Ben Lanka

  • Ben Lanka has been a local government reporter at The Journal Gazette since 2004 and has covered city government exclusively since April 2006. He received his education at the University of Dayton and Northwestern University. Ben has attended dozens of meetings related to the Harrison Square project and is the primary reporter on the subject for The Journal Gazette. Feel free to comment on the postings here that relate to all aspects of the $125 million public-private proposal.

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July 17, 2007


John B. Kalb

Ben - your reporting says that these agreements "have been signed" -yet those that are to sign them have not taken any action on them. What do you mean by "signed"? John B. Kalb

Jeff Pruitt

Early thoughts on the hotel agreement

1. $1.50/day/ for each occupied space for parking? We're building them the garage the least they could do is pay a reasonable amount to use it. Also, note that they get to keep the profit from their spaces after they charge their customers. This is unacceptable. Either the city is running the garage or they're not - this hybrid relationship is silly.

2. The new walkway should be nixed. We're building them a garage, giving them up to $5 million in direct cash subsidy, giving them the land (sorry, we're charging them $1), and getting them $6 Million in tax credits, 10 year property tax abatement, etc. And they have the nerve to demand yet another $1 million (or more) for the walkway?

3. The idea that we could still be subsidizing this hotel 11-20 years down the road is outrageous. This was never in the MOA.

It's quite clear that the city and the redevelopment commission would do anything at this point to make the project happen. The very idea that a Courtyard by Marriott will lead, even indirectly, to more quality jobs is Bush-esque logic...


John, by signed, I simply meant the deals were completed between the city and developers. The Redevelopment Commission must still approve them.

Jeff Pruitt

I noticed that despite requests from councilmembers and citizens there is nothing in the MOA requiring the the stadium manager to use local suppliers...

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