Justice writes "
The story in the TWG had a lot of
detail for the negotiations with NRI over the compensation the
schools will get from the project. Read the story for the exact
numbers, the school seems like they have worked out a sliding scale
of increased compensation with steps in the number of housing units.
I sent an email asking O'Reilly about
the quote where he seems to imply that accepting the deal from NRI on
the number of units is not up for negotiation.
You are quoted saying about a possible
cap on the number of housing units in G.Y., "If we put in a cap
the 11% is gone and the other pieces are gone".
explain what would be gone if a cap was put in place?
How do you
know that those elements of the deal with NRI would be gone with a
cap - has NRI said that it is nonnegotiable?
This was his quick reply:
I am assuming you are expecting a
complete answer from me and I wish to provide that to you.
I would prefer to wait until the
negotiations are finalized and approved. However, I can tell
you it is my feeling that it was going to be
extremely difficult to get agreement on any caps that would be
In addition, we were able to negotiate
receiving a higher percentage of compensation as the number of
residential units increases.
In providing more information
surrounding my quote, if we pressed for a hard cap and NRI would
agree, we would have needed to renegotiate our compensation package
(which includes 11% of the total increase taxable valuable of the
improvements plus an additional percentage of any residential growth)
with the city to lower levels than we are set to receive (if NRI
would actually agree to a cap).
I will also share that in order for the
finances of this to work out for NRI, they will need to self-impose
residential limits. Money to pay the bonds from the TIF will be
generated at a much greater rate from the commercial side versus the
residential side. Ed O'Reilly.
OK, the deal is still on the table. But
the question is still present – why can't Grandview place a hard
cap on the number of units? What is NRI going to do, walk away from
the table? The school has a limited ability to accept new students
without hitting the wall and becoming required to build a new school.
When that happens, the money gets tight fast.
I understand NRI makes more money from
retail, and Grandview gets more taxes. But what happens if the market
for new retail is not there? What if NRI crunches the numbers and
finds that 800 or more lower end units (under 200K) can be sold and
turns G.Y. into a primarily residential project?
More to come – the negotiations with
NRI are hot right now, and news will develop fast. Too bad so many of
Grandview residents are out on vacation right now (or was this an NRI
O'Reilly part two
I asked a few more questions about the G.Y. deal, noting that there is some overcapacity in the school facilities now, but asking what number would require a new school to be built.
(more after the jump)
(from an Aug.4 email)
Here are a few thoughts to consider. Currently, we receive one
student for every three housing structure that exists in the school
G.Y. is approximately 90 acres with about 10 of
those acres already being committed to phase 1. In typical housing
developments, you can build about 4 houses per acre. This
figure would include streets and other infrastructure. Quickly doing
the math, if this development went to a single housing format, the
maximum number of houses in that area would be approximately 320. We
would be able to handle that type of increase in student population.
the City allowed NRI to build one and two bedroom apartments instead,
the number of units would increase, but the number of students we gain
from apartments would decrease. I do not foresee student population
from this area becoming an issue for the school district. In addition,
because the build-out is beginning with hotel/office/business, we
should begin collecting additional tax dollars before any housing is
built on he property. It will be important for us to continue to
mindful of how we utilize our funds so that when we do begin to see
students coming our way, it does not create a burden for our tax payers.
do have a great deal of capacity in regard to student space in our
district. The high school alone could accommodate a minimum of 125
students without adding classrooms.
tell you that if we need to undergo major construction to add capacity
to our district, we would need to ask our voters for permanent
improvement dollars. However, the school board, the city, and NRI do
not foresee this as a possibility.
appreciate your questions. They are some of the same we asked
ourselves throughout the process. As I shared with you before, the
project cannot support itself if too much housing is involved. As you
heard last night, NRI is purchasing the bonds. If they are going to
make money on this project, whatever they build will need to be able to
pay for the bonds. As part of our agreement with the city, the school
district always receives payment before anyone else. NRI simply cannot afford to place a large number of residential units in the Yard. Ed O'Reilly.
And the experts are always right, don't worry, be happy.
The number of possible housing units has nothing to do with the present density of Grandview, or "typical" density. We know that it will be high density housing, possibly four or five story structures. I just don't understand why the announced possibility of up to 800 units is so far fetched. If NRI has no intention of building that many units, why keep the option open?