The Urban Land Institute bills itself as a broad-based coalition of land-use professionals and planners, dedicated to creating better places. Some of their seminars, though, reveal a bunch of developers who seem more concerned about their own profits than the public good.
Sponsored by a Who's Who of local developers, the Tampa Bay ULI chapter (a booster of the One Bay planning project I wrote about elsewhere) recently hosted a seminar teaching developers how to thwart citizen participation in the land-use process, labeling all citizens who get in their way with the derogatory term, "NIMBY."
And now the national group is putting on a webinar to teach developers how to pocket more of our tax money.
The online description of the tax-snarfing webinar is cloaked in pretentious jargon, so I've provided some parenthetical translations (in red, like this) and I've added some underlining to help you pick your way through the baloney:
But, where will the capital to fund this conversion [of "underutilized" properties] come from given that current market conditions will make it impossible to use purely private sources? (Where can you get the money to build, now that the banks have stopped making risky loans, and investors have wised up since you and your developer friends over-saturated the market and crashed our economy?)
The answer lies in a poorly understood and emerging source of development capital; namely, public-private partnerships. (The private "partner" gets the public money!) These partnerships address five critical tasks to convert obsolete properties: