IS IT TRUE? June 8, 2011


The Mole #??

IS IT TRUE? June 8, 2011

IS IT TRUE that first and foremost today that the City County Observer would like to express sympathy and prayers for the family of Evansville City Clerk Alberta Matlock whose son passed away from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident last night?…we would like to encourage our readership to remember this family in their thoughts and prayers?

IS IT TRUE that the demolition of the Executive Inn seems to be at a standstill again?…that when the job to tear the thing down was started it was anticipated to be a one week job and that we have now watched it come down one brick at a time for three weeks?…that demolition contractors have to be paid and that no sufficient financing is in place to complete the job?…that maybe the developer is balking at paying for demolition without having a financing deal in place for the whole project?…that no prudent business would borrow money and embark upon a project unless the full financing package were in place?…that it is highly probable that this demolition is being strung out to find out about financing?…that if the financing falls through that the City of Evansville will most certainly be picking up the tab for the demolition?…that may just require the project manager to go hat in hand to the Evansville City Council to beg for approval to exceed the previous not to exceed spending limit of $127.5 Million?

IS IT TRUE that collateralized loans are things that are made by banks and non-bank financial companies?…that some private investors have been known to by units in hotels but that buying units in holding companies that own a group of hotels is less risky and diversifies their investment?…that private equity groups on occasion make investments in entire groups of hotels but seldom have any interests in individual properties?…that venture capitalists look at hotels that cost more to build than they will appraise for with about as much interest as a vampire has in a silver cross, a stake through the heart, or the light of day?

IS IT TRUE that the highest priced hotel listed as for sale in the 180 – 250 room range on the commercial real estate website Loopnet is located in Orlando, Florida, has a water park and works out to an ASKING PRICE of $45,000 per room?…that at that valuation per room the new downtown convention hotel will appraise for $10 Million?…that is a far cry from the $32 Million plus that it will cost to build?…that the reason for the difficulty in securing financing lies in the low collateral value of the proposed hotel?…that no amount of posturing, rubbing a rabbit’s foot, or denying financial reality will change the fundamentals of the valuation process?…that there are two ways for the financing of this hotel and the McCurdy to go forward?…that one way is to find a very rich person (or government) who loves the project and is willing to lose about $25 Million of net worth to see it happen?…that the other way is for the City of Evansville to get into the hotel business with a loan guarantee or as the owner?…that going the predatory lending route will not set either project up for long term success?

IS IT TRUE that the deadline for securing financing of the McCurdy has once again been extended?…that the drop dead date has now been moved to July 31st?…that we assume that the year that this has been extended to is 2011 but would not be at all surprised if the perpetual extension machine keeps kicking this can down the road?…that the day of reckoning has now managed to stay in extension mode for 4 years and 2 months since that glorious day in 2007 during the last Evansville election cycle when a smiling Mayor Weinzapfel announced his latest accomplishment?

IS IT TRUE that it has now been 1,499 days since the announcement was made on May 14, 2007 that the McCurdy Hotel was to be refurbished into luxury apartments?…that it has now been 1,352 days since the Evansville Redevelopment Commission at the request of Mayor Weinzapfel approved the spending of $603,000 to purchase the parking lot?…that City Centre Properties and Scott Kosene the developers of the McCurdy project are both listed as contributors to the Weinzapfel for Mayor committee for 2010?

IS IT TRUE that there are now 510 days remaining in the two years that the EPA had given the City of Evansville to present an acceptable solution to the Combined Sewer Overflow problem?…..that this plan is an expensive and complex endeavor that needs immediate attention to avoid the embarrassment and expense of another round of fines?


  1. It’s obvious that these clowns do not have the ability to pull this project off. Should they miraculously start this project, it is certain they will not be able to complete it adequately or lease it to capacity. In time, rents will be cut and it will evolve into a flop house as the River House and Sonntag Hotel did.

    In many cities, once grand hotels have been returned to just that..Grand Hotels. They are great destinations and I sure the McCurdy would be much better suited for this. Conveniently located between the casino, historic district and arena, coupled with a riverfront location, I think this buildings best chance of being restored is as a functioning hotel.

    Cut the bait with these idiots and let’s bring it back so all of us can enjoy this treasure.

  2. It would be helpful if the Project Manager for the hotel project is identified. According to John Kish, the Arena Project Manager, it is not him: Kish stated in the May 9, 2011 City Council meeting that the scope of his work (and thus his budget) was for the ‘Design/Build’ of the Arena, and hotel/parking expenditures were not in his scope. Is there a Project Manager for the Hotel ? If there is not a Project Manager for the Hotel, are we left with a 3 Stooges “who’s on first”, “what’s on second”, “I don’t know’s on third” situation ? Second question: I believe the CCO had to file a Freedom of Information Act Request to get a copy of the Woodruff Hospitality Contract for the Hotel. I believe that the Mayor’s office was to provide this to the CCO by June 2 (dates from memory) ? The question of who is responsible for the demolition of the Executive Inn would surely be covered in that document, correct ?

    • The June 2nd FOIA was for the Mayor’s trip to Germany and his office responded on time and in full. The FOIA’s for the hotel agreement and the VenuWorks agreement are committed to us for June 16th. We believe that Mr. Kish had his responsibilities expanded to include that hotel but fully acknowledge that he was not brought to town for that. For four years the three gentlemen that you mention (Curly, Larry, and Moe surrogates) must have been in charge. Maybe old Shemp was involved too.

  3. Thank you for letting us know about Alberta’s son’s tragic accident! I will keep Alberta and her family in my prayers in the difficult days and weeks ahead.

    • Ditto. Alberta is a wonderful public servant and super Lady. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family.

  4. Editor: thank you for the additional information. It would have been helpful, to say the least, if Mr. Kish’s expanded duties (to include the hotel) were publicly disclosed, and that a new resolution was made by the ERC to compensate Kish for these additional duties. As it stands now, the ERC passed a resolution on January 21, 2009 to engage Kish as the PM for the Arena project ($ 195/hr, not-to-exceed 1,500 hours per year). If there is no resolution for the added responsibilities of the Hotel, and the sum of Mr. Kish’s Arena + Hotel work exceeds the original ERC resolution, wouldn’t the Kish hotel compensation then fall under the City Council’s Wage & Salary Committee ? I.e., is Kish an employee of the City of Evansville for the hotel portion of his gig in the absence of a binding ERC resolution to appoint him as the PM for the hotel piece ? And if Kish is, in fact, the PM for the hotel piece, what is the Budget for that project (as it is clearly in addition to the oft-quoted $ 127.5 MM “design/build of the Arena”). Also, Editor, the research your staff did on Loopnet re: the asking price of the hotel in Orlando was good work, really helped to frame this issue for my understanding. Much obliged.

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