Since beginning my series Who Got The South Elm Street Redevelopment Money: Part 1 on Thursday, March 10, 2016 I've been hoping to get replies from the Mayor, City Council, City Attorney or City Staff that might explain the anomalies I've discovered.
It's been 13 days and nary a word. It's as if none of them knows how to use e-mail, proven not to be the case in Tom Carruthers Learns How To E-mail.
At question is what happened to the $8,171,830.oo budget that was designated for the redevelopment of South Elm Street. You see, all the money was gone before the 1.1 acre Union Square Project was started leaving over 9 empty acres and no money to work with.
In Who Got The South Elm Street Redevelopment Money: Part 4 I pointed out that a total of $2,375,854.04 had been paid to The Firm At Fisher Park. According to my contacts at The Firm At Fisher Park the vast majority of that money was not used for legal services but was placed into escrow accounts to be held until such time as the City of Greensboro okays its release for the purchase of properties included in the South Elm Redevelopment Project and nothing else.
Now considering that the entire budget set aside to buy the properties commonly called the South Elm Redevelopment Project was only $1.6 Million Dollars that figure leaves some 'splainin' to do.
And today I'm going to explain it as best as I can. If you want something more in depth you'll have to ask the Greensboro City Council and City Staff.
In Who Got The South Elm Street Redevelopment Money: Part 6 I made mention of the fact that the City of Greensboro BEDI Grant Proposal was funding for Downtown Greensboro Inc. projects. Today I'll tell you what those projects were or at least what they were supposed to be.
In Nancy Vaughan's November 19, 2015 Deposition, the one not available anywhere else, Mayor Vaughan is asked if she knows what a B.E.D.I. Grant and a Section 108 Loan is. Here you can see her answers from pages 43 and 44 of the deposition:
So apparently Mayor Vaughan is clueless. Well just so we don't have to remain clueless in Who Got The South Elm Street Redevelopment Money: Part 4 I introduced the July 16, 2003 City of Greensboro BEDI Grant Proposal
as submitted to the United States Department of Housing and Urban
Development by the City of Greensboro and look what I found on page 23
DGI, a master developer? I bet that was news to a lot of people but it's not like it was DGI's cherry. Oh no, look what I found in the same report, page 48 of 68:
So it's true, DGI is Milton Kern's piggy bank. For those not up on who owns what, Milton Kern is one of the "investors" in Elm Street Center.
And just in case you have any doubts that the City of Greensboro used Eric Robert's old mill property with intentions of getting Federal loans and grants. From page 38 of 68:
This was a 5 year plan that was supposed to be completed by Downtown Greensboro Inc. It has now taken 13 years and not 1 acre of 10 acres is completed, the money is spent, the City was supposed to realize a return of $1 Million in property sales, the loans were due 3 years ago and no one is talking-- why?
Could it be because the repayment of the loans had to come from somewhere else in the City budget?
Obviously real estate development as economic development isn't working for Greensboro.
Please continue reading Who Got The South Elm Street Redevelopment Money: Part 9