The nerve of the guy. Buy the Arcade, promise great things, then be late on your taxes- and then start asking for a handout.
The owner of Dayton’s historic downtown arcade wants a financial commitment from the community to aid in the $38-million restoration project.“What we are trying to do here is for the people of Dayton,” said Gunther Berg, who bought the arcade in March 2009. “One of our investors wants a $5-million commitment from Dayton, in writing.”
Does that work for the average taxpayer? “I paid too much for my house, now, help me fix it up” – not hardly. And, didn’t the taxpayers already put at least $10 Million in about 30 years ago? Then didn’t we let local boy Tom Danis buy it for $36,000. Face it Mr. Berg, you have to pay off a police chief and make big political contributions before you get deals like a local boy.
The reality is- the Arcade tax sale was overpriced- by about $680K or so (what Berg paid for it). The appraised value should have been $36K since that’s what the last owner paid for it- but, the condition should have been that the building had to be maintained to the same standard it was in when bought. Same goes on foreclosures- the banks should be made to maintain property in same condition as when occupied.
If Mr. Berg wants a break- let’s give it to him- for every million he invests- he can have 6 months of property taxes valued at his purchase price (or some kind of equation). That way, the cost is to the County- not to the city, and, the development has a chance. Also, before you ask for any kind of break, show us a viable business plan- or don’t ask us to invest. You have to have one if you’ve already got other investors as you claim.
The arcade is really a tough project- the only sure fire development possibilities are probably a casino, a brothel or a legal dope smokers’ paradise. All have zero chance of happening. It would make a grand banquet center- if only it had better parking and less than 3 open floors in the center, but, it would also require more hotel rooms and a connection to an exhibition hall- like the convention center- and that’s not going to happen at this point.
We talk about this project on the Dayton Grassroots Daily Show:
What would you tell Mr. Berg? What would you do with the arcade and $40 million?