Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bass Pro Shop Will Get Its Zoning Change. The City Cannot Afford To Not Allow It.

I received the following information this morning from a bus rider:

Regarding the property now in issue as potential site for a hotel or whatever use is decided upon after a zoning change is approved, Bass Pro benefitted by tax provisions under the rules of the original enterprise zone established in 1984 for a 25-year period. That 25-year period expires in 2009. Therefore, new tax incentives must be instituted if Bass Pro is to benefit financially and, as a consequence, the City of Springfield benefits, as well.

The upcoming zoning change hearing is step one of a predictable outcome in which Bass Pro and the City of Springfield win and the neighbors, who waited too long to take any action, lose.

Until 1994, the city and private industry/commerce remained separate entities. The city represented the public sector; the industry/commerce represented the private sector.

The Public Sector, as representative of The People, was more interested in social welfare than in the profit potential. The Private Sector, being based on business, was more interested in the profit potential of a venture. Jointly, although separately, the public and private sectors constituted the basis from which a venue's economy functioned.

Then, in 1994 in Springfield a new form of creative capitalization-by-necessity set a precedent. A Target store was opened near the James River Freeway off Glenstone Avenue. There existed a major problem with the sewer system in Springfield, a city with more than 1000 miles of pipes which were, to a large extent, cracked, broken, otherwise defective, and inadequate for handling the water and sewage of a city on the grow.

Target was granted favorable Tax Incentive Financing (TIF) in exchange for repairing/replacing the wornout defective sewer system. Thus came into existence the first public/private partnership in Springfield's economic history.

Fast forward to 2009. The floodprone area in issue at Washita Street-South Avenue is part of the Bass Pro property. The City of Springfield does not have the millions of dollars absolutely necessary to restore the land to its natural usage as a retention pond/water basin. By working out a TIF project beneficial to both Bass Pro and the city, Bass Pro will pay to have the Infiltration/Inflow problems fixed with first-class landscaping and beautification, in exchange for tax benefits that make such a project feasible.

The joint action will probably destroy the east side of South Ave. as a neighborhood but it will save the city from the Federal lawsuit threatened for $75 million by Dept. of Justice vs. City of Springfield in 1994 for violation of both the federal and state Clean Water Acts.

Bass Pro will get its zoning change. The city cannot afford to not allow it.


dirtsister said...

Interesting. Back in the 80's I worked at BPS and we were told then that plans for a hotel were in the works and neighboring houses were already being purchased. There was also plans for a lake to be built on the corner of Campbell and Sunshine so boats could be "test driven" before purchased. Evidently, the water feature was scaled back a bit.

shak el said...

Some of the lots on South Street are owned by the Wine Center which I know is owned by the same folks as Bass Pro

shak el said...

Strangely enough I lived at the End of Washita and my backyard was ground zero for flooding (1996-2005). The house never flooded tho the yard did (and we never had to water the lawn due to the underground water flow). Thewater always receeded pretty quickly. I have seen worse flooding on Atlantic Ave on the North side.