Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Whose Parking Garage Is It?

Poag & McEwen project on Highland, Memphis
At the University Neighborhood meeting tonight, I was able to ask Steve Barlow, Executive Director of the University Neighborhood Development Corp, about the parking garage that's part of the Highland Street TIF.

Q. Who will own the parking garage that the TIF pays for?

A. The public will own it. Probably via the Community Redevelopment Agency that will issue the bonds.

Q. What about the fees from the parking garage -- who receives them?

A. The public agency that owns the garage.

This is good news. The TIF will pay for improvements to the public infrastructure, and will not finance private assets with public money. The blight designation is still a major stretch, but the risk of corruption is much less if you remove private grants/public money from the process. (check out Smart City for more analysis of TIF risk).

It looks like an interesting project.

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