THE TACOMIC


History Repeating: "Urban Renewal"

Old Gray Barlow, Prium Pyramid Scheme, and So Long Eric Anderson
posted Jul 19, 2011
Tacoma Outreach Center, Old Gray Barlow, Prium, Tacomic, Eric Anderson Fired
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Exhibit A, preserved here on the interweb for an eternity; a chronicle of current events, but perhaps we've seen these stories play out before?  Maybe no. This stream of consciousness begins with an email from comrade Tim Smith, Tacoma Outreach Center Overseer who writes: 
"I beseech ye to produce a graphic illustration of the current struggle to stop the demolition of the Old Barlow Gray Middles School complex by the [comment redacted]. I can envision a visual of the building with the spaces/windows filled with wild animals - raccoons, Beavers ( a must...we have beavers down water from the site) and many many salmon (which just this year returned to the watershed to the south and west of the site. Pelican and cranes, eagles, and crows must be perched on the roof. Down below,, tiananmen squarish, is me, before a column of bulldozers and trucks, and cranes waiting to tear down the building.
I tried to do this creative vision justice. I even upgraded the bulldozers to the super-sinister IDF armored D9 Caterpillar famous for crushing an Olympia peace activist to death over on the Gaza Strip. 

BUT THEN the newspaper/twitter/facebook had to explode with news of the (alleged) crooked bastards driving PRIUM development corporation into pyramid scheme meltdown. Couldn't we see this coming?  At least we got two nice condo/apartment towers out of them before they died.

  PRIUM: jay heights (and depths)

BUT NOT AFTER FIRST newspaper/twitter/facebook exploding with the news that our fearless City Manager Eric Anderson had been sacked by the city council. Here is some good council member commentary at this historic event... note the Joe Lonergan and David Boe exchange.  The GOOD NEWS is that with Eric Anderson out of the picture, it might be easier to preserve historic buildings!  I don't know, maybe!?  

Stay tuned for follow up posts on: Clear Channel Protest, Eric Anderson Memorial Parking Lot Ribbon Cutting, and MORE! 

by NineInchNachos on 7/19/2011 @ 3:04am
Also, Kits is right. Not EVERYTHING the city manager did was horrible mistake www.thenewstribune.com/2011/07/18/174882...

by fredo on 7/19/2011 @ 6:23am
Your cartoon points out a delicious irony. The holier-then-thou city council which revels in recounting the wrongs of the past can't stop itself from blundering from one fiasco to another.

$2,000,000 to Prium (what did we get?), $800,000 unauthorized cost overrun on Cheney Stadium, $1,000,000 roof leak on state of the art office building, Nyquil for on duty police officers, intricate lying by top officials, tax payer bailout of struggling non-profits, hundreds of thousands for gift acceptance fees, 700 public employees earning over $100,000, ethics problems, secret executive session voting pattern, historic building teardowns, property tax waivers for condo builders, spending our city reserve fund, introduction of digital billboards, premium pay for officials, infrastructural decay, $84,000,000 empty convention center, welcome mat for illegal aliens, cancel recreation programs for youth, dispense voting advice to citizens, new cars and furniture for city employees, library closures, rampant nepotism, tax money for public art and no funds for pothole repair, only 1 growth industry: pothole pig manufacturing plant. etc etc etc. Our mayor's slogan: Shift happens hahaha, the jokes on you Tacoma.


Yes, the politicians of the past were so bad.

by Jesse on 7/19/2011 @ 7:16am
$1mil roof leak? Do tell. I must have missed that.

by fredo on 7/19/2011 @ 7:25am
Jesse@ urban waters building

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 7/19/2011 @ 7:49am
That roof leak is one way of getting up close and personal with the urban waters.

by fredo on 7/19/2011 @ 7:57am
No money for east side youth programs this summer, but Prium owners children can drive around town in their Porshes thanks to the Tacoma City Council. Anythings possible when the utopian vision is grand enough.

by NineInchNachos on 7/19/2011 @ 8:13am
Year vacation! Sweet! blog.thenewstribune.com/politics/2011/07... duplicated here? www.thenewstribune.com/2011/07/19/174992...

by NineInchNachos on 7/19/2011 @ 8:14am
previously on the Tacomic: comics.feedtacoma.com/tacomic/tacomic-ta...

by NineInchNachos on 7/19/2011 @ 8:18am
meanwhile over at urban waters... this art installation looks ultra-attractive tacomaarts.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/robe...

+++

the chamber is designed to allow users to “synchronize with the natural rhythms of Commencement Bay,” and to “reflect on the manner in which human beings have utilized and manipulated the natural environment.”

+++

sounds relaxing.

by NineInchNachos on 7/19/2011 @ 9:25am
facebook feedback!

"Tressie Ruth: you didn't make Anderson's butt big enough...or his pockets stuffed with our money......"

by cisserosmiley on 7/19/2011 @ 9:45am
this is all so crazy...im gonna stop saying it though and just give in and start defending the council and the city - this is a great place and thank goodness that the mayor can see where we are headed and is making arrangements with clear channel for future help...and as long as eric anderson is getting paid another years salary we should make him work another year...and stop bothering these folks, they were better than you to be elected and can do it without your help...except during election time

by Jesse on 7/19/2011 @ 10:01am
@fredo: how are prium's kids driving around in expensive cars because of the city council?

by cisserosmiley on 7/19/2011 @ 10:05am
ya fredo, how can you say - just because prium was a benefactor of million$ in incentives - how can you say a certain $50,000 was derived from the city's funding pool??? those cars were bought with honest money? right?

by NineInchNachos on 7/19/2011 @ 11:33am
Question for the Pierce County Prosecutor: Are conspiracy charges only for urban, poverty-level African-American gang members? Or no?

by Jesse on 7/19/2011 @ 11:37am
My question was a legitimate one.

If it's because there were tax incentives for building condos and the city council received the condos in question than they got their moneys worth. If they gave money and received nothing then that's a different story.

by NineInchNachos on 7/19/2011 @ 11:47am
City got the buildings... but as I understand it the construction crews are still waiting for their money. maybe i'm craaaazy!

by NineInchNachos on 7/19/2011 @ 11:54am
hold the phone...

involuntary below-minimum wage workers? are we witnessing a Fredtopia renaissance ?

by cisserosmiley on 7/19/2011 @ 12:23pm
jesse, since fredo is awol i will offer my opinion:
most people are pussies and they like to mitigate risk...prium mitigated their risk by spreading loses across the whole tax base of tacoma...developers NEED to be risk takers and literally lose their asses without financially exposing already hurting lower income citizens...it is socialized condo development when WE need socialized food, water, air, and safety - not condos?

by NineInchNachos on 7/19/2011 @ 12:35pm
Winthrop is a super socialized prium condo. right?

by fredo on 7/19/2011 @ 12:43pm
No way to know if the city paid for the porshes.

Read the tribune story. The money coming in to Prium was just filtered through dozens of LLCs. Nobody knows how the whole thing was organized. I will claim without any further evidence that Tacoma city money was spent on the luxury cars. If anyone can refute this then please do so.

by fredo on 7/19/2011 @ 12:47pm
construction crews were paid.

owners of the construction companies weren't paid.

by NineInchNachos on 7/19/2011 @ 12:59pm
ah, win win win!

by NineInchNachos on 7/19/2011 @ 1:01pm
BRREAKING NEWS!

tacomanewsvolcanotribuneweeklyreporterin...

by NineInchNachos on 7/19/2011 @ 1:16pm
ULTRA-BREAKING!



shit just got real folks.

by Jesse on 7/19/2011 @ 2:00pm
I realize Prium screwed a lot of people but I don't seehow the city was involved. Tacoma has to give tax abatements and incentives to get things built. Otherwise, construction costs are the same in Tacoma as they are in Kirkland or Bellevue -- and those places command higher rents for the completed project.

If there aren't any tax abatements or incentives forprojectsfrom the city, you'd probably never see anything built again in Tacoma's downtown core.


Would you rather not give these incentives and have no development or give them and have progress? The fact is that these projects would never be built without help. Property taxes on a lot with a building on it gets a whole lot more tax revenue than one that's a vacant lot over the next hundred years --- not to mention the people,businesses, and dollars those things bring.

by Jesse on 7/19/2011 @ 2:01pm
So... that's why I asked if the buildings got built that the city offered incentives on. If so, they got theirinvestment's worth.

But ya, I only read half the story. I'll catch up tonight.

by NineInchNachos on 7/19/2011 @ 2:19pm
all the dummy LLC's gotta be laundering money that would otherwise be taxed right? That's a form of stealing right?

by fredo on 7/19/2011 @ 2:41pm
I realize Prium screwed a lot of people but I don't seehow the city was involved. jesse

The city council gave them $2,000,000 toward the Winthrop hotel project. Does that answer your question?

by fredo on 7/19/2011 @ 2:44pm
"If there aren't any tax abatements or incentives forprojectsfrom the city, you'd probably never see anything built again in Tacoma's downtown core." jesse

If the abatements and incentatives are a good thing (and it sounds like that's your point) then why don't we expand their use to anyone and everyone in town, why restrict it in any way?


by cisserosmiley on 7/19/2011 @ 3:21pm
a point i have been trying to drive home for over a year...when we are paying property tax and a bunch of condo theifs don't have to the market can't restrain exuberent investment...there are better give-aways, like property tax relief for single family home owners, they would likely put that cash saved back into the local economy. win win win

by Jesse on 7/19/2011 @ 4:01pm
"The city council gave them $2,000,000 toward the Winthrop hotel project. Does that answer your question?" -- fredo

Yes. Thank you.

by Jesse on 7/19/2011 @ 4:04pm
"If the abatements and incentives are a good thing (and it sounds like that's your point) then why don't we expand their use to anyone and everyone in town, why restrict it in any way?" -- fredo

Sure. If you can prove a project that will house over 50 people would not be viable without abatements than let's do it. Put a protocol in place for it.

by Jesse on 7/19/2011 @ 4:10pm
"there are better give-aways (than tax abatements for developers), like property tax relief for single family home owners, they would likely put that cash saved back into the local economy" -- smiley

I disagree. Go ahead and buy something today. Pick up and buy anything besides food at a restaurant. Most of the profit will be off to a foreign land (See also; Chinese manufacturing) and a billionaire on Wall Street. How many items do you buy from a local merchant who got his stock from local suppliers? 20%? 10%? How about the average household?

by NineInchNachos on 7/19/2011 @ 8:28pm
FROM ANONYMOUS:


this is interesting (from the city of tacoma's weekly employee newsletter) . . .

At the July 12 City Council meeting, members of Council voted not to extend City Manager Eric Andersons employment contract. His last day of employment was July 15. Although it was not logistically possible to arrange for him to personally meet with each work group before his departure on July 15, the Senior Management Team has made note cards available in the Human Resources Department offices on the 13th floor of the Tacoma Municipal Building and the Ground Floor of Tacoma Public Utilities, for anyone who wishes to send him a personal farewell message. The note cards will be gathered from both locations and mailed to him the first week of August.

by cisserosmiley on 7/19/2011 @ 8:36pm
@jesse maybe the profit is a small part of money moving between folks? at each handoff, tax, profit, and most important-operating costs are taken off the top...profit to chinese schoolchildren is minimal, thats why WE buy from china...and our port recieves 11.2 billion of goods from china and we all get a little of that here in tacoma
www.portoftacoma.com/page.aspx?nid=86

by NineInchNachos on 7/20/2011 @ 7:53am
hope everyone has a chance to sign the E.A. good bye cards

"Senior Management Team has made note cards available in the Human Resources Department offices on the 13th floor of the Tacoma Municipal Building and the Ground Floor of Tacoma Public Utilities, for anyone who wishes to send him a personal farewell message. The note cards will be gathered from both locations and mailed to him the first week of August."

by NineInchNachos on 7/20/2011 @ 12:13pm
from my inbox:

R.R.,

I love history (family history research is how I spend my 'rare' downtime).

Tacoma Outreach Center is a good option, but leaving the building there on the Edison school grounds would impact the planned expansion of the school. I wish the building could be relocated.

You know the district has been involved with making several of its facilities "historic landmarks." If a solution that works for everyone were presented, they would be all over it. I would support it.

Kim Golding

by NineInchNachos on 8/19/2011 @ 8:46am
WINTHROP UPDATE:

www.thenewstribune.com/2011/08/19/178786...

by TDI-Reporters-Notebook on 8/19/2011 @ 11:36am
A Building on the Brink: Property report puts $15.7M price tag on Winthrop Hotel's deferred maintenance (08/09/11)

A Building on the Brink: A line-item look at Winthrop's hefty deferred maintenance bill (08/10/11)

A Building on the Brink: Add nuisance report, falling debris to Winthrop's woes (08/19/11)

by fredo on 8/19/2011 @ 11:44am
Wow, this fiasco is beginning to make the money lost on the reconciliation pagoda look like chump change. Thanks TDI

Bend over taxpayers, Prium Development isn't quite finished with you yet.

by NineInchNachos on 8/19/2011 @ 11:46am
thanks Todd

by NineInchNachos on 8/19/2011 @ 11:49am
to me the surprise was Union Bank saying the Winthrop was making money.

by TDI-Reporters-Notebook on 8/19/2011 @ 11:59am
As I understand it, the HUD contract on @ 170 units is a steady source of income. And if you're not putting any money into the maintenance and upkeep of the building then, sure, it's easy for the Winthrop to pencil out. But I'm guessing if you weighed the building's HUD revenue against the costs of needed repairs, it wouldn't be a money-maker. Eventually, years of deferred maintenance will catch up with years of 'profitability.'

by fredo on 8/19/2011 @ 1:04pm
The city could have employed a little more "due diligence" before getting involved in this project and discovered the problems with both the building and with the developers.

That raises this issue: Are the people earning over $100K per year in the office of Economic Development actually doing their jobs? How can every development project at city hall end up getting mired in financial problems?

by NineInchNachos on 8/19/2011 @ 1:05pm
can't read... my eyes have dollar signs...

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 8/19/2011 @ 3:21pm
If we disbanded the office of Economic Development and fired the lot of them we'd probably end up with more business in the city. Someone smart enough to con the city out of the salaries they are getting is smart enough to set up their own business and contribute to the tax base.

by NineInchNachos on 4/23/2012 @ 1:12pm
get nominating! 
www.tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/li...

by NineInchNachos on 7/31/2012 @ 9:11am
Prium update! www.thenewstribune.com/2012/07/31/223491...