Did Obama or Bush approve this bailout? Poor planning by owners is no reason for the rest of us to bail them out. Suck it up and close early and save yourselves big bucks. Victoria wants to attract people to downtown area and now wants to compete with itself to attract people to the park. Get real. Developers, sink or swim on your own without taxpayer bailout. I, for one, will have a bad impression of your establishment if this goes through, and in Victoria negative first impressions have closed many restaurants in many better locations. Remember, you real estate people: location, location, location.....you don't have a good one.
Dazed15 said: "If you didn't know about it that's your problem. If you wanted the property should of bid on it yourself."
Do you really think anyone here is envious of the handout or has any interest in owning that property? I imagine most here were happy and optimistic about the restaurant until this. I was looking forward to being a patron, but they're getting all the money they'll ever get from me through the parking lot handout/bailout.
Statistically restaurants are money pits, but thats because many who take this ventures are 1st time business owners. A simple cad search will show you that this 2 individuals are no rookies. They have successful businesses in this city and know something about what their doing.
Well, the park aside, I seem to recollect that Mr. Halapaska filed a lawsuit against James Wayne, who owns the property, parking lot and a entrance off of 463, to allow Mr Halapaska to use said property as his own.
What ever happened to that lawsuit anyway?
It seems Mr. Halapaska has a real love affair with parking lots.
BS ... You raise an interesting question reguarding Mr. Halepaska.
Since the Advocate engages in speculation and presents it as fact ... I will engage in speculation ONLY, I will label it as pure speculation.
The city had a problem of what to do with the property. The Patillos were aware of the problem through their connections (which you capably enumerated). The Patillos got one of those wild ideas that we all get from time to time ... 'that would be a unique place for a restaurant' so 'why don't we buy it and open one?'The bidding and purchase was completely open and above board, just as you have stated. The Advocate jumped in and gave them free front page publicity for their venture. Then they got down to doing their homework and found out there was not enough room for the required parking for this type of land use. At this point it became, "Who ya gonna call?" Again, your blog capably explained the connection to Halepaska. So now we get this pure spin from Halepaska and the Advocate about how everybody who goes to the park will benefit from this use of tax money.I doubt very seriously if either of the Patillos have any restaurant experience (other than eating in them). It is an extremely hard way to make a living and the people who are sucessful at it work their tails off. If the Patillos really plan to put $1 million in this (take this figure with a grain of salt, it came from the Advocate) they have tremendous resources they don't need or they are real gamblers.I believe they are starting to realize they bought a real money pit.End of speculation.
What bothers me more is the statement by the Advocate that this "will spur business activity in Riverside Park." At what time and by what people was it determined that Riverside Park was going to become a business center? Is the city planning to sell off other parts of Riverside Park to private businesses? Is there a 'master plan' somewhere stating what parts of the park are going to be business? Can someone find out which parts are going to be for sale? I try to keep up with what is going on but I was sure not aware of this.
Surely The Advocate would never print something that was not 100% factual.
How was this an insider deal?? I knew the city wanted to sell the property and I had no intention or will have any intention of purchasing any property near downtown. If you didn't know about it thats your problem. If you wanted the property should of bid on it yourself.
What do you guys think about the peculiarity of Tom Halepaska's interest in this venture?Described here: www.victoriaadvocate.com/weblogs/para...
Riverside Park is a nice park and my wife and I enjoy going there. That having been said, I almost choked on my breakfast when I read that some think it'll become a "destination" park like Brackenridge Park in San Antonio. I don't know what y'all are smokin' but I want some of it.
Seriously, the restaurant/bar sounds like a good idea. The city paying for the parking lot doesn't. Restaurants have one of the highest failure rates of ANY new business venture. If the city spends almost a quarter-million dollars for the parking lot, they could very easily get stuck with a tar baby. The parking lot is too far from anything else in the park, the zoo, picnic areas, playgrounds, ball fields, to provide convenient off-street parking.
According to the Advocate: ..."the additional parking and restaurant will greatly improve the park while spurring a business climate there. More businesses and features for the park will surely fall in place in this beautiful space by the Guadalupe River..."
Does that mean that the council is going to sell more publicly owned riverfront property to their friends in the future? The justification?...Oh yeah, all the mowing and groundskeeping along the riverbanks costs money....and, and, and...
Mark my words, we're all going to look back in the future and see that this little deal and others like it were just a prelude to the local governments around here taking care of a select group of friends and supporters.
Anyone want to take bets as to which "developer" will end up with the flood plain lots bought up by the city and county in the Green's Addition several years ago? (under the stated purpose of discouraging building in the flood plain)
After all, the Advocate's editorial tells us that..."engineers have said that if buiilders take floods into consideration when constructing, the structures easily could be cleaned up following heavy rains." To whom and when did they say this, Mr. Editor?
And by the way, if this is the way it works, please take this as my "bid" to buy Grover's Bend in the city park for $$$$. You know, that's the beautiful area, now inaccessible to the public, that's been closed off by the City for years.
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As a business owner I'd like to know how to get in on this favorable treatment by the City of Victoria. I must be doing it wrong or maybe I just don't know all the right people.
The City would never, ever let me or my business develop a site without having adequate parking on my own land.
I wish the restaurant all the best as I like a variety of places to dine out in Victoria, but come on, who are we kidding here, does anyone REALLY believe this place will ever make it. I didn't think so.
I understand the parking lot, but as usual we have money for what we want. We don't have money for a side walk for the kids to go East high school. That is amzing to me...
I like the Chinese buffett that is in front of Sam's and yet there aren't enough parking spaces. Do you think that the city could narrow the road in front of the place and paint parking spaces? I am sure that the the taxes that place is already bringing into town is lots and just think if there were more parking places.
Your logic and calculations are what set you and others like you apart from some of city "leadership". We need more people like you that actually analyze a situation rather then just accept the spin.
To take the sales tax calculation one step further the restaurant will have to serve 380 people paying $50 per person every day, 365 days a year to achieve the level of sales required to generate the tax mentioned in this editorial. To put this in simple terms the entire population of Victoria would have to eat at this restaurant twice a year to achieve this level of sales.
I wonder where the published numbers came from?
This editorial is redundant. It was quite obvious by reading the spin in David Tewes' original report that the Advocate was 100% in favor of the taxpayers funding this project for the restaurant owners.
The Advocate's math is just amazing. The city is going to spend $182,000 on materials & equipment in one article ... or ... in another article the total cost is going to be $182,000. Which is it? What about maintenance of this lot for the next 10 years? If the city has this money to spare, there are numerous streets that could use some repair.
The Advocate says this restaurant will produce $1,390,000 in sales tax revenue for the city over 10 years. Base on 2% (to city AND county) that figures out to sales of just under $7 million per year for the next 10 years. (You would think they could afford to buy more land and build their own parking lot with a business this good.) Question: How many restaurants in Victoria have been in business for 10 years?
The Advocate says this property will pay $254,700 in property taxes in the next 10 years. Based on the prox. tax rate of $2.65 per $100, and assuming the Advocate has a direct line to Mr. Halliburton at the Central Appraisal District, the 'appraisers' have already decided to value this property at just under $675,000, and hold that value for the next 10 years. Did I hear someone say $1 million in improvements?
The Advocate reports that this parking lot is going to be 117 spaces and is going to be used by everyone who goes to the park. If we assume that all of the zoo patrons, hikers, bikers, paddlers, golfers, picknickers and frisbee throwers are going to use only 1/2 of the spaces (58.5) then the 34 employees and restaurant customers will have 58.5 spaces left. Who ever they hire to manage this place better get the food out fast and tell people to move along ... if the place is going to make the numbers above.
Advocate editorial board, there is no way to use the numbers and 'spin' this into anything but what it is ... a taxpayer subsidy to private ownership in order to spur development in Riverside Park. If that is the course we are taking then JUST SAY SO ... and treat all private investors in the future equally.
No better example of the paper's staff being "in the pocket" of the local so-called leadership of this community.
A million dollar investment? Really? Since we taxpayers now have "a chip in the game", shouldn't we see the reciepts for this "investment"? If a "private" business is getting "public" assistance, it's stands to reason we need proof of such.
I am very disappointed by the Advocate’s decision to endorse this questionable action. All the fancy math that you produced only tells me that you are okay with the City’s expenditures because it still is cheaper than what it could have cost if the City had never sold it. Maybe. That says you value revenue over ethics.
What I am more concerned with is what the City Council is going to tell the next entrepreneur who wants the City to provide some kind of extraordinary perk for them. This is setting a precedent for having to cough up stuff in the future lest someone cry discrimination of some sort.
It would be a whole lot easier to believe this is a completely legit venture is those 117 parking spaces were spread throughout the entire park. Clumping the together nearer a private business venture looks, uh, planned. Very planned.
Yes I agree that the additional parking will enhance the Park, as will the restaurant, I just don’t believe it is the City’s job to provide parking for a private venture, no matter how much the owner plows into the project. And it is probably going to take more than a million to get that place in shape.
The previous posters have provided excellent, relevant comments. Good point, ThirdPartyObserver: “I wonder what the bids for this property would have been if the city advertised they were going to ADD $400,000 worth of parking directly adjacent to the property for whoever purchased it?” Good point BSspotter: “I don't think there were any "back door deals." This boondoggle came right through the front door in plain sight.” Yes it did. The City knows that most folks are not paying attention. This project went from the bottom of a list of projects on hold to an immediate need! Where is this ticking clock that the City Council is hearing?
I find it hard to believe that 117 parking spaces at the Stayton Street entrance to Riverside Park is going to provide relief to parking issues. But, all one has to do is cruise the Park to see what the reality is.
I agree with whatever poster asked earlier in the week, “How do you guys sleep at night?” Yes—how do you all sleep?
BS-EXCELLENT point to the facts as listed on COV website for developemnt iin VCT !!!
I don't think there were any "back door deals." This boondoggle came right through the front door in plain sight.
Questions not being answered: - Should this business be allowed to skirt city code by not building their own off-street parking? Does their site plan include adequate parking, as required?- What would the bidding process for this property have yielded if the deal included a 117-spot parking lot for $32k? More than $68k perhaps?- Should they be able to use the new parking lot indefinitely for $32k?
Umm, besides the cost of the parking lot, one thing just might have been overlooked by the city council.
The editorial says..."That demolition would have cost the city about $250,000 to $300,000, including tearing out an underground tank."
Guess what? If the "underground Tank" was used to store petroleum products, then the city is on the hook to remove and clean up any contamination caused by leaking from the tank.
Prior owners of underground petroleum storage tanks are responsible for the removal and clean up costs even if the property is sold to a new owner, so says the TCEQ.
What a crock!
The investors didn't do their due diligence (can't build enough parking on the land they purchased) and now want tax payers to bail them out. This parking was not even on the table for capital improvements but now is getting pushed to the top of the list. How many really pressing projects are going to get dumped for this to take place?
I love the mis-information presented by both some on council and the Advocate. "The city estimates it will spend $182,000 for the materials and equipment" For every dollar spent on materials and equipment there will be at least a matching dollar spent on labor. This parking is going to cost taxpayer's in the range of $400,000 and this editorial and some on council make it sound like the investors are really contributing to the cost. Incomplete facts are almost as bad as incorrect facts as they don't paint the entire picture.
I wonder what the bids for this property would have been if the city advertised they were going to ADD $400,000 worth of parking directly adjacent to the property for who ever purchased it?
Another PRIME example of Victoria insider dealings. It is not what you know but who you know!