Loveland's Independent News Source
Loveland, January 7, 2016

Paragraph 17.15 of the 2004 Master Financing Agreement (MFA) between McWhinney and the
City of Loveland states,

"Nothing contained in this agreement shall be construed to create a partnership, joint-venture
or other enterprise among or between the parties."

Tuesday night Denver resident Chad McWhinney, a principle in his family's development firm
McWhinney, used the word "
partnership" to describe the 2004 MFA and his relationship with the
city a dozen times as he coaxed Loveland's City Council into another huge concession the architects
of the agreement found unacceptable and specifically forbade in their 2004 negotiations - use of
public funds for a private 1,000 stall parking garage without any concessions by McWhinney.

The bait for the change in the agreement is to lure hundreds if not thousands of "primary" jobs to
Loveland by providing a taxpayer funded 1,000 stall parking garage. Unfortunately, that story
seemed to be falling apart as the meeting wore on and members of the City Council sought some
level of specificity regarding McWhinney's commitment.

McWhinney is seeking to use recently raised additional public debt (refinanced $112 million to
new loan of $128 million for Centerra) to build that parking garage in the center of parcel 206
which falls largely between Houts Resevoir in Centerra and Equalizer Lake.  During McWhinney's
presentation to Loveland's City Council he referred to the parcel as a 29, 30 and later in the same
meeting 40 acre development.   McWhinney hopes to "
densify" the development by building a
vertical parking garage using public funds so more land will be available to build apartments, an
office building, hotel and some unspecified number of retail establishments.

In August of 2007 McWhinney
made the same request except assigned a cost estimate of $80
million for the parking structure.  This time, they were careful not to discuss any specific cost
numbers but instead seek wide discretion through a seventh amendment to their 2004
agreement.  By October of 2007, following closed door meetings, then Loveland Mayor Larry Walsh
dropped his opposition to the public paying for a private parking structure and the
approved the subsidy.

The Bait and Switch - "Mystery" Employer Revealed  (see video clip)

Careful observers may get a strong sense of déjà vu as McWhinney announced at Tuesday's
Loveland Council meeting their "mystery" employer coming to the city to occupy a 21,000 square
foot office building they intend to build is the Canadian company that moved some employees from
Greeley to Centerra in 2010 - Agrium.  The Canada based company plus McWhinney were
recipients of $442,000 city business development incentives in 2009 when the company's Crop
Production Services (CPS) division moved literally less than 7 miles from the outskirts of Greeley in
Weld County into Centerra. (
see LovelandPolitics detailed analysis of that subsidy result from

The more remarkable part of the Agrium official's presentation Tuesday night is the promise to
again consolidate jobs from regional offices into Loveland, a promise made when the nearly half
million dollar subsidy was provided back in 2009.  Since the city is not attaching any conditions
that certain jobs be retained (as in the disastrous vNet deal) discussing the numbers of jobs is
largely an academic exercise.   When asked what percentage of the office building will be occupied
by Agrium employees versus other uses,  McWhinney's spokesperson stated,  
"From day one it will
be a really low percentage because we haven't calculated will ebb and flow."  She was
asked two more times by Councilman Clark what percentage would be available for public use
versus hotel guests but she declined to give any numbers in her answers.

The council voted 8-0 to approve the use of taxpayer funds to build the parking garage despite the
refusal by McWhinney to provide any commitments against the subsidy of attracting new jobs to
the city.  In other words, nothing in the council's action will protect the city from McWhinney using
the public funds to lure existing employers from older commercial buildings in town (as they have
done in the retail side) to fill their taxpayer subsidized newer development in the largely tax
diverted Centerra.

Loveland's City Council is also the only public body in the State of Colorado we are aware of
providing incentives to build apartment buildings - a highly profitable endeavor for developers in
the current tight rental market.

Where Does this Leave Loveland's Downtown?

During the original request to use public funds to build a parking garage in 2007 for Chad
McWhinney's Grand Station, MFA signer and then Loveland Mayor Larry Walsh engaged in the
following exchange with Chad McWhinney as reported by LovelandPolitics in our
September 2007

"Walsh complained that the Outlet Mall partnering (city council jargon for tax subsidy) was
appropriate because they brought retail which in-turn generates important sales tax revenue
for the City of Loveland.  He went on to contrast the Outlet Malls with Grand Station where a
majority of the development will be business offices and residential uses.  He asked the
question, therefore, "why do we need to subsidize it?"

Conspicuously absent from the conversation last Tuesday were any questions by the City Council
as to why the city will be involved in heavily subsidizing a development in a tax-free zone focused
on office space and multi-family housing.  Newly elected Councilman Don Overcash simply
announced he was in full support while Councilwoman Joan Shaffer, previously not a supporter of
what she once described as "corporate welfare" for McWhinney, pleaded with Chad McWhinney to
assist the city in their failed downtown revitalization (previously named the 'south catalyst'

Who will pay for the proposed parking structure for the city's 'South Catalyst' project is an
important impediment to the progress of Loveland's downtown.  Already abandoned by the only
previous bidder, a New Jersey firm, the city has received now two more bids and is in the process
of selecting the developer.  Ironically, Loveland is demanding Larimer County contribute a
significant portion of the cost of building a parking garage in downtown if they locate into the south
catalyst project.  In addition, other potential tenants are also being asked to contribute towards
the costs of building a public parking garage in downtown Loveland despite the council's
agreement to let McWhinney build a publicly funded garage in the center of a private development.

As Loveland continues to heavily subsidize Chad McWhinney's dream of creating a
"densified" urban development in east Loveland, they struggle to make progress on
the city's already "densified" area called the downtown.  
Grand Station Is Back
Council Approves Use of Public Funds For
1,000 Stall Private Parking Garage for
McWhinney's Second Attempt At Grand
Station - Except Now New Location

McWhinney Provides False Information
To Loveland's City Council
see video of his comments

Chad McWhinney told Loveland's City Council
Tuesday night that a "substantial" portion of the
city's total sales tax revenue comes from
Centerra which is false.  While Centerra does
have "substantial" sales transactions nearly half
of the "fee" shoppers pay instead of the full city
sales tax goes to McWhinney controlled
Centerra and not to the City of Loveland.

Click on the city map above showing the
Loveland Department of Finance percentages of
sales tax receipts to the city based on location
year to date as of November 2015.

Chad McWhinney took credit for funding the
Crossroad and I-25 interchange improvements
using revenue generated by the 2004 MFA.  In
fact, $4 million to improve Crossroads came
from federal government sources and even that
money was put in jeopardy when McWhinney's
struggling Centerra was unable to contribute
$400,000 without taking it from a restricted
account for another transportation account.
see LovelandPolitics story on Crossroads

McWhinney also sought and received relief from
its prior obligation under the MFA to fund
Crossroads and other regional transportation
improvements under the 2004 MFA via an
amendment by Loveland's City Council
pretending any outside monies contributed
relieve McWhinney's Centerra of its obligations
under the agreement.