Marsh drops abatement request

July 24, 2007
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Marsh Supermarkets has withdrawn a request for a five-year tax abatement for renovation of the downtown O'Malia's store. MarshMarsh officials notified the city Tuesday, shortly after Property Lines reported on the abatement. Marsh Spokeswoman Connie Gardner said the controversy over property tax increases fueled the decision. She said the original request was appropriate, considering the company's investment of up to $1.5 million and the potential creation of new jobs if sales increase. "We're going to put a bunch of money in that store and really make it nice for the people downtown," Gardner said. "We do believe it was a valid request at the time, but when we filed it we weren't in the current environment on property taxes."
  • This just proves how meaningless the tax abatement
    process is. Tax abatements are supposed to be
    granted only if the development would not occur
    without it. This demonstrates the lie that is tax
    abatement. They are going forward with the project, just
    as most projects would proceed without
    abatement. They ask for it because they can. The
    tax abatement, TIF charades need to stop.
  • I don't think I could have said it any better than SOS, so I'll leave it at that.
  • As they should have! The convention center hotel shouldn't receive any either, but it will. Some projects do warrant them...if they bring PERMANENT jobs, not just construction related or service industry.
  • Tax abatements generally are supported by capital investment and job creation, and are justified. However, Marsh withdrew because the $50,000 would have bought well more than that in bad pub. This was a questionable abatement application at best.
  • First, I would like to say that tax abatements and a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) are two distinctly different things. Second, both have their place in supporting economic development. That being said, I honestly believe that both tools are subject to over-use and abuse, but that is not a reason to do away with them wholesale.
  • Amen to JAK. A lot of the problem with economic development tools is that they end up going to already-large and sophisticated project developers who can afford expensive consultants.

    Both tax abatements and TIFs are useful in smaller-scale neighborhood redevelopment. They've proven very useful in targeted strategies such as the Methodist Hospital expansion (TIF) and Fall Creek Place (TIF and tax abatement). Without them, Methodist would probably now be somewhere in the suburbs, and Fall Creek Place would still be Dodge City.
  • On an unrelated note, why in the world has it taken the new Marsh people (and for that matter, the old ones) SO LONG to decide this store needs renovation work?

    I've worked in the area for many years and been a downtown resident for several years now, and it has been depressing to see this store slide into the gutter. What was a premium grocery at one time no longer offers a distinctive product mix. Many of the staff members are sloppy-looking and unprofessional (some have been completely rude to me) and the physical condition is shabby and even unclean in areas.

    Almost everyone I know who lives or works downtown longs for a better option such as Whole Foods or something like Sunflower Market.
  • Peter -- word on the street is that One America would like a grocery to move into the ground floor space in their almost-completely-renovated Gibson Building. Anything that provides a better option than O'Malias would be wonderful.
  • Is there parking at the Gibson Building for grocery-retail?
  • The parking lots around the Gibson Building have all been spruced-up, so they must also be owned by One America. I'm sure some of it will be made available for the retail areas.
  • I read an article about the Gibson Building earlier summer that mentioned the possible retail grocery use on the ground floor. The article mentioned that OneAmerica has around 300 employees in the building and the adjacent parking lot has around 400 spaces. That is why people were/are hopeful for a grocery, b/c few sites downtown can offer on-site parking like that.
  • Peter - O'Malia's downtown isn't the only part of the Marsh chain
    that's sliding downhill. The Nora store has also been slowly declining.
    Products that are no longer carried, or more likely just not on the shelf
    have become the norm and the fresh produce section is awful. But don't put
    Sunflower Market on a pedestal. When it opened it Broad Ripple, it
    was terrific. But they've since decreased their product lines and their
    produce is not what it was when they opened either. One wonders
    what it will take to get a good grocery store here and the keep it.
  • Carmel is being built on TIF money. Can't wait to see the tax bills on Carmel in a few years. I bet they're quite juicy.
  • I think people are confused about how TIFs work and are attacking them without understanding what is really going on with a TIF District. TIFs aren't paid by additional property taxes, they are paid with property taxes related to the appreciation in property value. Further they only apply to those properties within said designated TIF District not by all properties within the local governmental unit. I feel like people attack TIFs b/c they are a hot-button issued and are just used as talking points. TIFs aren't bad, just mis-used (like in the case of Carmel).

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