Economic Development Sales Tax: 10-Year Review - Part V
The Great Os was good enough to take one of these (Part III) so here goes:
An interesting set of quotes concerning Entrada Building A found in the MRT article of 11/06/2011, Economic Development Sales Tax: 10-Year Review:
But first, some history: Entrada Building A was determined by the MDC to be a much needed (and presumably demanded) feature of the Entrada Business Park. It was built at a cost of at least a couple of million bucks (I'm guessing) and was available for occupancy on August 18, 2006. It has yet to see an occupant since it was available five years ago.
Some more history: The "Chunnel" was built in five years.
More history that is even more history-ish: Hadrian's Wall was built in five years.
Now, we know what happens in the private sector when someone builds a spec building and it sits empty for five years. That someone either has a load of cash reserves to absorb the losses or the building is...um...removed from them. Either way, the market provides the proper feedback.
In the land of unicorns, fairy dust, and Economic Development there is no such feedback. Quite the contrary, in fact. A spec building that has gone un-occupied for five years is actually seen as an asset:
The building was completed near the end of 2004. It remains empty. But, [Economic Developemnt officials] said it's been a vital component of the MDC's economic development offerings.
"When we made the decision to put it out there, the people who we were in competition with had buildings," James said. "We were years behind communities that had been out there. We just didn't have those resources. It's obviously sad the building's still empty."
With the building, Billingsley said the MDC was able to stay on the list of cities being considered by several companies. Even if the company didn't end up needing the building, just having it there gave Midland an edge to compete in certain industries, he said.
"If you don't have that, you're not competing," he said. "The competition is over."
On the one hand we are told that it is sad that we have not found an occupant for the building. On the other we are told that in order to even stay in the ED game we need to have such a building available. So which is more valuable to us? An occupied building or one that keeps us competitive by being available?
To be fair I can actually see the argument for both (even if I do not agree) but taken together it only makes sense if they are willing to immediately build another building as soon as the first is filled. Even if it too has to sit empty for five years before an occupant can be found.
Keep that in mind while (if you have a few minutes) you get on Google Earth and look at Midland using the "Historical Imagery" feature and see for yourself what kind of development has gone on since Entrada Building A was built.
Development that has all gone on without the benefit of government directed incentives and subsidies.
CORRECTION: This Wikipedia entry states that Hadrian's Wall actually took closer to six years to complete and not the five years stated above. On the other hand, it was occupied almost immediately.
Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Economic Development Sales Tax: 10-Year Review - Part V.
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