To the average observer it would seem that the areas adjacent to The Pit, University Stadium, CNM, and Isotopes Park would be great locations for at least a few bars and restaurants. And there are a few, mostly clustered around the airport. Now we hear that the City and UNM are working on a deal to ensure that millions of dollars in tax revenues are diverted (in the form of a TIDD) to pay for infrastructure improvements that would help get that development moving.
There are some critical questions that must be asked first:
- Since it is owned by UNM, isn’t the land being developed currently off the tax rolls? What does this mean in terms of how much money will be diverted to the development?
- TIDD’s (also known as TIF) are generally used to redevelop “blighted” areas. What makes this lucrative area which is home to a community college and all of the big local sports venues “blighted” and thus in need of a taxpayer subsidy?
- Is there ANY independent analysis as to whether this TIDD is actually needed or if the developers are just looking to get the best deal possible? Seems that before taxpayer dollars are diverted to this project that we need to know whether it is actually “necessary” to make something happen in the South Campus area.
One Reply to “Answers needed before UNM gets TIDD”
I’ve live close to this particular area of town, and have worked with the neighborhood association and Lobo Development in the failed attempts at developing this empty space. As explained to us, the principal holdup is that the UNM Regents did not want to sell the land, either as smaller lots or en toto; they would rather lease the land and collect the revenues, whereas the developers revealed that the potential anchor stores wanted to invest their monies in buying the lots and expanding their markets into the area. Some of the local merchants were concerned that this would allow a larger name brand warehouse type store (Walmart, Target, etc) and they would lose business due to the competition, but this is unlikely going to happen, principally because, as stated in the article, this is a blighted area and there isn’t enough income floating around even for a Walmart to move in.