Monday, April 03, 2017

Destroying Value to Create an "Aura" . . .

Who is more dangerous to the taxpayers of Utica?  County Executive Picente? or Mayor Palmieri?  That was the thought that crossed my mind when I read the OD's  "Big plans near Utica Aud, but what about Insight House?" about how Insight House might be incompatible with their plans for a sports and entertainment district.

Here it seems that Mayor Palmieri thinks a baseball stadium in place of Insight House would be a better fit for the neighborhood in order to create an "aura of a large city appeal driving over 12 North, the Arterial, looking down" about the City of Utica.

So that's what this is all about . . . auras . . . illusions . . . smoke and mirrors . . . to make people think that things are better than they really are?

No, Insight House, a treatment center for chemical dependency, is probably not a good fit for a sports and entertainment district that will include a gambling casino. But will the value of an "aura" from a stadium on Route 12 (minus the expense to create the stadium and minus the negative impact to the existing stadium a couple miles south also on Route 12) outweigh the value that will be lost to the community if Insight House has to be uprooted and moved?

It took many years and many injections of taxpayer dollars through grants for Insight House to develop its current facility and capabilities.  Market value for that property will not cover the actual cost of duplicating the facility's capabilities elsewhere.  This means that a relocated Insight House will either have reduced capabilities, or more money will have to be invested to recreate them.  The difference between market value and actual cost is a value that will be lost to the community at large.  Do you think that the lost value is a fair price for an "aura?"

Whether it is the "Sports and Entertainment District," the Downtown Hospital, Griffiss "International" Airport, various EDGE projects, or the Utica Urban Renewal projects of old, values were, are being, or will be destroyed.  

The lost values from these projects never seem to get calculated. . . and what is actually gained seems elusive . . . like an "aura."

4 comments:

Greens and Beans said...

What's concerning to most of us, is their disregard for the synergy component of economic development. It's as if they forgot what they learned in their college micro economics classes. Having a sports complex (hockey, baseball, soccer and football fields), newly proposed hospital and addiction rehabilitation center located within a few blocks of each other is eclectic at best. There is a reason why most large retailers i.e. how auto dealerships, big box retailers, hotel/motels, and restaurants tend to locate in the general location of each other. If our elected leaders do not understand this concept, they would do their constituency justice by seeking economic advice in terms of educating themselves on the concept of synergy.

Anonymous said...

Greens and Beans. If our elected leaders understood anything about economics and synergy we would not be one of the most depressed areas in the nation.

Anonymous said...

Let's build a casino downtown! And people will come to Utica,& people will spend money, & people will rent motel rooms, & go to Comet's games, & they'll shop, & go to restaurants, & we'll get more sales tax money, & people will go to shows, & the tax base will improve & they'll be jobs & we'll all live happily ever after just like Atlantic City! Please, pretty please can we have a new casino, Santa?

Anonymous said...

There is an old tried and true adage that Utica is three years behind the times in anything. The County Executive's plan is yet another example of that truth. Casino? How many are within 2 to 3 hours of Utica? A craft brewery hall of fame or museum? The entire craft brewery industry is on the downswing as to market saturation. They now approach pizza joints, one on every corner. The trend of craft beer is moving downward meaning interest in it is. There have been articles in both the NYT and WSJ to that effect. Evidently politicians here do not read. So, we've now fallen from the Nano miracle to tired, old ideas.