Monday, October 1, 2012

City wasting millions on Anna Louise Inn -- for favored developer !

If you follow COAST, it would be easy to conclude that Mayor Mallory and this City Council are recklessly irresponsible with our tax dollars -- a Streetcar, a glass atrium, and a hopelessly bankrupt pension fund are but a few examples.

But the waste does not stop with these projects.  Rather, it appears to be pervasive throughout the Mallory administration, including wasting millions on the Anna Louise Inn renovation -- far beyond what is needed to renovate a comparable facility.

Consider this:  

In 2008, the non-profit that owns the Anna Louise Inn put the real estate on the market, after its Board concluded that residential services were no longer core to their mission.  Later, they changed their mind and sought a $13 million bailout from Cincinnati taxpayers. 

But here's the not-so-funny part:

If you compare the cost of the non-profit housing planned at the Anna Louise, to the luxury Phelps Hotel (a brand new Residence Inn) almost right next door, the cost to the taxpayers is two and a half times as expensive.  

Yes, the absolutely crazy Council is spending $429 per square foot to renovate the non-profit Anna Louise, compared to only $175 per foot needed to turn the Phelps into a full-service luxury hotel.  The Phelps' room are much larger, averaging 682 square feet, compared to the Anna Louisa's 357 SF footprints, but the cost per unit is $153,000 for the Anna Louisa compared to $119,000 for the Phelps -- 30% more for the taxpayer-supported non-profit.

Western & Southern has put together this chart showing clearly the profligate waste of tax dollars on this project. 

And, here's the kicker -- within the renovation costs paid by taxpayers is a $1.6 million developer fee and the developer is none other than Streetcar booster Bobby Maly!

So, we now see how this Council works -- like Chicago-style cronies -- the payoff comes to their friends, and the taxpayers get left holding the bag.

No on 4 ! 

And as if we needed another reason to oppose Cincinnati's Issue 4 -- extending Council terms to four years.  This Council, more than ever, needs the accountability that elections provide.  Can you imagine this group unchecked by the electorate?  

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