IBJNews

Anderson baseball-complex plan hits financing snag

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Construction on The Farm, a baseball and softball facility along Interstate 69, has hit another snag while city officials and project developers continue to negotiate acceptable financing terms.

Earlier this month, the Anderson Redevelopment Commission voted 4-0 to rescind its approval of a debt service reserve fund, which would be replenished with tax increment financing funds if needed.

"Effectively, the Redevelopment Commission under the new mayor rescinded that resolution, causing us to revisit financing for the project," said Brad Benbow, an investor in The Farm. "The second thing that has happened that's an issue is that the city has refused to release funds from the bond anticipation note, which was already being drawn upon."

The project struggled to secure permanent financing last year when bond sales failed to materialize. Eventually, Star Financial Bank agreed to buy the bonds, but only with the added security of the reserve fund.

The city had already guaranteed $6 million in bonds, plus a $1.5 million contribution by investors, to finance the $7.5 million project, and approved a bond anticipatory note for up to $4 million, to help get construction started.

Anderson's financial package was intended to show the city's support for the athletic park, which includes a 105,000-square-foot indoor facility and 12 baseball and softball diamonds encompassing 72 acres. The city announced the project in January 2011.

The city and the bank were set to close on the bond sale late last year, when The Farm developers announced the group didn't want to pay its $1.5 million contribution at closing, but in three installments, with the first payment to occur at the end of this month and two others to occur at later, unspecified dates.

The request was akin to someone agreeing to buy a house with an agreed upon down payment, and then showing up at the closing only to say they didn't want to make the payment, said a source close to the negotiations.

"Everything was set to go," said Ann Marie Bauer, an attorney who represents the Redevelopment Commission. "The project came back and said 'we don't want to put our whole equity infusion at closing.' There was definitely surprise."

The Ockomon administration rejected The Farm's proposal and canceled the bond closing, effectively throwing responsibility for final approval of the plan into the hands of new Mayor Kevin Smith's administration.

New City Controller Sam Pellegrino said he reviewed the proposed terms of the bond sale, and is asking The Farm to agree to an additional list of requirements including loan covenants, personal guarantees from investors, financial capability statements and financial reporting requirements.

"My job, as I define it, is to look out for the best interests of the taxpayers and what liabilities we may inherit," said Smith. "Everything we're doing right is focused on protecting the taxpayers from a financial perspective."

Nobody is saying The Farm isn't a good project, said Greg Winkler, Anderson's interim economic development director,

"The city certainly wants The Farm LLC to succeed," he said. "The question is how we find a more equitable way to share the risk and the reward."

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Call Carmel
    Anderson needs call Carmel. They can easily tell Anderson how to finagle this deal using taxpayer's dollars, new loans from a shell corporation to pay off these loans to raise ready cash and then eventually make big money for all of the players. And if Anderson could find something that they own that they could sell and borrow money to buy back and then sell it again they could really get this thing going.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. How is the private developer going to repay the bonds. Is this going to be a toll road?

  2. As well as a Portillio'S!!!!!!

  3. A Lou Malnati's would be awesome!!!!!!!!

  4. We aren't broke. We just aren't willing to raise revenues for this that we should be raising them.

  5. OK. now that the state is taking illegal immigrants, willing or not. There is a major concern that needs to be addressed. First: School starts here in 3 weeks in most parts of the country and probably in Indiana. So is the state going to vaccinate these kids before they intermingle with our kids in school? The problem we are going to have here in the US and possibly in Indiana is that some of these kids could be carrying health issues or diseases that are pretty much eradicated in the US. This could cause a major health issue in the US. Second: Who is going to pay for this building disaster? We are flat out broke….. Down here in Texas, we have 14 counties that have been so swamped with kids, (numerous thousands of them), they are on the verge of financial collapse. Now this is happening in counties in New Mexico, Arizona and California. The system is massively overloaded. Swine flu has started back up in San Antonio since they have nearly 2500 kids that have been placed there and lice is rampant. Not to be insensitive, but we need to stop this madness. I find it amazing that we cannot take care of our veterans and yet give carte blanche to illegals entering the country. Recently an article mentioned that these kids and teenagers can get on planes without TSA screening? What? What the Hell???? Keep in mind this about protecting our national sovereignty as a nation and also living under the rule of law. Not only the terrorist threat that can come over the border. This is a deliberate and irresponsible and illegal act from administration ignoring the constitutional duty of protecting the borders and also upholding the supreme law of the land. This is a classic Cloward and Piven strategy to overload the system until it collapses.

ADVERTISEMENT