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  1. #126
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    Most ideas around Detroit are often reliant on other initiatives and small changes happening. I like the idea of putting th tax money to something that supports the desired goal.

    A part of the goal could be to remove some lots, maybe making the tax small enough to be not worth caring about (boiling a frog in water), or making it manageable for lot owners by itself, but not with other developments like new garages, stronger security near street lots, initiatives to make some garages cheaper, nicer streetscapes, and more transit options. It may take more work than building transit lines to encourage beautification or development on un-landscaped surface lots.

  2. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettopalmetto View Post
    Nonetheless, it would discourage slumlording of vacant high-rises downtown, as the owners would have every incentive to lease the space or sell the building to cover the tax liability. Such a restructuring changes the numbers game entirely as far as "feasibility" of renovation projects is concerned.

    On the other hand, what happens in the case of say, a Lafayette Building, where the slumlord in question is the City itself???
    In the best case scenario, it would make the Lafayette more attractive to a developer who would come in to buy it from the city. The city owned the Lafayette Building because no one was interested in owning the property. If other building owners are forced to invest into their properties and attract tenants then that would have driven up the worth of the Lafayette.

  3. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
    In the best case scenario, it would make the Lafayette more attractive to a developer who would come in to buy it from the city. The city owned the Lafayette Building because no one was interested in owning the property. If other building owners are forced to invest into their properties and attract tenants then that would have driven up the worth of the Lafayette.
    Well, until they find someone to unload that location on, they should build another Premier Parking Garage there. Make it the same thing, we've built the garage, we await your construction. In the meantime, let people park there.

  4. #129
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    I don't understand the anti-all-tax sentiment. What is so bad about pooling resources, and taxing things that harm the city, as well as people who choose to live outside of it?

    Anyway, you might be right. Some of the worst things imaginable were done with th best of intentions, I suppose. Anything we do has a strong possibility of creating unintended consequences. Problems should maybe be solved slowly, one at a time, to prevent confusion of results. Solutions should probably also be tested on a small scale, to play out real world scenarios.

    Better transit and enforcing existing laws and ordinances might be enough to solve many problems. So, this whole issue should probably be shelved and reconsidered another day. Maybe it's time to work on other areas that aren't being properly addressed, or helping existing efforts... there are plenty.

  5. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
    In the best case scenario, it would make the Lafayette more attractive to a developer who would come in to buy it from the city. The city owned the Lafayette Building because no one was interested in owning the property. If other building owners are forced to invest into their properties and attract tenants then that would have driven up the worth of the Lafayette.
    I find it almost comical that now, with the announced Free Press renovation, that's three big renovation projects within a couple blocks stagger of the Lafayette within the past few years. I guess there's just no market to reuse a building in that location.

    Oh wait, that's right--the Lafayette was "structurally unsound". Can Detroit implement a tax on trees that grow out of buildings?

  6. #131
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    Yessiree, and a heavy one at that, to force some action.

    The trouble would be collecting on that tax. I don't suppose the owners are keeping up with their property tax payments as it is if they're letting trees take root there.

  7. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by fryar View Post
    Yessiree, and a heavy one at that, to force some action.

    The trouble would be collecting on that tax. I don't suppose the owners are keeping up with their property tax payments as it is if they're letting trees take root there.
    And you can't exactly levy a tax on trees when the City of Detroit itself is one of the larger slumlords in the game.

  8. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by fryar View Post
    Well, until they find someone to unload that location on, they should build another Premier Parking Garage there. Make it the same thing, we've built the garage, we await your construction. In the meantime, let people park there.
    Was this sarcasm? A parking garage for people to park and visit the huge parking garage that they just constructed directly across the street?

  9. #134
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    Not really, but I can see why you would think that. My thinking was that garage infrastructure is needed in order to provide an alternative to surface lot parking so that commuters don't see a downtown parking tax on surface lots as just another attempt by the city to profit off their supposedly well-heeled pocketbooks. I was concerned with whether there is enough garage capacity, and whether that garage capacity has street level retail and such.

    We can all take heart that things have been worse (link) with regard to downtown surface lots.
    Last edited by fryar; June-24-10 at 03:58 AM. Reason: Removed inadvertent pun on taking "hart"

  10. #135

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    [QUOTE=fryar;157397]Not really, but I can see why you would think that. My thinking was that garage infrastructure is needed in order to provide an alternative to surface lot parking so that commuters don't see a downtown parking tax on surface lots as just another attempt by the city to profit off their supposedly well-heeled pocketbooks. I was concerned with whether there is enough garage capacity, and whether that garage capacity has street level retail and such.

    I still don't believe that there is any significant lack of garage capacity in downtown Detroit for the typical workday. I don't think anyone has provided any evidence to show there is a need for more... Just because people park in surface lots doesn't mean that all the garages are full. It could very well be that they are choosing the surface lots because they are closer to their final destination or less expensive than similarly close structures.

  11. #136
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    That could well be. I thought there might be because unsubsidized garage parking for the office buildings I worked at was $150, while there did seem to be some slightly cheaper options that you would have to hunt for (there was one across from the Y that actually advertised $80/mo. Of course, this could have been daytime only. The lots always quoted me $100, but upped it to $150 when they realized I was living downtown and just looking to park the damn thing somewhere, day and night, due to the lost revenue from ballgames and whatnot. I never conducted a complete scientific survey, of course, but based on this limited personal experience of mine, I just assumed that there was a shortage of garage parking, of which the use of surface lots (in general, not a specific one here or there) was symptomatic. If there is currently a surplus, then in principle it would be possible to start incentivising the use of a parking garage over a surface lot, aside from very important technicalities of how this incentive is structured in order to comply with legal requirements and such. It would also be beneficial if the parkers did not have to pay more for parking, but this is not enforceable, of course.
    Sorry, gotta run and catch my plane. But does that make sense? Downtown would be much improved if it had fewer surface lots.

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