Thursday, May 26, 2016

What is going on at JRA?

Things may not be all kosher at the Jackson Redevelopment Authority.   Star reporter Anna Wolfe reports in the Clarion-Ledger:

What’s up with plans for a convention center hotel in downtown Jackson?

The Jackson Redevelopment Authority has made clear its desire to hire Engineering Design Technologies and Mississippi Developers to create a $75.5 million hotel across from the Jackson Convention Complex on Pascagoula Street. But the commission still needs to vet the company to determine if it has the financial capacity....
 
The JRA projects committee voted Tuesday to notify the city of its decision to hire EDT and Mississippi Developers, despite the company having not been vetted by an outside consultant. Both votes will need to be approved by the full JRA commission Wednesday.

Commissioner Jennifer Johnson, who abstained from the vote, has cited concerns with the proposal, including the company’s financial capacity to finish the job.

Alexander claims that one of the greatest advantages in the EDT proposal is that the company claims it does not need any financial backing from the city or from JRA, yet Johnson notes that EDT’s financial arrangement includes an $11.3 million “JRA/City Loan.”

“They have not explained this discrepancy in writing,” Johnson wrote in a February statement.


Johnson also said EDT suggests it will receive $3.8 million in New Market Tax Credits but has not shown evidence that it is in line to receive those credits. She also suggests EDT has not proven  it has necessary experience or completed a similar project. Rest of article.

There is more information about the companies vying to build the hotel in this 2015 Mississippi Business Journal story.  Very interesting stuff.  

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the city invest in a risk free guaranteed return on your investment product since there is so much money around? I have a good investment idea, buy some asphalt and fix the pot holes. The good thing is that there is already an committee (JRA) already in place.

Anonymous said...

I thought the Westin was the convention center hotel. That was already a bad idea. Now they are going to try to build ANOTHER one?

Anonymous said...

This is a joke, right. These folks can barely check in a hotel much less build one.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish, if readers don't notice they will miss that Anna linked to Brandon Comer's story of his time in Louisiana. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20090731/NEWS/307319995

Anna writes, Now, JRA commissioners are set to hire Comer Capital, a local financial advisory firm, to vet the company and the proposal. This guy is nothing but a hustler and has screwed over some groups here locally too.

I have met many of these players and had known them to be good people; but I am amazed at how openly corrupt they are or stupid... or both! From Mayor Yarber down this is getting into FBI stuff. The consent decree contract stinks, this EDT group stinks, The McElroys, the water lead study contract stinks, and the sludge removal stinks! And the next slate of mayors are the best Jackson has? We're screwed!

Anonymous said...

I would like the City/Downtown Partners/JRA to focus on maintaining the Union Station grounds, surrounding area and Capital street before doing anything else. Go look at it. Grass growing up 3 feet high out of the sidewalks, trash, dogshit, cars parking on the sidewalk by the tracks, panhandlers, crackheads, drunks, more 3 foot high grass. Weeds in the newer beds along Capital Street. This is what out of town business people and tourists encounter when they step out of the King Edward in search of a meal or entertainment. Don't walk under the tracks towards Iron Horse Grill at night unless you are strapped. Bird shit and Urine, trash, vomit. Lights are out in the pedestrian walkways. Is this an obtuse mind at work or just basic incompetence?

Anonymous said...

This really stinks and to think that all the rhetoric that is spoken from the chairman of JRA is bologna. I'm not sure who is worse Alexander or Crudup. Where is the FBI when you need them?

Anonymous said...

why approve a project without vetting? sounds fishy

Anonymous said...

I bet Jason Goree and Tony are behind these deals. I wonder how many lap dances are they receiving to throw the city of jackson under the bus. this smells like a rat and i'm sure there is plenty money flowing from atlanta.

Anonymous said...

The Convention Center Hotel has long been viewed by crooks and political cronies as the holy grail of political spoils. Each time the scoundrels have tried to snag it, something has gone wrong. A new group of crooks and cronies appears after an election; then the process starts over.

This time around the group is a bit more sophisticated than those associated with past administrations; so they may get a little bit closer to the prize.

CDM Smith, AECOM, IMS, M3A, Bickers Group, Trilogy Engineering...very formidable indeed.

But a little birdie is telling me that this group will have the same fate as the others.

Toodles

Anonymous said...

What "folks" are you referring to that can't check into nor build a hotel? Would that be JRA, Jacksonians, or another category of "folks"? Please specify.

Anonymous said...

Damn!! Need a program to keep all the people straight in their various roles: Bickers, McElroy, Shepherd, IMS, Jones, Access, AECOM, M3A, Consent Decree, Contract Mgt.

Whatever the city wants to do, that Yarber has anything to do with, evidently must have a combination of these players involved. Otherwise - you don't stand a chance. But, if you have these in the right order with the appropriate $$$s available (cash only), evidently you can get on the city teat in multiple ways.

Anonymous said...

The Convention Center is every square inch the failure it was predicted it would be. Congrats.

Anonymous said...

The" folks" that have 0 money 0 history of hotel development and much baggage that want to build a hotel for JRA without out any background checks. What "folks " are you talking about?

Anonymous said...

Hold on! Stop the presses!!!

You mean to tell me that Andria Jones is a JRA Commissioner and she voted to approve the EDT/MS Developers' Hotel Proposal (Bickers, McElroy, Calhoun)--while being in a venture with AECOM along with McElroy, Calhoun, and Shephard (Bickers)?!

Sounds like Andria Jones will have to vacate her seat on JRA.

Sounds like the EDT proposal will be disqualified.

Sounds like EDT/Bickers/AECOM have paid a lot of people to make this scheme work.

Thank you again, Anna Wolfe! With your investigative journalism and Kingfish's blog, Jackson may have a fighting chance at survival.



Anonymous said...

It has been said that Mississippi has decended into New Orleans/Louisiana style politics.
I submit that it's actually much dire than anyone thinks. The coven of the Moonbat is on full display and nothing is being done.

Membership in The coven of the Moonbat has been extended to R & D alike; white and black.
The motto seems to be "milk the golden calf dry".

***If the members aren't raiding the funds of some giant global corporation, it's the coffers of local/ state government.

Anonymous said...

6:22 good information but nothing will give Jackson a chance to make it. It is 99% dead right now. Stopping just one more dirty deal will not help anything.

Anonymous said...

This hotel story gets more ridiculous every year!

Jackson has been trying to get a Convention Center Hotel since 2006! It is never going to happen! Who wants to attend a convention in Jackson with nothing to do, no place to go, and nothing to see but blight?

If the City hired a disinterested party or allowed a non-political entity, if there is such a thing, to select a hotel developer, there is a small chance that Jackson can get a Convention Center Hotel in this one-horse town!

A city of dreams...If you build it, they will come?

Anonymous said...

I am shocked that this administration had not been charged with treason. I can remember when Danks and Ditto were Mayor and things go done. Now Jackson is a cesspool figuratively and realistically. Thanks to all the black people who keeps electing dirt bags like Harvey Johnson and not this new piece of crap.

Anonymous said...

Ditto's track record as Mayor was far short of good or even average.

Anonymous said...

White people are just as to blame as black people for electing Harvey Johnson the first time and for electing Tony Yarber. But I agree with your assessment of what we got as a result.

I would be totally shocked if black people will put this clown back in office! As the weeks go by, more and more of his dirt is exposed. I can't believe the city council supports anything he sponsors. He lies and cheats and lies and cheats. When he misappropriated $ millions from the Reserve Fund by not getting the legally mandated council approval, council members should have filed a complaint to remove him from office!

Yarber's unmitigated greed is destroying this city. I have seen and heard so many instances of his reckless, unlawful behavior that I am going to work to expose him and his co-conspirators (J Goree, G McCoy, J Woods, W McElroy, Bickers, J Calhoun, A Jones, T LeBlanc, H Carmichael).

I hope that every other citizen of this community will do its part in stopping this corrupt administration!

Anonymous said...

I agree with 8:35 but as an attorney I don't have time to address issues in Jackson as must as I would like. I have heard from very credible sources that this j nonsense is soon to stop.

It very hard to defend your city with such poor leadership. I will definitely become more active saving my home town. By the way, I live in Madison.

Anonymous said...

White people are just as to blame ...

Y'all be spouting that racist garbage even when Jackson is 90+% black.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish,when are you going to post of copy of the bogus EDT-Mitzi Bickers winning hotel proposal?

JRA Commissioner Andria Jones is a member of AECOM's Consent Decree Team--the so-called Jackson Five. As JRA Commissioner she voted to award the convention center hotel project to the EDT-Mitzi Bickers Team that included 3 of the 5 Jackson Five.

Commissioner Jones' illegal action wasn't very clear in Anna Wolfe's story about the hotel shenanigans, so I will summarize it.

Jones pushed for the hotel to be awarded to a group comprised of 3 of her business partners.

This is a violation of the ethics laws and procurement laws of this state. She should be sent to prison like Chris Epps. Crooked public servants cannot be tolerated.



Anonymous said...

The Jackson Five?! Hahaha...looks like they are the Jackson Jive!

This story will not have a happy ending for this bunch of bandits.

I'm sure that the other JRA members will take swift and appropriate action to try to save face in this embarrassing situation.

Yarber...AECOM...Bickers...IMS...M3A...FBI?

It's like watching a high speed train that is about to derail.

Thanks, Anna and Kingfish!

Anonymous said...

I have an idea. JRA should ask the Attorney General and/or the State Auditor to vet EDT's hotel proposal. Let these impartial legal and financial professionals handle it. They can also prosecute anyone found to violate the public integrity laws which were apparently violated.

Anonymous said...


@11:50 PM When are you going to secure a copy of the 'bogus EDT-Mitzi Bickers' proposal and forward it to Kingfish to post?

I Got No Goose In This Here Race said...

But, 11:50, what you've overlooked is the fact that she 'proclaimed' herself to be 'disinterested'. Therein lies the absolution of any guilt or whisperings of conspiracy.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish, is the City's Bond Pimp, Porter Bingham of Malachi Financial, involved in this crap? I assume that he is since both he and Bickers live in Atlanta, and they thrive by taking advantage of gullible municipal officials.

Anonymous said...

Who would be dumb enough to buy these bonds? Bonds issued by an entity that pledged money to the Westin project and pulled out of that deal. Now they are going to float bonds for a competing hotel a block away from the shell of the Westin, which now sits idle. Only lawyers will make money one new hotel projects downtown.

Anonymous said...

Idle, 10:32? There was a big crew working there Wednesday when I walked my dogs by the site. Been downtown lately?

Anonymous said...

Idle or not, you have two JRA sponsored hotels competing within a block of each other....hotels that would otherwise not been built without government sponsorship. And now JRA is pushing one over the other.

Anonymous said...

Here's a thought. Instead of wasting money building a new hotel, why not resurrect the Edison Walthall,like they did with the King Edward? Wait, that would make too much sense!

Anonymous said...

When it comes to graft and corruption renovations are not as lucrative as new construction. It makes perfect sense to Jackson thieve class.

Anonymous said...

Edison Walthall used to be next to the perfectly functional federal court building. Then they built a new court building. Progress. Now they need a hotel near the new court building. Poop flows down hill and our federal delegation is at the top of the hill.

Anonymous said...

"I hope that every other citizen of this community will do its part in stopping this corrupt administration!" May 26, 2016 at 8:35 PM

EXCELLENT pronoun choice!

Anonymous said...

Does Jackson have money to finish the Westin (which is needed) or to help with a convention center hotel (which is needed more) after Tony Yarber squandered the City's reserve fund with unchecked spending?

Anonymous said...

Go by the Westin site
Friday morning no workers on site
Gates closed
Must be money issues for the GC to stop
Work on this

Anonymous said...

Does Jackson have money to finish the Westin (which is needed) or to help with a convention center hotel (which is needed more) after Tony Yarber squandered the City's reserve fund with unchecked spending?

May 28, 2016 at 3:34 AM

If Jackson actually NEEDED the Westin, or the Convention Center Hotel, then those would get built without 'incentives'.

The very fact that public monies are required for the hotels to be built, is a reliable indication that those hotels are not needed.

Anonymous said...

5:02, it is also a reliable indicator that some of the incentives make its way to the pockets of those voted into office.

Anonymous said...


I could be wrong about this but I do not believe one local bank is going to lend a dime on any of the current or proposed downtown projects---that should tell you something !!!!!! Jackson is in a down hill spiral that has no end in site. First thing is to clean up Capitol Street from the Train Station east to State Street---repair all store fronts and finish the road work on Capitol Street. If you make Capitol Street viable again the rest of downtown will follow---office users will return. We need the white leaders to step up and lead the way. Where are you Buster, Leland and Barksdale ?????

Anonymous said...

11:57am Buster, Leland have taken as much as they could from the City of Jackson. Jackson fails because it lacks leadership. You cannot refinance your way to prosperity. There are many assets in Jackson but no direction from the city. I have not seen a comprehensive infra structure plan for over 30 years. Infrastructure ages!!!!

Unfortunately, the state is not paying its fair share to the city and that adds to the woes of Jackson. The failures of Jackson are not new. Jackson woes started before Dales Danks and I can prove it.

Anyway, we need to stop trashing Jackson because its the Capital City. Why not offer support to fix the issues. How can you remove a straw from someone else's eye, where there is a rafter in yours.

Rather than condemn the City why not offer solutions.



Anonymous said...

1:10, if there ever is anyone who will offer solutions they are immediately called racist. You can't even offer to help without being insulted. Jackson has made it very clear the only help they want is for people, white people, to give them money. Just hand it over and shut up. Never question what it is for or how it will be spent.
All a person has to do is look at the city budget. Even the Jackson city council would like to do that. The mayor has stolen too much money and will not allow it.

F mickns said...

Neither the city, nor the state nor a consulting law or accounting are qualified to "vett" these developers.

Simple solution. Require the developer to provide a performance and payment bond backed by sureties already in the business. Firms like Travelers, USF&G, Lloyd's of London etc. ( old players, not sure if they still do this however I am sure there are still big players in the industry)_will not only verify the financial strength and experience of the developer, these large insurance and investment companies will guarantee to the city that if the developer fails, the surety will complete the project.

However keep in mind that insurance companies will do their best to invalidate their policy due to any miss-steps of the insured.

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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.

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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.

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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!!!

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