Estimate value of the Riverwalk Condo project would be about a $100,000,000 payday for the developer

To:  Greg Kisela  …..
money3Tuesday night’s CRA Special Meeting on Riverwalk was unbelievable. A one page proposal with 3 drawings and no supporting documentation for an estimated $90,000,000 to $100,000,000 project was provided at the start of the meeting. The developer’s representative then opened the meeting by asking council (who was busily trying to understand what they had just been given) to approve a city subsidy of 50% of Tiff funds for the project and to do so by the end of the meeting. 

No specific numbers were provided other than 50% of the Tiff (taxes to be paid on the project over the lifespan of the CRA).

My rough calculations suggest that 50% of the TIFF would involve a taxpayer funded subsidy of between $6,000,000 and $8,000,000 (depending when the project gets off the ground) for Mr. Lacour. My estimate of the value of the project would be about $90,000,000 to 100,000,000. These estimates are based on very limited information and need to be updated by City Staff.

Appreciate if you could you have finance staff verify what the potential cost to the taxpayers for the 50% cut of the Tiff would be. This would also involve estimating the overall value of the project (306 condos @ $300,000 a piece, a restaurant, a diner, a clubhouse, two shops, a marina etc.). It would also involve estimates for Port Orange Taxes, Volusia County Taxes, Hospital District Taxes, which I estimate at somewhere near 12 mille for about 14-15 years.

To provide a sense of the total benefit being provided to the developer, could you also provide a calculation of how much Port Orange is investing in the Park surrounding the developer’s complex which significantly improves the value of the developer’s property? This would include funds now budgeted for the North Park area, as well as estimates of Park costs to the south to Dunlawton.
Since it has been Council policy that the first use of Tiff funds will be pay off the considerable debt that has been accumulated for the Town Center CRA, could you identify
•        How much is our current debt for the Town Center CRA.
•        How much does the CRA currently owe the City’s General Fund for expenditures that should have been paid for by the CRA?

At the meeting, the Developer’s Engineer noted that there should be no additional utility costs to the City to bring this project on line.  Can we have the Public Utilities Department  verify in writing that they anticipate no additional costs for utility infrastructure to support this project? Similarly could Public Works also review this proposal and insure that there are no potential costs for the City for drainage or other infrastructure?

Finally, have we ever provided TIFF support to any other projects in the CRA (Eastport and Town Center)?

Appreciate your assistance thank staff for their efforts in addressing these questions. Let’s approach this project correctly with full understanding of the cost and benefits for the residents of Port Orange. 

Best, Bob Fod

3 thoughts on “Estimate value of the Riverwalk Condo project would be about a $100,000,000 payday for the developer

  • May 22, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Councilman Ford,
    Thanks for putting in writing many of the questions and concerns you raised at Tuesday night’s CRA meeting on the Riverwalk development. Your comments are thoughtful and all need to be addressed before any further committment is made by the City to the developer. In addition, I would encourage you to put in writing your verbal request that the City undertake an in-depth analysis of the developers financial and experiential wherewithal to bring a project of this magnitude to fruition.
    Also, as was pointed out by Ted Noftall in a different forum, you asked another question on Tuesday night which deserves some further exploration. You asked, as near as I can remember, “at what point do Council decisions affect our legal status?” This means to me “at what point can Buddy sue the City for not living up to its promises?” At what point can he say “you have prevented me from realizing the full use of my property, even though you promised me by your earlier actions that I could do so, by what you have done today?”
    Those certainly aren’t questions I can answer but I’m sure that Margaret Roberts can provide guidance. Speaking only as an interested citizen it seems to me that you have already agreed that seventeen-story condos are “conceptually” acceptable and to back off of that position now might be dangerous. Backtracking to something more reasonable could make LaCour et al rich without them ever having to turn a shovelful of dirt.
    Mike Gardner
    618 Ruth St
    Port Orange, FL 32127

  • May 28, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Here is a link to a recent News Journal article. It shows our Riverwalk developer selling acreage to the Wal Mart. I don’t think he really needs any taxpayer help. I also noticed in some of the Candidate filings for the upcoming election that this mentioned developer has made contributions to some of them. I hope these candidates taking developer campaign monies if elected will be forced to refrain from voting on All issues relating in any manner to the donating developers.
    I wonder in this modern day and age if buying an election at the local level is possible. Newton White got the paving program jump started. A list was not available to him but he was assured it would be going forward. Is it a coincidence that the first street paved was on Jackson St in front of the Mayors property? There seems to be many questionable relations in a government whose primary responsibility is to the rate payers that voted them in and not the few that generously donated to their campaign. I guess that’s why we call this politics.
    Just like all in life there is good and evil. Having said that! Hmm where have I heard that before? It seems like one of our candidates uses this phrase quite frequently and we all know who that famous quote belongs to. Do I sense a relationship of some sort here?
    I hope all the voters out there do their homework. This is our chance to try and forge our future.I was always told”Don’t complain if you don’t vote, and don’t vote if you do not know what you are really voting for.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.