Whither boice.net and the Reisz Furniture Building?

The Reisz building in 2006.

The Green Mouse’s ear turns to the rumorama, and specifically, a recent hint that New Albany’s boice.net will purchase and rehabilitate the long-moribund Main Street structure known locally as the Reisz Furniture Building.

The rumor was relayed with a puzzling caveat: Boice would be compelled to quantify the amount of money the company intends to invest in restoring the building for contemporary use, to the tune of $3 – 4 million. But to whom is this as yet unverified commitment being made? Seller or city?

The rumor may or may not be true. However, if factual, the obvious question asks itself: Will boice.net be receiving enticement in the form of credits commensurate with sewer tap-in fees waived for the Indianapolis-based developer of apartments on the former Coyle site?

If not, a follow-up: As a city, why do we persist in subsidizing outside entities, and not empower ourselves?

At least we’re not the only ones asking this question (emphasis ours).

Carmel to consider incentives for $60M development, by Chris Sikich (Indy Star)

Anderson Birkla is negotiating for tax incentives to build a mixed-use development costing up to $60 million at the former Party Time Rental site on land the city owns in Carmel.

Mayor Jim Brainard and the Carmel Redevelopment Commission have been searching for a partner to redevelop the 6.5-acre site into homes, offices and retail for years, as a component of the city’s emerging downtown. The shuttered warehouse is in a prominent location along the Monon Parkway and Rangeline Road, south of City Hall and City Center.

The mayor and redevelopment officials believe the proposed public investment — valued at roughly $9.85 million — is crucial to completing the deal and adding a blighted property back onto the city’s tax rolls.

“We always conduct a financial analysis of our redevelopment projects and feel strongly that this project is in the best long-term financial interest of the community,” Brainard said. “Mixed-use projects such as this have consistently shown to generate far more tax revenues for the city than the amounts invested.”

Critics of the mayor’s redevelopment policies, though, continue to wonder how long the city will subsidize development before the private sector will build at market rate.