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June 27, 2007

In which I offer myself up for slaughter ...

You people are hilarious! Just hilarious. You brighten my day, everyday, with your impassioned comments. Hennepin County is screwed! Opat is an idiot! Shane is a county puppet!

Actually, that last comment gave me quite the chuckle. You know, we all do what is in our best interests. According to the article in the Strib today discussing the fact that Land Partners II is guaranteed $25 million from Hines no matter what (and 22.5% of anything over $25 million) ... this demonstrates a couple of things. For one, it is quite apparent that this is NOT about finding a fair price for the land. This is all about getting paid. It is in Hines' best interests to jack up the price so they can make a little money too. LPII seems to be set (well done Bruce!), and now Hines wants to get in on some of the action. So, give me a break with all your "Opat is lowballing the landowners" crap. In light of this agreement, Hines is only interested in squeezing as much out of the County (and now the Twins) as they can. Again, this isn't about finding a fair price as much as it is about making as much money as possible. Is this necessarily wrong? No. But in a deal with as much public scrutiny as this, it sure makes Hines look like greedy bastards.

And what about the County's interests? I don't know squat about big time land negotiations. And yes, The County should have started negotiations long before this mess started. Got it. But God forbid they now try to reign in what has proven to be just a flat out attempt by Hines to pork every cent they can out of this deal. Sheesh. Hines knew full well that the County would be limited to $90 million on land and infrastructure costs. We knew this last year when the bill was moving through the legislature. The House Taxes committee put the limit on. What was stopping them from saying, "Hey Mike, just wanted to let you know we think the land is worth a bazillion dollars." Nope, once the bill was passed the County was locked in, and they knew it. Let the porking begin.

I know. I know I've been accused of siding with the County a little to much on this issue. But what is in it for me? Let's see, if I side with Hines and demand that they get PAID (with a capital P-A-I-D) I might get a ballpark with a couple of dirt piles and a gravel road around it. If I get a ballpark at all. If I side with the County I get 1) some decent infrastructure and 2) a ballpark and 3) I get an entity that actually cares about me as a baseball fan. You think Hines cares about me? Do you seriously need to ask?

So, save your "woe to the landowners" speeches for someone else. I want a fantastic ballpark. Who is going to deliver that to me? The County, the Ballpark Authority, and the Twins. I could give a rip how much Hines gets paid, and if by paying them less gets me a better ballpark then I am all for it.

Posted by snackeru at June 27, 2007 8:10 AM

Comments

"A couple of dirt piles and a gravel road"

Classic. About time you started to get with the over the top statements everyone else is making.

Don't be mad at the land owners for wanting the most money possible. You would do the same if someone wanted to buy your house, you would want the most money possible.

County messed up on this one Shane, plain and simple.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at June 27, 2007 8:52 AM

So now the County is supposed to just bend over and take it like a man, heh?

Again, I have a choice between gravel and pavement. Hmmmm, I wonder who I should support ...

Posted by: Shane at June 27, 2007 8:57 AM

The County did not do their due diligence in negotiating or discussing the purchase with the land owners.

Example: Your child does not study and then the day of the test arrives. Your child then complains to you that the test was harder than it should have been. Do you then complain to the teacher that the test was too hard when you know full well your child did not study and teach your child that whinig and blaming others for problems they themselves created is the way to go in life? Or do you make your child realize the consequences of their actions?

The county made their bed and now they have to lie (or is it lay? this always gets me) in it. The County voluntarily bent over on this one through their own actions.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at June 27, 2007 9:10 AM

Couple of thoughts:

1. LPII is going to get paid. Bruce and the Boys are on track to get at least $25 million. I think this is great: they had a big idea, sold it and through hard work and pure dumb luck are going to hit the jackpot. It's the American way and I salute you Bruce L!

2. The Kupchella story on Kare 11 was way slanted toward LPII. We've had confirmation this week that LPII has been instrumental in getting a ballpark done for nearly 10 years and that the reason they didn't return the County's offer is because they knew their $65 million would be provocative to say the least. Two items that Kupchella glossed over.

3. It's hard to determine whether the $65 million figure is there so that Hines gets paid or if LPII/Hines thinks its a real number. Hines plays in the big leagues, they know land value and I doubt they would enter into a agreement where they potentially would get nothing or very little for their trouble. On the other hand, with the Twins on the hook for anything over $17.5 million, I doubt Carl would agree to anything that means $10s of million out of his pocket.

3. In the end it doesn't matter. This ballpark is going ahead regardless of the land cost. So we can argue who's the dupe, who's the villain, speculate on land cost or developability, in the end, three years from now we'll be spending glorious June days watching baseball outdoors.

Posted by: Freealonzo at June 27, 2007 9:23 AM

I think the County knew all along what was going to transpire with the land deal. So did LPII. So did the Twins. Yeah, they had to go through the months of posturing for the sake of public opinion. It is a shame that these things can't be worked out in a conference room like the old days. Both sides are being advised by greedy lawyers who have an interest in it going to court and being drawn out as long as possible.

In the end, the Pohlads most likely knew when the bill was passed that it wouldn't cover all of the land acquisition. It was in their best interest in conjunction with the county to try to use the court of public opinion to strong arm LPII into a lower price.

It would have been stupid for the county or the Twins to purchase the land prior to the bill passage because they may have gotten stuck with an otherwise useless piece of land if the deal fell through.

I can picture the combatants in this deal all laughing over a Martini about the screamers on this website. LPII is socking it to the Pohlads, not the county. The Twins are covering the extra expenses. So STM, you can still be pissed off that this bill was passed in the first place, but no one has dropped the ball on this deal. Your are gloating over nothing. Cheesehead, the county did, and has done what they could. They knew this would be the inevitable outcome.

With all due respect Shane, the Twins will not repeat the Metrodome blunder. No matter what the price tag is on the land, they will build an awesome park. So you can rest assured that the restrooms will have running water.

Let me summarize... STM, your side lost, get over it, and fight the next battle a little harder. Shane, don't let the hecklers in the cheap seats get you down. Relax, and enjoy watching the stadium get built. Cheesehead, bring your neighbor a Coke and a smile.

Posted by: zooomx at June 27, 2007 9:36 AM

Going in to this process the Twins felt that every dollar below $200MM they did not spend to get the stadium was the same as "found money". Compare what the Vikes spent for their land (4 acres) and what the county wants to pay for their land (7+ acres). At $65MM its the steal of the century. From the start, the county has continually tried to poor mouth what they can spend knowing fully the Twins are stepping up to the plate to pay the difference and they knew what the difference would be from the beginning.
$100MM for four acres, and $13.5MM for 7+ acres both within 3/4 mile of each other. You tell me which is the better deal and if you say the Vikings, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I would like to talk to you about.

Posted by: Jimmy Jack at June 27, 2007 9:51 AM

Zooomx - Last night I did give Shane a Diet Pepsi and bunch of Mentos. That's a fun experiment.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at June 27, 2007 9:53 AM

Cheesehead Craig - classic!!

Posted by: zooomx at June 27, 2007 10:04 AM

All 'Free' and 'zoomx' have done is provide proof of the selfishness I commented on earlier. "More Me Now!" they are the epitome of the WIIFM (pronounced whiff 'em) generation and a cancer in the body of society. "We don't care about how, how much, who it hurts or any of the consequences, we just want what we want and we want it right now!" What's In It For Me?

I'm happy for you. But I still have this;

OK! Sheesh! OK! STM, you are right, I have seen the light, you have changed my mind. Everything about this sucks, I was wrong, you were right. - Shane

I know this isn't relevant to the stadium being built. But I am curious; everybody knows the Twins/Pohlad are backing up the County in these proceedings, but people continue to insinuate that it's a blank check. Is it? are you assuming it is? I'm just wondering if they're privey to anything. All I know about Carl is what I read and I have a hard time believing, especially with how confident Oputz seemed to be in his original 13 million dollar figure, that he convinced Carl to post ANY amount over that. And if not, maybe "running water in the bathrooms" isn't a sure thing?

Posted by: STM at June 27, 2007 10:10 AM

Nice spin Shane. It just doesn't quite fly tho. Kind of like a kid saying the window broke itself.

Posted by: OATO at June 27, 2007 10:19 AM

STM - so I am a cancer in the body of society huh? You don't know me... you don't know what I do for my family and for my fellow citizens in my community. If you did know, you would feel like an ass for even making a comment like that. So maybe just keep to the arguments at hand and hold off on the personal attacks.

I think you would benefit greatly by following a couple of us around for a week and see who we really are. How much time, energy and money do you put forth to help people other than yourself?? Are you as much of a complete ass to your family, friends and co-workers as you are on this site? Or do you actually have the capacity to treat people with respect. You seem to me as a Black and White type. If a person is on the wrong side of a certain issue with you, they are wrong in everything. I am sad for you if that is how you really are. Are you prone to road rage? Do you scream at the officials at your daughters games? You may convince people more readily of your side of the argument if you lay off the personal attacks.

I am curious about your assumption that this is all going to fall apart. Let's say the land part of this deal does end up $25 million more than the Pohlads hoped to spend. Do you think they will be able to walk away from this deal, and the construction will just be stopped?? Where do you see this going? Are you hoping this will happen? Would that be the preferred result at this point for the citizens you think you defend?

Posted by: zooomx at June 27, 2007 10:41 AM

Easy zoom! methinks thou doth protest too much.

I'm sure your family and "small circle" of fellow citizens fair quite well if you provide for their well being with the same singlemindedness that you display on this issue. I just wouldn't want to be caught in your wake.

How much gray area you chose to acknowledge on an issue is directly proportionate to your desire to make a decision.

It benefits you to "see all the noise" in this debate because it helps you rationalize what's happening. This issue is black and white and must be viewed that way to weed out the people who would prefer to duck the issue by clouding it with ancillary and intangible components.

I wasn't attacking you personally. You're right, I don't know you. But I do believe, that inspite of what all you claim to be, the people that harbor the position that "what gets done" is more important than "how it gets done" pose a real threat to our society.

To answer your question; I don't believe this deal will fall apart. I do believe it will be incredibly more expensive than what we've been lead to believe, regardless of how much more Pohlad puts in. And, unfortunately, I believe that when completed, this endeavor has to prove to be a failure in order to prevent it from happening again. That means everybody who supported this project, at the end of the day, must come to the realization that; it wasn't worth it, the costs way exceeded the benefits, we will never do it again and we're sorry we ever thought it could work out.

That may be a lofty price, but like I said, without that happening, this gross misuse of the public trust and its money will happen over and over and over again.

Posted by: STM at June 27, 2007 11:12 AM

I know most of the crew here is probably not familiar with other projects around the country but seriously... this is a bunch of brick-a-brack standard issue b.s. that happens at every stadium site.

The fact of the matter is that Lambrecht was a "willing seller" at a predetermined price, and he welched on that price. Hines, seeing that Bruce was going to get more $ for being a hemmerhoid decided to get in on the sweepstakes. In all honesty, if the parcel is acquired for less than $30m it'll be a minor miracle. It will also cost less than most parks land acquisitions on new sites.

Seriously, this kind of drama happens during every stadium construction, and while i find the details interesting... i really don't see why there is fussing.

Posted by: CJ at June 27, 2007 11:14 AM

The legislature gave the county some lemons by capping the infrastructure budget at $90 million. The county should have made lemonade. Instead, they didn't call Hines/LPII, they hired a notorious low-ball appraiser, and then called them names in the media.

Why?

Hines/LPII made it clear in their Kupchella piece that they wanted a little bit more than the 2004 deal. ($13 million + land) What was that deal worth to them? They essentially gave up 3 acres for $13 million. (give up 8 acres, get back 5 acres and that equals 3 acres - break that down to about $4.3 million per acre). Bring that number forward to today (plus a little inflation) and you're at about $35 million. ($4.3 per acres times 8 acres).

Now you know roughly what they want.

The county, had they been thinking, should have called Hines/LPII and said, "look, we've got a problem on the infrastructure budget, can you guys be flexible while we work on a deal for you?" Hines/LPII aren't dummies. They've done deals before. They would have said "sure". They know they can get things they want and still make the deal work.

The county could have offered a different chunk of land near the ballpark. The county could have offered to help them develop a TIF district. The county could have altered the stadium design to accommodate Hines/LPII's development. All of those things come at no cost to the county (that way the county could keep their cash outlay low so they can afford those pretty bridges), it also creates “value� for Hines/LPII, and, most importantly, saves MILLIONS in unnecessary legal fees.

But, no. The county chose to suck on lemons and push Hines/LPII in a corner. We shouldn't be surprised that Hines/LPII is now coming out of that corner fighting.

I just hope there's time to still do a deal....

Posted by: The Last Sane Ballpark Fan at June 27, 2007 11:26 AM

So... STM... let's say the stadium does go way over budget (as all project this size tend to do) and the County still ends up only paying the 90 million. The Twins step up as proposed and cover ALL the cost overruns... do you still call this project a failure?

If this does happen (and I agree it may not) as proposed, I think we, as the public, would have gotten one of the best stadium deals in recent history nationwide.

Posted by: zooomx at June 27, 2007 11:58 AM

I think Last Sane Ballpark Fan's analysis is pretty good...

I've been saying 25-30 million, but with today's new info that may be a tad low (say, 27-32).

Again, though, in my mind the new info is good because it is taking much of the uncertainty away for the Twins and HC.

Prior to the condemnation proceedings, HC had to seriously consider that the court might determine an obscene value. Now, though, we are getting data points that bring DOWN the upper bound on value. Zygi's purchase lowers the upper bound to a max of 43M, and probably lower.

Today, Hines effectively admits that they effectively purchased 8 acres for $25 million + a call option on 22.5% of the land. Options have value, and I haven't run this through my Black-Scholes calculator, but 1/5 of an option on the land over the course of a year or two can't be worth more than a million or 2.

Bump up a little for inflation and consider the judge might throw the landowners another couple million to stroke their egos, and we are quickly zeroing in on a price in the high 20's to low 30's.

Posted by: tato at June 27, 2007 12:31 PM

Stick it to 'em STM!

I agree with STM that you are indeed the cancer of society. I fully concur with his assertation that you are all a "More Me Now" group of self-absorbed nitwits.

Posted by: Telemachus at June 27, 2007 12:45 PM

STM -- You do realize the you yourself have often used the same "What's In It For Me?" argument that you're projecting on everyone else now, correct? Remember your frequent posts to the effect of "I've never been to a Twins game, so why should my tax dollars go towards a stadium?"

Just noting the irony, that's all. I'm sure you'll come up with an aggressive rant for a response.

Posted by: spycake at June 27, 2007 12:50 PM

In Defense of More Me Now:

If Thomas Jefferson wasn't More Me Now we'd be playing Cricket and saying Goodbye to Tony Blair today...

If Thomas Edison wasn't More Me Now, we'd all still communicate by morse code...

If Martin Luther King wasn't More Me Now we still have segregated restrooms...

If Ralph Nader wasn't More Me Now we'd have Al Gore as President... oops I mean we'd have no seat belts in cars....

If Jack Morris wasn't More Me Now we'd have never had a Twins 1991 World Series Championship...

If STM wasn't More Me Now Greet Machiners would have no one to argue against

Posted by: Freealonzo at June 27, 2007 1:14 PM

zoom - I'm not saying the project WILL be a failure. I'm saying that it has to be considered a failure in order to prevent schemes like this from happening again. It may very well be a raving "success" as these projects go, in which case we'll be subjected to a myriad of private projects requiring public funds with this example hung up as the poster child of success.

spy - my position is exactly the opposite of WIIFM. At least to the extent that I'm not asking or getting anything. My point was, that there are certain people who are ONLY interested in getting something for themselves, regardless of cost and impact on anything else. And I would never type you an "aggressive rant." I know you're more on my side, just not my method.

Posted by: STM at June 27, 2007 1:32 PM

free - that's closer to the 'greed is good' by the fictional Gordon Gekko, rationalization, than anything I've seen.

Posted by: STM at June 27, 2007 1:34 PM

But I do believe...the people that harbor the position that "what gets done" is more important than "how it gets done" pose a real threat to our society.

So, let's see if I have this right. People like GW Bush and Dick Cheney, who harbor the position that collecting irrelevent information from political prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib at all costs - including torture (i.e. what gets done), is more important than upholding our obligations as a nation under international law and our own constitution (i.e. how it gets done), pose a real threat to our society? And those same people who believe that they need to usurp our constitutional rights by illegally spying on us (how it gets done) in order to protect us from terrorism (what gets done) are a real threat to our society? Because I believe that, too.

Posted by: twayn at June 27, 2007 1:39 PM

More me now : spending my evenings volunteer coaching my son and daughters softball/baseball practices. Spending extra time with the kids, who's parents either can't or won't play catch with them and are far behind in basic ball skills.

More me now : volunteering my time, energy and a good chunk of my paycheck to my church to spread the good news.

More me now : advising the local tech college hotel/restaurant program for free. Speaking in their classrooms about my job... for free.

More me now : my wife going way out of her way to bring any extra clothes, blanket, can goods etc to local charities.

More me now : I could go on and on and it would reflect the person I am, and probably reflect the type of person Shane, Free Alonzo and others are.

I would not be surprised (yet won't accuse) if Telemucus and STM do none of these things.

I would hardly call the things we do as being "cancerous" to society. And since my father died of cancer last summer (painful to watch) I would appreciate the use of a different term for your lack of tolerance of others opinions.

Posted by: zooomx at June 27, 2007 1:39 PM

My point was, that there are certain people who are ONLY interested in getting something for themselves, regardless of cost and impact on anything else.

You, being one of them. By not being interested in something because it is ONLY for someone else, you are ONLY interested in something if it is for you; regardless of the natural result that no one can have something if it isn't something you want as well.

In this case, you ask the same WIIFM question but arrive at a different result.

Hennepin County: "We're going to levy a .15% sales tax."

Greet Machiners and STM: "What's in it for me?"

Hennenpin County: "A new Twins Stadium."

Greet Machiners: "Awesome!"

STM: "This sucks."

Posted by: The Tube at June 27, 2007 2:30 PM

STM: there are certain people who are ONLY interested in getting something for themselves, regardless of cost and impact on anything else

You mean, opposing a tax-supported project because you have no direct personal interest in the project, regardless of the feelings of the community at large? I hear ya.

Posted by: spycake at June 27, 2007 4:05 PM

I oppose the stadium for the way its being financed and imposed on everybody. It's the "how" that I'm objecting to. That's pretty easy to see, even for you, Tube.

Evidently, opposition to something that would benefit you, because you disagree with the method of obtaining it, is a foreign concept to you spycake?

Posted by: STM at June 27, 2007 5:37 PM

Average fees for the 15 attorneys at Monday's Hennepin County hearing to determine the value of the land of the Twins' new ballpark are estimated at $6,000 an hour total.

The hearing, which could last two weeks before an inevitable appeal by sellers no matter the amount of the award, could cost over $1,000,000 when preparation, paralegal, assistants, and expenses are added in.

Who in the heck is paying the TAXPAYER"S portion? YOU AND I!

Posted by: mad taxpayer at June 27, 2007 6:39 PM

Understanding that in today's "stadium" climate, it is rare, if not unheard of, for team owners to fully finance their own stadiums. (I agree that it sucks that this has come to pass, but it is what it is)

Understanding that if the Twins do not get a stadium built, they eventually go the way of the Expos and either move, or get contracted. (It would not be a question of if, but when)

All of these arguments then boil down to a very simple question. Do you personally feel that having a MLB team in our state is worth the public financing that took place?

I say yes, most importantly because outside of my many other interests in life, I do like to wrap up a lot of my days with sitting and watching the game with my family. To hear my son scream "Woo hoo!!" When the Twins take the lead is priceless. I also love making a few trips down to watch them in person.

Also, as far as major professional sports go, you can actually point to a few guys playing baseball as role models. They have a few bad eggs, but look at the Twins. Over-achievers, very little greedy behavior, not in jail and/or strip clubs, always appearing in the community for meet and greets or charity events. They are the anti-NFL/wrestling/NBA selfish punk attitudes.

I have mentioned it before. This state has gotten a better stadium deal than most other communities have. I understand why STM and others are pissed off because, if you don't have that love for the game, common sense would say it doesn't make sense. But for baseball fans who love the Twins, this deal was a good thing... a very good thing.

All I can say to try to talk the anti-stadium types off the ledge, is that I personally do NOT feel that this will open up the floodgates to big ticket expenditures for the private sector.

Minnesota, took a long, long, long time to get this deal done. It was shot down so many times when the deal looked bad. It was shot down when Bud and Carl tried to hold contraction over our head. It wasn't until a "tolerable" deal was put forth that just enough public opinion helped sway the politicos in St. Paul to say "yes".

We, as Minnesotans, do over analyze, over debate, and drag our collective feet on spending money for the private sector. Heck, we have even started to clamp down on public spending. School Districts no longer have a free pass on public referendums, and actually have to put together a solid, responsible plan to get anything passed by the voters. This has been a good turn of events in my opinion.

The deal is done, and no amount of screaming is going to make it go away. If it were me, I would focus on the next topic and fight that fight even harder. Otherwise, you are just spinning your wheels.

Posted by: zooomx at June 28, 2007 10:01 AM

STM: Evidently, opposition to something that would benefit you, because you disagree with the method of obtaining it, is a foreign concept to you spycake?

I'm well aware that we are all free to oppose anything for whatever reason we want. What I find laughable is your blatant hypocrisy while trying to demean "the other side" for lord knows what reason.

Posted by: spycake at June 28, 2007 10:23 AM

This is all much ado about nothing. Didn't we all understand that LPII was going to ask for at least $50 million? Haven't we all understood this for months now? I do think this vindicates Opat a bit. When he said that's what they were asking for, LPII always scoffed and denied it, now we know HC wasn't really holding this up for over a 'few' million.

It is true that we don't know exactly what Pohlad agreed to cover, but I'm guessing it was a large chunk of whatever this difference will be, if not all of it. The Twins held on the line on thier intial $130 million contribution knowing full well that they would have to contribute more down the line. Even I thought they should have contributed a higher % of the cost. $130 of a $520 million dollar project is 25%, which is OK, but I always considerd 33% to be the minimum expectation. Well in reality it will probobly end up being a $600 million dollar project that the Twins pay $210 million of. And there's nothing wrong with that. But they were smart to hold the line on thier initial contribution.

Posted by: David H. at June 28, 2007 11:37 AM

I guess we can thank Krinkie for something after all.

Posted by: Drake33 at June 28, 2007 11:46 AM

David H - If the value comes in between $13 and $17 million, Opat will be vindicated. If not, he will just look like a jerk.

His strategy was to hold his ground at $13, and use a public assault on LP II’s character. It obviously didn’t work. Why would LP II/ Hines want to negotiate with someone constantly knocking them and negotiating through the press? I know I wouldn’t.

The fact that this ended up in condemnation is BECAUSE of Opat. He literally didn’t negotiate for 8 months, then pissed off so many people that a deal could never got done.

So, we ended up with is a quick take, which is fine – we are still getting a ballpark. But, as many people have pointed out this could be much more costly than doing things on the up and up (apparently not an option for Opat). I see no way in which this process vindicated Opat unless the appraisal comes in under $17M.

Let’s wait for the result before making judgment, but the smart money is on the over.

Posted by: Moonlight Graham at June 28, 2007 12:15 PM

I thought STM was officially retiring from commenting on this site. Kinda sad, really. He wasn't even correct when he made that post.

Posted by: Aaron at June 28, 2007 2:40 PM

But like Shane said, who cares?

Sticking to the "facts", this is what I understand the situation is:
1. The County has a cap on how much they can spend. Thanks Krinkie!
2. The Twins are picking up all cost overages. Thanks Pogemiller!!
3. The County and LPII are going thru arbitration and are millions apart. Thanks Opat!!!

It's pretty clear to me that LPII is trying to get as much money as they can, and the Twins are going to end up paying for it.

Now there's a note on Hardball Times.com, which indicates that the Twins are not responsible for these overruns, but I don't think that is entirely correct.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/bob-twins-stadium-news-and-interleague-attendance/

From what I understand, as written in the Ballpark LAW, the Twins are responsible for all cost overruns. Period. No exceptions. There is a fixed amount that the public is responsible for and it can't be increased.

A general question, if the arbitration panel comes in with an appraised value of $25MM, who cheers??

Posted by: Drake33 at June 28, 2007 3:07 PM

There may be truth to the fact that the county didn't negotiate soon enough, I don't know. But when you offer $13 million for something and the counter offer is $65 million that's generally the end of the negotiation. In private business you would simply walk away and look elsewhere. In this case, because HC couldn't walk away because they 'need' this specific land. That's why there are condemnation laws in the first place, and that's where we are. This is not earth shattering. Opat doesn't need to be vindicated. My only point is that if LPII had indeed come in and asked for $25 million at the arbitration hearing, Opat WOULD INDDED have looked like an idiot for not negotatiating with them.

Posted by: David H at June 28, 2007 3:18 PM

drake33 --

The Twins are responsible for construction cost overruns in the law. The County was presumably on the hook for any infrastructure overruns, at least until the $90 million cap was added. That's been the problem all along -- if it wasn't for that cap, the County could have probably just committed more money from the tax collections, since it is designed to raise more than necessary during its lifetime.

That left a gray area, which the Twins have apparently agreed to cover if necessary, but it's unknown to what extent they will contribute. I imagine an award for LPII that is greater than what the Twins have agreed to cover will result in the County cutting other items in the infrastructure budget.

Posted by: spycake at June 28, 2007 5:06 PM

One thing to keep in mind with the lack of progress in negotiations was that while HC/Opat came foward with the $13M figure, LP II/Hines never actually put forth their own number.

We only learned of that when the hearings started. So as much as folks want to fault HC/Opat, it's kinda hard to buy something from someone who doesn't tell you their selling price.

All LP II/Hines did was keep telling HC that their offer of $13M wasn't enough. That's not negotiating, that's stonewalling...

Posted by: Snyder at June 29, 2007 11:36 AM

Another thing to keep in mind is that HC/Opat filed the condemnation papers the same day they made the $13m offer.

The clear message there is "if you don't like our offer we're taking you to court."

That's not really an honest starting point for negotiations.

How hard is it to assume that they might want something similar to what they agreed to in the past?

Posted by: The Last Sane Ballpark Fan at June 29, 2007 1:37 PM

Another thing to keep in mind is that HC/Opat filed the condemnation papers the same day they made the $13m offer.

The clear message there is "if you don't like our offer we're taking you to court."

That's not really an honest starting point for negotiations.

How hard is it to assume that they might want something similar to what they agreed to in the past?

Posted by: The Last Sane Ballpark Fan at June 29, 2007 1:39 PM

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