The City of Springfield, recall, fronted the firm a fifth of the project's cost in TIF money. In my column A double shot of urban-type feel I noted that local planning and development agencies in cities across the country set the parameters within which developers may work as a condition of their getting TIF money. The object is to shape projects so they add to their neighborhoods and not only to the city’s tax roll. As was reported by the SJ-R’s Dave Bakke,they didn’t even try.
Honestly, it’s enough to make a grown man weep sometimes. When the officials responsible for the built environment assume that a city has no right to expect developers to add something to it in return for the privilege of taking money out of it, jobs creators become town destroyers.