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Entry for September 22, 2007
Thanks to a tip from a reader who is active in supporting downtown Loveland, we missed this completely until contacted recently.

Downtown Loveland in 2006 still has generated less sales tax revenue than it had in 2002 when the Loveland Urban Renewal Authority (LURA) was first created.  While McWhinneys have grown the real urban blight the LURA was first created to address hasn't made little if any real progress.

Contrary to assertions by Chad McWhinney and McWhinney Enterprise employees, Loveland's downtown sales have not grown as a result of Centerra, Outlet Mall or any other sprawl near I-25.  The "get-the-facts" campaign by McWhinney implies those who don't support further subsidies simply don't understand the facts.  On the contrary, we have found advocates for downtown Loveland know the facts while the McWhinney spin machine hasn't been entirely accurate.
2007-09-23 04:14:11 GMT
Comments (21 total)
What us your point? So what no one believes them anyway except the City Council.
2007-09-23 04:39:18 GMT
Thank you for setting the record straight. I am tired of hearing him say downtown Loveland benefits from more shoppers at Centerra. Rocky Scott actually used the term "trickle over" to downtown (reminds me of trickle down economics) to describe how downtown benefits from Centerra.

Anyway these guys can say whatever they want I suppose without fear of any local media correcting them.

Thanks for filling the news void in Loveland!
2007-09-23 05:12:39 GMT
What you failed to mention in your story is that the PROJECTED revenue generated from the LURA was supposed to be $204,575. Instead the tax increment is so far ZERO from downtown declining sales. How come nobody talks about this colossally big failure by city council?
--Janet P.
2007-09-23 05:19:41 GMT
As we speak, McWhinney is recruiting Safeway to their shopping center site. The downtown Safeway is already losing sales and will certainly close. They are delaying this action until after the election. Loss of the downtown Safeway will be devestating to downtown and its loss would mean the downtown will never generate a TIF.
2007-09-24 03:52:22 GMT
What is the solution than? Can they restart the base year for the TIF? Interesting, the LURA was created for downtown origibally and now the McWhinney's have made millions with it because the City Council pretended corn fields were blight.

Loveland is the only city in the state that allowed a developer do this for brand new development and on such a scale. I fear when the house of cards and debt crash on our heads everyone will be pointing fingers at one another and the McWhinnyites on Council won't even be available for comment.
--Tired Of McWhinney
2007-09-24 05:58:33 GMT
Loveland is hardly the only city in the state to do this, do you really think McWhinney is that smart? Wal-Mart and other big box stores are probably more damaging to downtown.
--Tired of whining
2007-09-24 14:32:36 GMT
I hope Tired of whining will follow up with some examples of other cities which have come even close to what Loveland did with McWhinney. I don't think there is even one other example of such gross abuse of urban renewal, with so much tax $ given away to convert farmland to sprawl. Please do inform us if you know of any.
2007-09-25 03:58:04 GMT
Loveland's general fund (the tax-generated portion of the budget) is something like 50-609 millon per year.

Subsidies to McWhinney are something like $300 million.

It blows me away how much the City has given away.

In other news, I watched the last council meeting on Channel 16 and the finance guy said that sales at the "HWY 34 - HWY 287" area were down 24% from last year! The taxpayer pays to move business to Centerra, causing double loss of revenue for the City! These guys (on council) are criminals for the way they've handled our money! I work, I pay taxes; McWhinney lobbies, they get my money. Way to go, Council! Shame, shame!
2007-09-25 04:03:20 GMT
Sorry, that should say 50-60 million. I ought to spell check.
--Anonymous II
2007-09-25 04:04:09 GMT
I have been in the urban renewal and redevelopment business for many years and worked for dozens of communities and have never seen subsidies of this magnitude for such small marginal gains, even without consideration of the shift in sales, and still continued loss of sales to the north. What this community has given to the McWhinney's for such small gains monitarily and for no primary job gains is truely amazing and unprecedented in my experience. The complete lack of any type of thorough and supportable benefit analysis is driven by a City Manager that autocratically dictates policy to both his staff and Council.
2007-09-25 05:45:07 GMT
When the Centerra URA deal was reported, the estimate of subsidy was $591 Million. I found the clipping. In return, they were going to provide an estimated $300+Million in "public improvements". But most of those were not "public"...landscaping, etc. Some of them were called "regional" improvemnts. They were supposed to fix the I-25 interchanges near Centerra. Then last year they got their Council puppets to change the terms so that the taxpayers could pay NEW taxes such as thru an RTA to pay for them instead. Recently, they tried to get the trolley and parking garage added to the list as substitutes for the original list. Since its debateable whether any or much of the list of socalled improvements are "public", their total tax take estimate is $591 Mill. and that doesnt include subsidies for Outlet Mall (est. $1 Mill.) or others; and may not be the entire picture.
2007-09-26 20:46:23 GMT
WottaCity: Huh?? Any trolley or parking would not be a subsitute for the original list. Those items under the MFA are still in place and the McWhinneys are required to complete the improvements already agreed to.
2007-09-26 20:58:56 GMT
No, OUCH the "original" list of regional improvements was amended to include Kendall Parkway as a "regional" improvement which is merely a spine road serving exclusively their developement, no they are not "obligated" to any regional improvements under the MFA, regional improvement are only "eligible" expenditures. There you go again spreading half-truths. Pleae read the MFA and follow the facts.
--Keeping OUCH Honest
2007-09-27 18:59:17 GMT
Keeping OUCH Honest:

The Kendall Parkway (Centerra Parkway extension) is only allowed to count as a regional improvement if the Crossroads improvements are made as stated in the amenment to the MFA

McWhinneys are currently working with the city on the interim I-25 ane 34 improvements. They cannot increase more debt (which they need to do)until certain imrovements are made. CDOT also requires improvements made at I-25 and 34 to handle the increased traffic created by the proposed Grand Station.

So, in one way your are probably correct in as much as they are not "obligated". They are, however, doing, starting to do, or planning on doing the regional improvements listed in the MFA.

I-25 and Crossroads Boulevard
Interim I-25 and 34 interchange
Conty Road 5 and 34
County Road 3 dn 34
Final improvements at I-25 and 34

I am not nor will I ever spread half-truths and am probably the most honest person you could meet.

You sound as if you are fully aware of the amended MFA with regards to Kendall Parkway. You could have been MORE HONEST and told everyone that one of the listed regional improvemants (Crossroads) had to be made for Kendall parkway to be included as a regional left that out...sounds like a half-truth to me.
2007-09-27 22:30:42 GMT
I don't doubt your honesty, I doubt your knowledge, that's what really bugs you. I'm an insider, I know this stuff backwards and forwards from beginning to end. Do you know what the Crossroads "improvements" include? Its a round-a-bout at either end, that's all, a cheap interim fix, might work, might not, and if it does, not for long. So forgive me if I glossed over that part. And still US 34 is not fixed, after all of this, $500 million in subsidies and we get two round-a-bounts at Crossroads. Seriously. This is the biggest boondoggle in local governmental history. Anyway, its falling back on them, no more major retailers or flag hotels will sign with 34 like that, its unsafe, its a hazard to their customers, its an outright crime we've given them that much money and let them build Kendall first. IT will fall back on them in the end, this kind of stuff always does. Mark my words.
2007-09-28 03:07:46 GMT
Yes, I'm aware that the first fix to Crossroads is round-a-abouts. Your right about it falling back on them (McWhinneys). That's why I believe the improvements will be's necessary to attract the retailers and businesses for the planned Grand Station and will be required by CDOT.

You are saying that it will be up to them to make the improvements in connection with the developments and I agree. It has always been up to them. Your assumption is that it will not happen and my assumption is that it will happen.

The city will not allow them to issue additional debt unless some of the regional improvements listed in the MFA are under way.

If you're an insider, then you are aware that a contractor has been contacted to start the interim improvements to I-25 and U.S. 34.

Mark my words.
2007-09-28 13:16:11 GMT
The interim improvements should have been done 5 years ago before this all started and the final fix should be in design. Too little too late. The public knows it now. The hits on this site are up 2,000 in just a few weeks. Wait until election. Revenues are down 34% at 287 and 34, downtown, and flat everywhere else, vacancies on the rise along all the corridors, primary jobs are down and no money to fix the community. Gene or Walt?
2007-09-28 16:52:46 GMT
Should a developer generate debt before there is enough of the development completed to generate monies from the URA and TIF?

5 years ago???

I'm sure the McWhinneys have a large amount of personal wealth but not even close to the amount needed to meet the costs of the regional improvements without the URA generating the needed influx of money.

Revenues down or flat?

Go to city hall and pick up the August Monthly Financial SnapShot. Or better yet, just get one while you're at work since you stated you were an insider. Then read the Geographical Report on sales tax.

Yes, 287&34 is down (not much there) as well as North Loveland, the Outlet Mall, East Loveland (-.6%), and South Loveland (approx. $100,000)

Your "flat" areas show that the Orchards Shopping Center was up 11.6%, Columbine up 6.5%, Centerra up 40%, Promenade Shops up 19.4%, Thompson Valley up 4%, the Ranch up 17.6% and all other areas not listed up 5.7%

For a total of a 7.1% increase in sales tax revenue over this time last year.

What about half-truths now?

Archuleta, Gutierrez or Solt?
2007-09-28 17:29:58 GMT
You saw the retail sustainability presentation, all this retail out east and you are still bleeding to the north because your residents can't get there on clogged, ugly 34, only maintained an at par retail capture compared to 6 years ago and no increase relative to capture potential, or did all of that go over your head? What is your net from this increase? Shameful, you don't even know do you. I can tell you, nothing. There's no surplus in the budget not a penny after the loss of primary jobs increases to serve less than living wage employees at McWhinneville and give-aways to them. No interchanges, nothing, and certainly not in time for the election. Too bad.
2007-09-28 19:11:55 GMT
"your residents"? I don't travel on 34 to get north. I also thought that the Orchards Shopping Center with its 11.6% increase in sales tax was north.

Are you even a resident of Loveland? Maybe Fort Collins and your upset with the sales tax revenue now going to Loveland.


When you say "McWhinneville" and talk about "give-aways" and state how clogged 34 is, I can now see why your are one of those who hate growth and like it the way it used to be. If I had known where you were really comming from, I would not have bothered to reply.

At least you are now saying that the I-25&34 interchange may get fixed. Oh, and by the way, It makes no differnce to me if it happens after the election....nice try.
2007-09-28 20:23:34 GMT
No, I'm a resident, live near 34 and Madison. I mean you can't get out US 34 so people tend to go north. I even prefer to head up Madison to Harmony instead of dealing with 34 and because Ft Collins offers better shopping. I make my living on growth and have worked for developers so, no, I am far from a no-growther. I speak to you as "your residents" because I suspect you are a councilman, maybe not. Maybe you're nobody, maybe we are both wasting our time on this blog. Anyway, I think the tide is turning in Loveland and we will see some changes. We need to re-invest in our community instead of sending it all east.
2007-09-29 00:18:27 GMT
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