than in the mail, and those that have tax problems, audits, etc. The state could provide a more accessible place to resolve title problems and tax resolutions and the rest of the operation could be done in Franklin County (like CSpire's backoffice operation) or elsewhere.

As said above, the C&W study, as appears the Else 'study', seems to be designed to support the concept of maintaining downtown rather than the best deal for the state.

Hopefully Reeves will stick with his campaign pledge, and his pledge of 2012 and not issue bonds for the purchase of a building for DOR. Anywhere.

Anonymous said...

So funny. The haters regroup. Gang up. Total horseshit. You ain't read shit dude. Keep hating like racists do!

Anonymous said...

We need to follow the lead of states that have Capital cities that work; ie: Baton Rouge, Little Rock, Montgomery, Nashville etc. Guess what! Their state offices areDOWNTOWN!!

Lets stay number 50 and do it OUR redneck stupid way.

Anonymous said...

Hey 8:02 read the C and W report. They DID support buying Landmark at twice what it is now

Anonymous said...

8:31...if only Jackson had the absence of crime that these cities do and perhaps some of the infrastructure each offers, then no one would mind being forced to work downtown.

Anonymous said...

Where are 500 employees and visitors going to park ?

Kingfish said...

I am posting the Millsaps study in the morning. It was not kept secret as it was distributed at a public meeting last week.

Anonymous said...

In the parking garage right beside it. Duh. All a part of the offer and included in the package.

Anonymous said...

Big ole Clinton redneck jumps in both feet to kill Landmark??? Did I read that right? What did the "bigot on steroids" Bill Denny do?

Anonymous said...

Nothing. Useless old piece of waste material.

Anonymous said...

What about Representative Tom Miles push to move it to Pelahatchie? It is right on the interstate and would be easy to get in and out of. Plus, it would be cheap to build. It makes sense to start moving things into Rankin County.

Anonymous said...

"It makes sense to start moving things into Rankin County"

Why? Where is Pelahatchie?

Anonymous said...

What is a "Pelahatchie"?

Shadowfax said...

Why NOT in Pelahatchie? It's accessible, uncrowded, thousands of acres available for development. The Employment Department headquarters is miles from downtown Jacktown out on the 220 bypass. The Department of Rehabilitation Services is in the middle of Madison, The City, and is constantly expanding its campus. The Wildlife and Fisheries state office is in the woods, north of Lakeland Drive, miles from The Hood in central Jackson. There is absolutely no rationale for stacking these agencies up side by side in a central location other than some misguided obligation to save the inner city by cramming everybody into a decaying, concrete jungle. Why NOT Pelahatchie, indeed?

Anonymous said...

You are a freaking idiot. You are so woefully ignorant on creating spaces and synergy. You are so Mississippi. GD will you look around the country and see what EVERYBODY else has done except number 50 out of 50. Did you hear the Mayor of Ok. City and what he said about the corps of a metro?

This is my last response to your stupidity. Like another poster said....look at Baton Rouge.... freakin hillbilly.

Anonymous said...

This is my last response to your stupidity.

We can only hope.

Anonymous said...

Did Ben's son learn that 'outburst behavior' at home?

Anonymous said...

10:10; Did you mean "Core of a Metro" or "Corpse of a Metro"? "Corps" doesn't seem to fit.

Anonymous said...

Have studied all these options, and clearly the Landmark building is the best opition - cost wise and helps rebuild our capital complex that needs to be a synegistic, energetic central "front door" for our city and state. One out of state developer told me once "we look closely at how a State treats its capital city and if we see they don't take care of it, we don't believe they will take care of other business." And don't forget the DOR was TEMPORARILY moved to the tin dump for 3 years -not 15 YEARS! - it was always downtown for 50 years..it would COMING BACK, not ripping away something from Clinton

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS
.