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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

People of Caldwell to Decide King's Building Future Use

It has been reported to THE GUARDIAN Mayor Nancolas is going to let the people of Caldwell decide the future use of the King's property in downtown.

Caldwell East Urban Renewal bought the property from the Salvation Army for a reported $230,000.  Prior to the purchase a citizens committee put together a plan with architectural renderings as well as cost estimates to turn this piece of blight into a central plaza.  Eljay Waite, Director of CEURA stated there were no plans for the property.  When questioned by several downtown business owners Mayor Nancolas stated he was going to let the citizens decided what will be the fate of this property.

THE GUARDIAN has learned there is a petition circulating via downtown business people to move the plaza idea forward. It will be presented to the Caldwell City Council in the near term, probably this month or next month barring any decisions made by the URA before the petition is submitted.

13 comments:

  1. we are all waiting with bated breath to see what Eljay decids.I for one am tired of the decisions about the future of our city center being made in a room where no one I know has ever been.And with ot listning to or involving the caring comunity. I support the city center plaza where in the area of the Kings property.

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  2. I do not know what will be next for this property but until the city of Caldwell gets serious about "renewal" of all things downtown it will remain in the doldrums with a very uncertain future. Tearing down this old eyesore structure would be a good step in that direction.

    The current site for the farmers market at TVCC leaves a lot to be desired. If the king's building and parking lot were turned into a year round outdoor event site, it might help give people a reason to go downtown. I say raze this old building to the ground and sooner is better than later.

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  3. If this part of downtown was converted to a well thought out plaza for the farmers market people and some kind of alive after 5 clone like they have in Boise every Wednesday during the summer months it could be a draw to bring folks downtown. The problem right now there are few reasons for people to go downtown.

    It's a chicken and egg problem but once people have a reason to come to downtown then it will take off. There are a few places that draw people in but they are scattered around Caldwell.

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  4. Although there seems to be support behind the plaza concept at Kings, let's not forget that plazas, along with parks, train depots, Airport Terminals, Community colleges, Indian Creek, and YMCA's all share one thing in common: ZERO Property taxes back to the community.
    I believe Urban Renewal, on paper, works. The process is simple: Buy a property in blithe and resell the property for well below market value to an investor with conditions in place that in X amount of months or years the property will be rehabilitated in one form or another to regenerate monies back into the city’s coffers over the property's life span. The property stays on the tax roll and generates income for the city and lessens the burden on the property tax payers as a whole.
    By contrast, under the current city “plan”, UR is taking property down and keeping the parcels “in house”, if you will, becoming one less source of tax income that forces the balance of private sector owners to carry on their taxes. The course Caldwell has set is unsustainable. At some point the demand of entitled properties and their need for support via private sector property taxes will exceed the value in owning and investing in this community. The taxes are already higher here than Eagle. How can that possibly entice economic development? Private development isn't foolish enough to be wowed by plazas and parks and not read the fine print.
    Even if we were to dismiss outside development as a source of Economic Dev and rely on Caldwell’s existing owners to help shape Caldwell’s future, UR’s “plan” is slowly setting Caldwell backwards, even if the creek does look pretty. Case in point-The most prime piece of property on Indian Creek generates no property taxes, leaving the slack to be picked up by the rest of us.
    As far as community input goes, raise your hand if you've heard this story before. It would seem that the Mayor says what has to be said to his constituents, while all the while Mr. Waite’s course is set, regardless of voices of concern from the community. Seems disingenuous.
    Just ask the members of the Master Framework Committee that volunteered their time or the group that attended the UR meeting to provide input regarding UR financing the coffee shop at TVCC. Their concerns were duly noted and shoved into a desk drawer (or trash can) somewhere in the confines of City Hall and Mr. Waite proceeded with his agenda.
    By the way, I specifically remember an effort by UR to buy King’s years ago with the intent to build a parking structure (for all those cars downtown) on the site that met with some resistance.
    Go ahead and give your input. It would seem that all they have to do is wait you out. Either way, they’re spending your money and sending you the bill. The gesture feels a bit as if they are putting their arm around you with one hand and pick pocketing you with the other.

    Maybe we’ll all be able to sleep in the parks and plazas when we go broke from the taxes.

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    Replies
    1. This comment is exactly what UR is supposed to accomplish and is a key component of the Leland Report submitted to the city of Caldwell in 2006.

      The Leland Report advised CEURA to buy the property and either demolish or in the case of a sound structure write it down and hand it over to a developer who would then build or rehabilitate the property. The idea was to put the property on par with virgin dirt elsewhere, preventing sprawl and keep downtown a vibrant area and reduce investor risk for downtown projects. Additionally, there was a "master framework" study done to determine the viability of all buildings in downtown and it sits along with all the other studies in a file cabinet at city hall.

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  5. The city has not only taken the properties off the tax rolls, they have also added years and years of maintenance costs. Thus, it is actually increasing taxes. What a concept!

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  6. if the King's building sold for $230k I think this alone will have an overall effect of lowering taxable values in downtown. the values went up via UR purchases and now this new sale should bring them down. so, this act will serve to decrease the tax take in downtown?

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  7. I can remember Mayor Nancolas telling us TVCC was going to bring critical mass to downtown. City Council members were four square in lock step with this project. Well, here we are another term of office down the road and downtown gives me no reason to go there beyond my bank and the post office. It may be time for some fresh faces and some new ideas on this decades old problem.

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  8. Bob Carpenter says...

    I am confused; I served on the Economic Development Revitalization committee. By Name, those serving were Ray Wolf, Dave Gipson, Andy Mc Clusky, Gene Shafer and I, Bob Carpenter. We worked over a year through all phases of the proposal with costing estimates, renderings and other issues posed to the group. It was eventually supported unanimously by the Urban Renewal Board and overwhelming with verbal support from Mayor Nancolas.

    The project was voted into existence by the URA Board, then the project was taken away From the Revitalization Committee by Eljay Waite, the Caldwell’s finance chairman and chairman the Urban Renewal Board without even contacting the founding committee. When questioned about this Mayor Nancolas responds with "we don’t know what we are going to do".

    Do you see why I am confused? My question with respect to all of this is who is ultimately in charge?

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  9. Hey Bob, no offense, but for over a decade King Nancolas and Prince Eljay have been in charge. The peons paying Caldwell taxes don't matter. Over $70 Million spent and nothing to show for it. You can beat a dead horse all you want, it still won't pull the plow. This 'dead horse' quit stinking a long time ago, and is now just a skeleton. I have an idea - let's throw more money at it!

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    Replies
    1. I think Caldwell needs more Christmas tree lights on the Creek! Leave them on all year long!

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  10. The missed opportunities by the NON Urban Renewal effort can't be rectified at this point in Caldwell's future. Now all we can hope for is an earthquake that will hasten the demise. Downtown if a victim of the abundant apathy by the community and in those who hold elected positions.

    The political will of Caldwell surfaces from time to time but downtown is not a benefactor. I seriously doubt bringing Roger Brooks back to town at a cost of $65k will do much but make people feel good about what could be if there was less apathy and more political will in the community.

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