One Tech disconnect

| | Comments (12) | TrackBacks (0)

How did the Whirled's P. J. Lassek come up with this first paragraph:

Consolidating several city facilities including City Hall into the One Technology Center appears to be a good deal, seven of the nine City Councilors said Friday.

from this set of comments, found in the same story:

District 1, Jack Henderson: "Councilor Jack Henderson said he needs to talk to more city employees because of concerns raised about the open office environment in the new building, which would mean workers might have less space and privacy. 'I think when all the dust settles, it will probably be a good deal.'"

District 2, Rick Westcott: "Councilor Rick Westcott said the city faces a decision -- either perform $12 million that is funded out of $24 million in deferred maintenance on the current aging City Hall building, or find an alternative. 'This alternative seems like an idea that makes sense,' he said. Westcott said he also plans to seek input from real estate experts. 'This alternative seems like an idea that makes sense.'"

District 3, Roscoe Turner: "Councilor Roscoe Turner said he doesn't know what he thinks about the deal. 'I have a lot of concerns to focus on other than moving City Hall. I can understand getting out of this building with the mold problems and all. I really haven't given it much thought. I really don't care about it.'"

District 4, Maria Barnes: "Councilor Maria Barnes said relocating City Hall has not been on her radar. She said she needs to determine what the city is getting into."

District 5, Bill Martinson: Was out of town, missed briefing.

District 6, Dennis Troyer: Was out of town, missed briefing.

District 7, John Eagleton: "Councilor John Eagleton said he needs time to digest the figures so he can make a decision. He said he already has some questions he needs answered. "

District 8, Bill Christiansen: "Councilor Bill Christiansen said the proposal 'sounds like a great business deal, but I think it will be a hard sell to my constituents who are still waiting for basic services. Most people don't realize that we're a fund-based city. They just know we don't have good streets, and they don't have sewer lines. Now we're going to go out and buy another building,' he said. Christiansen said he isn't saying he's against it at this point."

District 9, Cason Carter: "If this decision ends up saving taxpayers money, I think it's
a good one.... Right now, it's too early to tell."

My tally is seven who say they have concerns or questions that need to be addressed, and two that couldn't be reached. Was this a case of the Whirled putting their preferred spin in the lead paragraph and hoping no one would read the body of the article?

0 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: One Tech disconnect.

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.batesline.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/2919

12 Comments

Bob said:

The building as constructed is totally unsuited for multi-tenancies. it was constructed as a SOLO-tenant construction: WilTel. Period.

Reason being: The Sun-atrium allows full, untrestricted access from any floor to any other floor above or below.

While the ICONIC building may be pretty, it is wholly unsuitable for multi-tenancies as being promoted by the mayor's toady Heinrich Himmelfart.

And if the Mayor does get this bad deal sold to the citizens, I've just got to wonder how the sanitation workers, city water main and water line repair, and street repair people and all of their EQUIPMENT currently stored at 23rd and Jackson are going to fit into a Class A Office building?

Posting a sign: Wipe your feet, hip waders, gloves, overalls, shovels, pipewrenches and hard hats BEFORE walking on the clean carpet........and, PLEASE do NOT lean against the walls before bathing.

XonOFF said:

Yeah, I had the same thought after reading the article...had to go back to the top and read the headline again...then, just shook my head.

Good thing I don't rely on them for news.

Bobby Author Profile Page said:

Fuzzy Math?

manasclerk said:

Chicago has an atrium-style building for many of the city offices. Perhaps someone should let them know the joys of the James R. Thompson Center.

Has no one read "How Buildings Learn"?

S. Lee said:

I tend to agree with the "Fuzzy Math" comment. One has to wonder how businesses situated in much older buildings downtown are getting along if the math that is being slung around is correct. Being all glass, I would think that energy costs would be rather high at the crystal cathedral.

If the city truly needs another building, then more than just the one option should be considered.

I hope Tulsa voters don't continue to be so gullible that they gleefully chow down another load of money spending hogwash and put the city's finances in even worse shape. The gullible voters should consider: If the current building is as bad and as much of an economic mess as is being preached, then the only logical fate for the building is to tear it down since it would make no economic sense for ANYBODY to use it. So in addition to the price of moving into the crystal cathedral, there is the demolition cost for the old building. I wonder if that has been figured into the fuzzy math.

Robert said:

I'll give PJ 4 of 9

XonOFF said:

Let's start with the new Authority's mortgage arrangements...or, the Bond amount, writer and commission/proceeds amounts.

Then, current tenant square footages and rates and total rent income.

Then, how much the City of Tulsa will be paying the Authority each month.

And, of course, where that money comes from. I did kind of wonder how that money could be compared to current costs at all since the Bond which built the current facilities was paid off long ago. And, they've already admitted they do no mantenance, so that hasn't been a recent cost.

A new building, then, is ALL new money. So, where's it coming from? We don't have $800K to keep golf courses running. Most of the incinerators' $6/mo Tulsans has been paying for 20 years (and, now, indefinitely, with Ms. Taylor slinging back a whopping $1 refund on trash rates to us at this point)?

Maybe much of the 7% rate increase in utility rates NEXT year (as opposed to the 9% increase LAST year)?

I'd also like to see a statement by Ms. Taylor which directly addressess Homeland Security issues related to consolidation of all city offices to a single location, and the provisions of this building to assist in the protection of its occupants should an attack occur.

And, then, there's the obvious issues of public access and multiple tenant occupancy which this building was never designed to accomodate. It was designed and built as a single-tenant, corporate, non-public building for WilTel Communications, Inc. Even the mechanical systems were not set up for multiple tenants.

This building is ILL-SUITED for a City Hall environment.


sbtulsa said:

What is the substance here? taylor is working on a decision for which she hired a former dallas cowboy's firm to make a recommendation. Why sis she need a consultant to tell her about the downtown real estate market in the city she says she is qualified to run? since she has the report, why has she not shared it with the council? apparently the information sharing has stopped along with the bickering.

now we are in the guts of the decision. Is the city getting value for its expenditure? that expenditure has two parts. First, the purchase price. since real estate values in downtown seem to be moribund at best, I have a hard time seeing this as a viable investment. IS the arena opening going to make the new city hall more valuable. property value is not the most important issue here, but must be considered. What is the functionality for the employees over the current city hall? Don't know but its the most important consideration. Third, moving and buildout costs. Will the owner give the city a buildout budget and a move in allowance? that's customary in commercial property leasing.

all in all, it looks like the council is out in the cold.

Rebecca Bryant said:

I saw a presentation this morning on the City Hall Consolidation Study, and would be happy to answer some of the questions above.

"While the ICONIC building may be pretty, it is wholly unsuitable for multi-tenancies as being promoted..."
--The building already has more than one tenant (at least three I think), and Level 3 will be moving to a different building downtown, creating a larger vacancy in the building.

"Being all glass, I would think that energy costs would be rather high at the crystal cathedral."
--I understand why a person might initially think that, but it is actually a Green building with with lower energy costs. It was designed that way. FACT.

"So in addition to the price of moving into the crystal cathedral, there is the demolition cost for the old building. I wonder if that has been figured into the fuzzy math."
--The demolition cost of the old city hall is not a factor in the move. That cost will be a part of the project cost for whoever builds a hotel on that site.

"since she has the report, why has she not shared it with the council? apparently the information sharing has stopped"
--It has been shared with the city council. First in individual meetings, and then as a whole. The full report is two huge binders full (I saw it this morning). A PowerPoint summary report has been developed and is publicly available here: http://www.cityoftulsa.org/OurCity/Mayor/OneTech.asp

This morning the EDC voted to support this consolidation. Here are some of the reasons why: * Saves the city (and taxpayers) a significant amount of money, money which can then be free to spend on other needy items
* Helps in the revitalization of downtown
* City Hall DESPERATELY needs to present a more favorable impression to companies considering relocation to Tulsa (not to mention our own residents)
* The potential for LEED Certification (Green building) creates a competitive advantage for Tulsa and demonstrates the desire for our city to be a leader in environmental issues (also reduces long term energy needs of the City)
* Creates a “One Stop” for city services all in the same building
* Improves downtown real estate market by reducing vacancy
* Replaces current (obsolete/aging) city hall location with a hotel site adjacent to convention center (will make new arena much more desirable for major conventions, and will increase tax revenues)
* It is an innovative idea that presents Tulsa as a more forward thinking city, and is vital if we want to compete in the 21st Century.
* THERE WILL BE NO TAX INCREASE AS A RESULT OF THIS.

Bill Moeller said:

It is quickly becoming apparent that the Mayor and Mr. Himmelfarb really do think that we are all "idiots out there."

A few responses and further questions to the "answers" posted above:


"While the ICONIC building may be pretty, it is wholly unsuitable for multi-tenancies as being promoted..."
--The building already has more than one tenant (at least three I think), and Level 3 will be moving to a different building downtown, creating a larger vacancy in the building.

---Hmmmm... Why are they moving out? Could it be that the building is NOT so suitable for multiple tenants?

"So in addition to the price of moving into the crystal cathedral, there is the demolition cost for the old building. I wonder if that has been figured into the fuzzy math."
--The demolition cost of the old city hall is not a factor in the move. That cost will be a part of the project cost for whoever builds a hotel on that site.

---Seriously? We can't get any legitimate developers interested in building a hotel on pre-cleared piece of land directly across the street from the arena. The "developer that is interested is asking for subsidies. The city's own hotel market study said no full-service hotels could be built without subsidies. Now we are to believe that a hotel developer is magically going to appear who will be willing to spend millions of dollars to buy the property, demolish the old city hall and THEN build a hotel, all without further city subsidy??? Either the mayor and Himmelfarb are seriously delusional or seriously dishonest.

"since she has the report, why has she not shared it with the council? apparently the information sharing has stopped"
--It has been shared with the city council. First in individual meetings, and then as a whole. The full report is two huge binders full (I saw it this morning). A PowerPoint summary report has been developed and is publicly available here: http://www.cityoftulsa.org/OurCity/Mayor/OneTech.asp

---Why not make the entire report available on the web. The PowerPoint presentation does NOT make the case that this this "makes absolute, without a doubt, financial sense" as the mayor is spinning it.


This morning the EDC voted to support this consolidation. Here are some of the reasons why: * Saves the city (and taxpayers) a significant amount of money, money which can then be free to spend on other needy items

--- What a bunch of hooey. If it saves us money, show us the facts. The PowerPoint Presentation shows us that the COMBINATION of $24 million of deferred maintenance plus operating costs of the current facilities is $15 million more than the operating costs of the "new" city hall. What kind of analysis is that? Staubach should be embarrassed to have his name on this. Wouldn't an apples-to-apples comparison require us to look at what it would cost to get the current facilities up to "par" compared to the $67 million capital cost of moving to the "new" building and then compare operating costs? I guess not if your sole objective is to have your study support your desired outcome... Let's see: According to the study, $24 million of deferred maintenance to stay where we are compared to $67 million to move. And the study shows operating costs for the current facilities (without the fraudulent inclusion of deferred maintenance costs) are actually $9 million LOWER than the "new" city hall.

* Helps in the revitalization of downtown
---How?

* City Hall DESPERATELY needs to present a more favorable impression to companies considering relocation to Tulsa (not to mention our own residents)
---More Hooey. Only if they can airlift company representative into the new city hall so they don't see the condition of the city streets, etc etc. And does anyone seriously think that companies make relocation decisions based on the beauty of the city hall???

* The potential for LEED Certification (Green building) creates a competitive advantage for Tulsa and demonstrates the desire for our city to be a leader in environmental issues (also reduces long term energy needs of the City)
--- Maintaining current buildings, rather than tearing them down and sending them to a landfill is environmentally sound too. They could also demonstrate "environmental leadership" by making environmentally sound improvements to the current city hall. Besides, I'm skeptical how much of a competitive advantage a LEED Certified City Hall will give us.

* Creates a “One Stop” for city services all in the same building
--- This seems to have been overbilled. I'm not even sure this is a positive, especially when the building is more difficult for the "idiots out there" to access than other sites.

* Improves downtown real estate market by reducing vacancy
--- Marginal plus; but not a justification for this move.

* Replaces current (obsolete/aging) city hall location with a hotel site adjacent to convention center (will make new arena much more desirable for major conventions, and will increase tax revenues)
--- Again, tell me how we're magically going to have two hotel developers for two sites (one of which has a multi-story building and parking deck that will have to be torn down by the developer) when we can't get one developer for a pre-cleared site?

* It is an innovative idea that presents Tulsa as a more forward thinking city, and is vital if we want to compete in the 21st Century.
--- Give me a break. Just like the Chamber of Commerce's move into a 1980's building presents the city as an innovative, forward-looking city? Here are some ideas to show we're an innovative, forward-looking city... fix the streets. fix the city services. fix the swimming pools. don't close the golf courses. provide some leadership on getting some realistic and innovative riverside development.

* THERE WILL BE NO TAX INCREASE AS A RESULT OF THIS.
--- Whatever. And the $67 million is just going to rain down upon us out of the sky. If there's not a tax increase, then there must be some reduced city services as a result of this.


Maybe there are real answers to my questions and arguments. If so, I'd sure like to see them from the Whirled, the mayor, or Mr. Himmelfarb, rather than just pronouncing that it "makes absolute, without a doubt, financial sense" and is apparently too complicated for us "idiots out there" to understand. For starters, POST THE FULL STUDY ON THE INTERNET.

Doug Haas said:

This mornings 6/13 Tulsa Whirled states that only "idiots" don't think the new city hall is a great idea.

sbtulsa said:

"Improves downtown real estate market by reducing vacancy" - an artifical improvement since its done with citizens tax dollars as opposed to the building being filled with employees of a company that bring new jobs to the city. i doubt that downtown will see an increase in rental rates per sq foot. that won't happen unless the econcomy picks up.


"Replaces current (obsolete/aging) city hall location with a hotel site adjacent to convention center (will make new arena much more desirable for major conventions, and will increase tax revenues)" - How many beds will the proposed hotel have? Maybe a hotel will be a convenience for the convention center but it won't have nearly enough beds by itself to house a convention big enough to generate a large economic impact. The hotels already downtown would also have to provide space. As to supporting the arena, its a pretty long walk for an out of towner staying at the City Hall Memorial Hotel. in order to be a safe walk, we're still going to have to have more COPS ON THE STREET.

"It is an innovative idea that presents Tulsa as a more forward thinking city, and is vital if we want to compete in the 21st Century." - Forward thinking? Look where the arena was placed. nuff said.

All in all this looks like trying to make downtown what it was in the fifties. Ironic that I am writing this on the day the 1957 car is revealed/dug up to see if it starts.


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 8, 2007 6:18 PM.

Taylor in the Times for anti-gun-rights involvement was the previous entry in this blog.

Audit finds problems at Fair Meadows is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Contact

Feeds

Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed:
Atom
RSS
[What is this?]