Hey guys –
I think you both had some valid concerns that I am in the process of addressing.
1. I have asked Shopko this morning for a sworn affidavit that there are no kick-outs or early termination rights in their Koeller Street lease.
2 I am working with the architect to see what it would take to make this a Lead certified building as well as researching what Energy Star Compliant all entails. I would love to build the office buildings, apartments/condos in a Lead program as well. I may have more control over those building than the Shopko project but I will try. As I find out more details I will keep you informed.
3. If there are other concerns that come up on either project along the way feel free to let me know as they are things I may not be thinking of myself. I still have some control until the lease is actually signed with Shopko so please come forward sooner than later on Shopko issues.
If any T2T readers have any advice as to the request for concerns in item #3, please let me know ASAP (235-1116 or email@example.com or this blog space)
In response to #2, I did provide Andy with information about the Wisconsin Green Building Alliance and how to reach its Executive Director Susan Loomans. I hope the Dumkes do make a sincere and rigorous effort to build green. Heck, it would save them money in the long run.
I'm thankful that the Dumkes are receptive to feedback, but what's very discouraging and extremely frustrating is the fact that the majority of our council and our development staff does not seem to understand and/or appreciate that green building and other items (e.g., length of assistance, amount of tax deferral, etc.) can and should be negotiated before a council says yes to a TIF. The city of Madison actually has a TIF Coordinator (Joe Gromacki) whose major job is to negotiate TIF terms. Take a look at his presentation in Milwaukee on TIF case studies to get a glimpse at how Madison approaches TIF--notice especially the active negotiation that goes on to get a better deal for the taxpayers. Quite the contrast with the way we handle TIF negotiations here; which is to say there really aren't any meaningful negotiations that take place.
So it's great that the Dumkes are open to suggestions and I hope we get a better development as a result. But it is too bad that we are reduced to hope (the faith based development model again) that the developers do these things rather than mandate them as an element of negotiation. We CAN do the latter. Yes, we can.