Comments on: DDA Takes “Baby Step” for Ypsi Buses it's like being there Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:56:38 +0000 hourly 1 By: Edward Vielmetti Edward Vielmetti Mon, 06 Dec 2010 20:15:45 +0000 DrData refers to this Arborwiki page


from which I wrote this account


By: DrData DrData Mon, 06 Dec 2010 19:47:31 +0000 The consultant sure didn’t look at the list the Ed V. of has which shows a list meeting space available already in Ann Arbor – some free and some not.

It will be a full-time job and a half to get the conference space filled and half the time the folks wouldn’t even need to use a hotel.

This is a poorly thought out project. And, for all the folks who are better armed to argue against it, you didn’t get to because you didn’t know about the meeting.

By: Tom Whitaker Tom Whitaker Mon, 06 Dec 2010 19:21:08 +0000 If the RFQ (and response to it) for this consultant specified that they were supposed to analyze the market for a hotel and conference center, but they did no such thing, why is no one upset about it? Why is no one at the City or the DDA demanding our money back?

This report provides absolutely nothing that we didn’t already know 12 months ago (which was very little), other than details of the constant massaging of Valiant’s proposal, long after it was submitted. Weren’t the proposals supposed to be judged, as submitted, using a weighted list of criteria?

Where is the market data? Where are the studies of other conference centers in comparable cities? Where is an analysis of the profitability of a conference center, when the City will be expected to operate it and absorb any operational losses? How many conferences even exist that hold 500 seat dinners, and of those, how many would choose Ann Arbor? 5? 100? Who knows? And where is the information on current hotel occupancy and room rates? What is the break-even point? I’ve seen recent articles that state that 2009 was the worst year ever recorded for the lodging industry.

Where is the educated input from experts in the field of hotels and conference centers? Where is the input from anyone who isn’t wearing a “Conference Center” cheerleader’s uniform?

And most importantly, where is the study of what kind of development–whether it be a park, apartment building, or hotel/conference center, or whatever–would have the most positive impact on the community, now and in the long term? This is our publicly-owned land, and our very expensive parking structure. It is not accurate to say that because the developer no longer requesting city-backed bonds that there is no risk to the City.

It’s time to stop throwing money at this insider-driven process, scrap the whole thing, and start over with some legitimate, site-specific urban planning and research.

By: Vivienne Armentrout Vivienne Armentrout Mon, 06 Dec 2010 16:54:30 +0000 Whoa! “the city will now move forward with due diligence and development of a letter of intent.” We just jumped several procedural hurtles, to say the least. One of these is to have a public discussion of the proposal. As I stated in my most recent blog post, [link], one of the missing pieces is any demonstration of financial feasibility of the project, though the consultant was supposed to be tasked with that. Instead, the same old “stakeholders” allegedly said it was a good idea, without any documentation, even of what the individual interviewees said.

The supporters of the project on the DDA are evidently hoping to declare victory and move on, but I hope that we have many more discussions and decision points before that will happen.

By the way – what happened to the Open Meetings Act with regard to this committee? No announcement of that November 23 meeting, that I was able to discover, including on the city website that is supposed to be updating the public.