Corporate welfare.



In today's Journal-Sentinel business section Tom Daykin writes about a project proposal in Milwaukee by Mandel Group Inc. I believe that is the same firm that is dealing with Shorewood on its Walgreen's project on Oakland Avenue.


This firm's initial request was for an $8 million City loan to help finance a project in the city. The City has now proposed a loan for for $3.4 million instead, less than half the previous request. City's financial consultants have indicated that Mandel overestimated certain costs.


Based on this news and some criticisms by a number of people, I'm wondering how closely Shorewood Village officials have been looking at the figures in the transaction being worked out here. I think a lot of detail should be made public.


It seems that the Mandel Group is making a business of getting low interest loans from various communities in the Milwaukee area and has been pretty good at negotiating some pretty good terms. So it appears to be taking advantage of what are termed “development-stimulation” as a major business part of its business.  


Therefore as some people have been talking about “corporate welfare,” we in Shorewood should become more aware of how these “welfare” transactions are really affecting us and how good are we at negotiating. Are we really as professional at that? We may be giving too much away.


It seems that a good portion of the JS-Business section covers news dealing with government-private partnership ventures, their negotiations and government programs. Maybe Coolidge's statement that “the business of America is business” is being expressed within a developing system of “corporate welfare.”


Meanwhile, let's get more details on what we're paying for and what we are giving the Mandel group here in Shorewood.  What is the total value of land assembled?  What is the cost of the parking structures. And what is cost of the building?   Have we really negotiated a good deal? 


I've seen a rendering of the building design but nothing of the public space around it--two parking structures enclosing two sides of the church is not very neighborly public space or am I being too pedantic as an urban designer.   More on thls later.  .   


For more on this subject, please read  my previous posting--"Corporate Welfare?" 




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