Sunday, May 19, 2013
That's because you apparently can't imagine people living downtown. That's pretty short-sighted, in my opinion.
I'm always impressed by your ability to come up with creative lies about what you want to believe I think, generally things that have no relation whatsoever with what I do or say. But making claims about my tastes in coffee is beyond the pale--my advice is, switch to decaf.
"This is our last chance for an arena!" is what we heard in 2006 with Measure Q & R. It's what we heard in 2010 with the "Convergence" plan. It's what we heard last year with the Railyards Arena plan, and it's what we'll hear after this plan implodes too. There is a whole class of professional liars and highly-paid sycophants who seem to do nothing but tell Sacramentans how horrible, backwards and pathetic we are for not signing on to whatever dreadful idea they are being paid to shill. It's always our last chance to propel ourselves instantly from the dreary doldrums into world-class superstardom. That's what Arco Arena was supposed to do in the first place!
How many times do we have to hear the same lie before they stop repeating it?
Yes, yes, we know that...it gets mentioned very, very, very frequently. It's also beside the point.
The Central City has done plenty of "visioning." We've been non-stop "visioning" for decades right now, making up plans for Railyards neighborhoods, Docks neighborhoods, Central City design guidelines, JLK Corridor design charrettes, skyscraper proposals that get approved but never built and leave usable buildings vacant for decades, General Plan planning sessions and update sessions, Historic District infill design guidelines, streetcar lines (in 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2011) and plans to plans to make plans that maybe get posted on a website and forgotten about, but haven't DONE much because LOOK SHINY ARENA!
"Visioning" we have plenty of. Maybe too much. We don't spend much time looking at what's there and what we could do with it, and too much time imagining what we could put there if money, time and reality weren't an obstacle.
The "greenest" building is one that is already built--all of those systems can also be adapted into existing buildings. And half the contents of our landfills is construction waste--and the wreckage of old buildings we disposed of like used Starbuck's cups.
The 1000 block of K Street, for all practical purposes, is a multi-venue club like America Live, but remember that America Live flopped horribly. Pre-programmed "entertainment districts" generally don't work because they are still based on the single-use mindset that doesn't really work downtown. A functioning mixed-use neighborhood has entertainment venues within its boundaries mixed in with other uses, so the neighborhood is useful 24 hours a day--not an 8-hour shift and 16 hours when it's underutilized.
Theme parks are swell, but they take up an awful lot of space--the best sites might be turning Cal Expo from an occasional theme park into a full-time one, or it's a nice potential use for the Natomas site if we can get the levees fixed enough to remove the flood moratorium. In either case, theme parks are something that the private sector is better suited to fund and build than the government.
Here's my response, by the way.... http://www.sacramentopress.com/headline/81125/The_250_Million_Challenge_Downtown_Streetcar_Corridor
There are plenty of other ideas--but our mayor only knows one trick, the one he was elected to play. So it will be "all arena, all the time" until someone else sits in his chair.
Subsidizing downtown housing doesn't "distort the market" any more than building a new highway from Folsom to Elk Grove (facilitating suburban growth in Cordova Hills) or a new highway off-ramp on I-5 at the site of Delta Shores. But building housing downtown brings residents downtown, while the latter two items put residents on remote farmland, and tens of thousands more automobiles on our highways.
Smokestack-chasing generally doesn't produce much in the way of net results--the incentives provided pretty much cancel out the economic benefit of the attracted businesses. Which is a better result than basketball-chasing, which tends to have a negative net result.
Well, if you want to get technical about it, "free" parking isn't free--the taxpayers pay for it, the city maintains it, but people aren't charged for its use. And the point of this plan is to generate more parking revenue during arena events--if the parking spaces in question don't charge money, that means zero increase in revenue.
I only watched about two minutes of the City Council meeting, but one of those minutes was Councilmember Ashby explaining that the arena would be an economic engine that provides all sorts of revenue for police, schools, parks etcetera. One of you is lying, Mr. Bruno. Any insight as to who?
If you want to irritate a Sacramentan really, really fast, tell him you used to live in Frisco and that makes you an authority on how to make Sacramento less of a boring cow town.
Thanks for explaining why you're better than us, Frank, but I'm still not impressed by your Lexus. Pointing out unjustified stereotypes about Sacramento doesn't score any points either--it's more mythology than history. It's a far nicer city because of the efforts of people living here (both natives and transplants) to create and re-create their own city, not beg for assistance from billionaire saviors.
Currently, on-street parking in downtown Sacramento is almost entirely free after 6 PM and all day Sundays. Many portions of downtown have 1-2 hour free parking, while others have meters. There are some limited exceptions: Old Sacramento charges until 8 PM for street parking every day, and the blocks around Wells Fargo Pavilion/Music Circus are either time-limited or metered until 10 PM. The meters run later because of evening events--metering hours downtown around an arena would have to change, for the same reasons.
In other words, it's a prestige purchase, like designer clothing or a luxury car. If you can afford designer clothing or a luxury car, they are fun but unnecessary things that you can show off, and maybe make a positive impression on people who are impressed by fancy material things. But if your job doesn't pay enough to make the payments and your other expenses, buying a Lexus isn't a good idea--if the payments are so high you can't afford rent and food, you won't impress the cool kids on the block sleeping in the back of your Lexus after you get evicted. Intangibles are, by definition, intangible. You can't eat them, you can't use them to keep the lights on in libraries, repair roads, or hire more police.
And, last time I checked, the city of Sacramento was already cutting those other amenities--libraries, roads, trash pickup, parks, police, fire and so on. This project is being sold as a way to generate revenue, so judging it as a revenue generator is absolutely a fair comparison. And if it doesn't measure up, it doesn't deserve our support.
Maverick, it isn't the location that is the problem--it is the financing.
The two sources I used were posted with the story--the term sheet, and a 2006 parking study. How else do you explain a tripling of revenue with a reduced number of parking spaces?
Right now, the revenue that comes from on-street parking after 6 PM is ZERO. The only way to make any more money from evening on-street parking is to extend parking hours to cover the hours of arena events...otherwise the city is giving away half of their parking supply for free. That would mean city lots, only about 5000 spots after we give almost 4000 to Burkle, have to generate five times as much revenue as they do now.
And I'd rather jam a fork in my eyeball than run for public office.
Councilmember Fong didn't hold a workshop on this issue because I'm sure he was just as in the dark as you on the process until the term sheet was revealed--on a Saturday night, before a city holiday, meaning nobody could even ask questions of city staff until today...and, in what I'm sure is an amazing coincidence, the city website went down yesterday, limiting public access to the term sheet.
Cities limit what can be done with private property all the time--it is the basic principle of zoning. Under the new city parking code passed last year, there are no parking requirements for any new property constructed in Sacramento's central business district--and uses like parking lots are identified by the general plan as less-than-optimal uses for downtown land.
As to how we'll pay for a new arena in 25 years? I have no idea...that's one of the many things not addressed by this term sheet. Including, just for starters, where is JMA (the main property owner of Downtown Plaza) in all this? Are they giving the land away for free? Are other property owners on the arena footprint (like Macy's) equally amenable? Or are they partners in the deal--and if so, how much money are they demanding, or how much are they adding? We simply don't know, it was left out of the term sheet, and the questions have not even been asked, let alone answered.
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