Tuesday, March 03, 2009

How's this for a yard sign?!

Vote No on Mark Nelson for your appraising needs. Or any political office he runs for.

Blackhawk Hotel project threatened by critical report -QCTimes


To me, this has nothing to do with the Promise.


I understand that the timing of the QCTimes article is suspect.


That doesn't matter to me.

If this article is even halfway true, and I doubt the Times would risk lawsuits in this economy by lying about this just for the sake of the Promise, than it is a huge deal.

The Blackhawk Hotel renovation is probably the biggest single project for downtown Davenport Davenport since the MidAmerican building was built in 1995. The Figge may have cost more, but I truly believe the Blackhawk will make a bigger impact. Yet here we have this guy, who is closely tied to Alderman Lynn, apparently attempting to derail the project.

If some of you have evidence that the QCTimes is lying about this, and that the folks from Restoration St. Louis AND their bank are also risking their reputations by lying about this, lay it out for me. I find that unlikely.

I have tried to stop using the world Againster because it oversimplifies people's opinions. However, in this case I think its accurate. Why would someone try to stop this project from moving forward? Does Davenport have perfect politicians and government? Maybe not, but what city does. Are large scale residential projects possible downtown? Clearly they are, as we've had 4 in the last few years. Is there a demand for market rate residential downtown? As I stated on the 17th of February, overwhelmingly yes. People who get paid to study the feasibility of hotels say that one is feasible. So what in the hell is this guy talking about?

Anybody?

32 Comments:

At 3/03/2009 7:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was enraged by that article. I couldn't believe it; that level of editorializing is absolutely unheard of from truly professional assessor.

If that assessment was worth a damn, he couldn't possibly of come to that conclusion by the real statistics. This guy had an axe to grind, and he's putting the entire City and downtown at risk because of it.

I was releived to see that even the Restoration STL people were equally furious and confused by the odd heavy editorializing of his report. It's just not accurate, and there are a dozen projects even just from 2004-2008 to prove it.

Like they said in the article, I'm hoping this is just a speed bump, and when they figure this out, I hope it's Newsome's career that they eventually utilize as said speed bump.

 
At 3/03/2009 8:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its not only the Blackhawk thats threatened but any project downtown. According to the QCTimes article, the appraisal apparently said downtown was dead. I just don't understand why anyone would stab their community in the back like that. Why would you even want to live some place where you consider the city center to be absolutely beyond resuscitation? I think that Mark Nelson has a long and difficult road of ahead of him and I hope that he doesnt make it to the end without some serious reflection and change of heart.

 
At 3/03/2009 8:47 AM, Blogger pioneer98 said...

I still chuckle when I think about this article. Mark Nelson's political career is toast, whether or not the Promise passes. I'm curious how Bill Lynn and some of the others who have been associating with him lately will react. Should be fun to watch. I'll bring the popcorn.

Even if the QC Times timed the article for today on purpose, Nelson is the one that made the horrendous error. It's his own fault for giving the Times the ammunition.

 
At 3/03/2009 8:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a smear job. We all know how good the Times is at doing them.

 
At 3/03/2009 9:02 AM, Blogger pioneer98 said...

If it is a smear job, then not only the QC Times is involved in the conspiracy, but Restoration St. Louis, RSL Bank of Missouri and Nelson's own boss. That is an impressive conspiracy theory.

 
At 3/03/2009 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a professional hatchet job.
There is no letter/report.
I have calls into Tory Brecht and Amy Gill.
Do you have Amy Gill's cell phone?

Here's what i posted:


Slowfish wrote: March 3, 2009 8:54AM
It's unfortunate for local journalism that Tory Brecht and the QCTimes have lowered the bar this low on what is accepted by many as "reporting the facts"... it's evident that those commenters here hear only what they want to hear.

Go back and read the article if you are serious and forthright.

Ask yourself:

a) What evidence is there that Mark Nelson stated or wrote anything he is being accused of?

b) The only first hand account of the so called "report" or "letter" is Ms. Gill, who is obviously upset. If she has a copy of the letter or report then where is it?

c) If Tory Brecht had support for this hatchet job, then why doesn't the Times post the letter on this site? They have posted pdf's of other supporting documentation before.

d) If Tory had a copy of the letter and proof Nelson wrote it, then why does he need to confirm anything with Nelson or Nelson's boss? Because the letter does not exist...

This is an amazing attempt to discredit Mark Nelson on the eve of an election that the architects of the Promise program know they may very well lose.

Shame on Tory Brecht and the QCTimes for taking this unsubstantiated bait. (But after there rousing endorsement, is anyone surprised?)

Try and follow this thread of how this is news... follow closely, now:

Apparently Jeff Justin provides the Times an email that he got from Alan Guard in which Alan wrote that he was talking to Rick Palmer who said he was talking to Sam Estep of Restoration St. Louis who says he was talking to a bank official who told Sam he heard from another bank official that they were turning down the loan... and it was all because of what Mark Nelson wrote.

Let's see, six degrees of separation...and no substantiation backing it up.

And we wonder why readership is declining.

Yes, Ms. Gill is giving a first hand account.

Let's see the so called Letter/Report please Ms. Gill... if you are going to be used as pawn in this political firefight, then at least show us your smoking gun.

The Times has sunk to a whole new low.

Proof that the Pro Promise folks are not only fearful of losing a referendum, but fearful of new, honest, effective leadership emerging on the scene that will thwart the efforts of the "status quo."

When backed into a corner, I suppose people will do strange things.

 
At 3/03/2009 9:41 AM, Blogger pioneer98 said...

I'm personally not fearful if the referendum fails today. As I've said many times, the Promise is not a cure-all for all our problems. I believe it's just a very compelling starting point.

I think Mr. Nelson and his ilk are incredibly fearful that the efforts to revialize Davenport will continue to succeed, and their politics will become more and more irrelevant.

 
At 3/03/2009 10:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think Mr. Nelson and his ilk are incredibly fearful that the efforts to revialize Davenport will continue to succeed, and their politics will become more and more irrelevant."

BINGO.

 
At 3/03/2009 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And why can't (or didn't) they go three blocks West to Wells Fargo and ask for a loan there instead of down in MO?
Does the profession of appraisers not have an association or guild where this guy can be brought up or license revoked?

 
At 3/03/2009 12:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’m so surprised you believe the QC Times. They are notorious for this. Mark Nelson was on the radio and was perfectly clear.

 
At 3/03/2009 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He was clear, that doesn't mean he's right.

 
At 3/03/2009 5:17 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

This Missouri bank is clearly the bank these folks always work with. If you have a lender you use for dozens of projects, why change for a couple? Also, the banks (and apparently also certain appraisers) around here are clinging to their 1980's view of downtown, instead of realizing that its the hot place to live for young professionals and 20-somethings.

Now, why would this bank participate in the vast conspiracy that the Anti-Promise folks believe that this is? What is there interest in the Promise or slamming Mark Nelson? It makes no sense, but none of this does.

 
At 3/03/2009 5:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Curious that I am, there are two Mark Nelsons according to Scott County and they both live in Bettendorf. I feel sorry for the other guy named Mark.

Walnut.

 
At 3/03/2009 5:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pioneer - Loved your comment about Ald Lynn. Funny, funny, funny! I wonder if there is a tie between Nelson and the unscrupulous landlord group from Bettendorf. We already know Ald Lynn is tight with them. Should see some more fireworks come April involving this group. This will be fun!

 
At 3/03/2009 6:26 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Just saw Nelson on KWQC. He denied writing a "cover letter" but didn't deny writing the stuff that's attributed to him. I'm guessing he just wouldn't call it a cover letter.

He trotted out some examples of why he believes downtown is failing. He mentioned the Gentry Shop moving out, which was in something like 2001. Just a few things have changed downtown since 2001... like a third of a billion dollars in redevelopment and hundreds of new residential units.

 
At 3/03/2009 6:37 PM, Blogger Pho3niX said...

I know Nelson's boss so I'm not going to even touch this... but I WILL say that one way or the other... the Fits gonna hit the SHan! At the very least it'll be interesting to watch this unfold.

 
At 3/03/2009 7:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Downtown Davenport is a hot place to live for young 20-somethings! Really? You mean 20-something hobos looking for change to buy more alcohol? I'll agree that downtown Davenport is less of a dump than it was in the 80s but it is still a dump. At least the Blackhawk wasn't a burnt out shell of a meth lab in the 1980s. And oh yeah, there was actually some retail in downtown Davenport during the 1980s too. What happened to that? That's right. It moved out to places where you don't have filthy rejects roaming the streets during all hours of the day. Downtown Davenport has always been a huge freak magnet which explains perfectly why some on this blog just love it so much.

 
At 3/03/2009 7:14 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

People are paying over a $1000 a month to live in the market rate units of the Crescent Macaroni building, and they have had a waiting list at times. I would call that a strong demand, considering those are some of the highest rents in the QC.

Downtown Davenport is never going to be the retail hub of the Quad Cities like it was in the 50's, but that doesn't mean it can't thrive in other ways. Bucktown, for example, is like having the Beaux Arts Fair going on every single week of the year.

The places like Schneff's Jewelers and the Gentry Shop moved out of downtown almost a decade ago. That was before River Renaissance, before 200 units of residential, before Modern Woodmen Park, etc, etc.

Maybe you should actually talk to some young people instead of assuming you know what kind of places they want to live.

 
At 3/03/2009 7:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Market rate units? Those would be the ones not set aside for welfare queens with five illegitimate children by five different fathers. Hey, I know Davenport is trying hard to be the next Chicago. I just didn't figure they'd try emulating Cabrini Green as the centerpiece of downtown revitalization. I guess Davenport One figures they'll get all the gangsta families from Chicago to move here for free college tuition. Might as well make them feel like they are right back in the Windy City, huh? Luckily, Davenport has plenty of college-educated security guards/bloggers to keep everyone safe and happy -- when they're not busy blogging about how awesome downtown Davenport is.

 
At 3/03/2009 7:46 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

If only you had any facts about the downtown housing scene to back up your rambling opinions, maybe we could have a real discussion.

 
At 3/03/2009 8:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact is I'd be embarrassed to show out-of-towners our downtown right now. It's like Detroit, but smaller. You seem to think putting up a bunch of housing projects for welfare recipients will make 20-somethings just flock to downtown Davenport. Here's what 20-somethings really flock to cities for: JOBS! They don't care how many abandoned warehouses have been turned into Cabrini Green-style housing projects. Davenport One and those who enable them have done nothing to attract good jobs here. Instead of putting up useless skybridges and art museums that nobody cares about, maybe they should try luring actual commerce to downtown Davenport.

 
At 3/03/2009 8:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pho3nix - I too know "Two Cup". He's a stand up guy and a good baseball coach. It'll surely be interesting to see what comes of Mark Nelson. My guess he's not looking forward to morning roll call.

 
At 3/03/2009 8:10 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Unfortunately you're still throwing around opinions instead of facts. The fact is that the new apartments downtown are FAR from Cabrini Green style "projects." If they were, they wouldn't have waiting lists of people wanting to live there.

Unlike older generations, many 20-somethings right now look for areas they want to live, and THEN look for jobs within those areas. Having a thriving downtown is something that helps young people check the Quad City job listings instead of just Madison or Des Moines, etc. Of course, you'll say I don't know what I'm talking about, but do some reading and you'll see this is a real trend. Young people in 2009 don't shop for places to live like young people did in 1970.

 
At 3/03/2009 8:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course there's a waiting list to get into public housing. That's where all the lazy members of society go so that people with actual jobs have to pay their rent. It fits in perfectly with your view of government's role, doesn't it? Use public funds so that lazy people don't have to save money for their children's college education. Why is it that you basically have to bribe people to move here? Why not just simply hand out a check to every new resident instead? That way they can spend money with all the awesome businesses located in downtown Davenport!

 
At 3/03/2009 8:22 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

The waiting lists are for the market rate apartments.

This argument is becoming pointless. I have firsthand knowledge of the demand for market-rate downtown apartments, and you have antiquated opinions that downtown is still the decaying hulk of the 1980's. Only time will show which one of us is correct.

 
At 3/03/2009 8:57 PM, Blogger hoganj300 said...

Here's my question. Why are there so many Liberaltarians and againsters in Davenport than any of the rest of the Quad Cities? Is Tod Mcgreevy using his profits at his weekly papaer(if his had any recently) to pay 50+ people to comment online? QC Online is not half as bad as the Times. Davenport is not goofy. It is these people like Keith Meyer who make it a circus. I would not put people Shawn Hamerlinck and Phil Yerington in this group as I think they both would not like to be buddies with the likes of Mark Nelson and Bill Lynn. I think the mayor is right, some of these liberaltarians are the aftermath of Ron Paul. I remeber last Febrauary seeing these 40 somethings putting flyers about Ron Paul and abortion on cars' windshileds at Black Hawk College. Even Obama's campaign did not go that far at the campus. I mean do those commenters have an life. Some of them comment everyday. Real people laugh at them. They seem far from having many friends.

 
At 3/04/2009 4:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know someone waiting to move into the old Salvation Army Building loft project. She is hardly a welfare queen. Just a young woman just out of college who needs a bit of help getting out of her parents basement.

 
At 3/04/2009 7:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think Mark Nelson lives in Bettendorf, he is a member of the Davenport Park Board, so he must live in Davenport...

 
At 3/04/2009 7:44 AM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

The idea that the Section 42 tax credits create project-style apartment buildings is simply false. There are still credit checks, background checks, and required income levels. When there are waiting lists for downtown apartments, the property managers don't have to let just anyone live there. Unfortunately there simply isn't enough market rate supply to adequately serve the demand. Part of that is how the Federal government gives incentives to fix up buildings that are beyond the point of no return, but only if they're income-limited.

 
At 3/04/2009 8:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Throwing around terms like "Wellfare Qureens" is thinly veiled racism, and as QCI has already pointed out, total and utter lack of facts shines a bright light through your B.S.

The apartments downtown are beautiful, and as a 27 year old, a good 6 of my friends live between them. We love living downtown. I can walk to a restaurant, hit up a bar, and catch a concet without using my car. When was the last time you even stepped foot here? THe majority of downtown looks great, and I feel compeltely safe here. In fact, I had more issues with my neighborhood when I lived on Kimberly!

Ignorant people throwing "Rush" style inflamatory language have no business being the vocal representatino of our downtown. Projects like the Blackhawk WILL be successful. The Radission's room reservation percentage per night is OFF THE CHARTS. On major events, it's even harder to find a room there; plus, we need more rooms to host bigger conventions and events.

People like the above "anonymous 8:18" make be want to puke. Go screw someone elses town, not mine. I love living here, and it's getting better every day. The only reason a place like Davenport continues their uphill battle due to people like you pulling the rest of us down.

 
At 3/04/2009 8:32 AM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Well said 8:27.

Now if only the banks and appraisers can come into the 21st century and realize that things have changed downtown.

People have really forgotten how bad it was 10-15 years ago.

 
At 3/06/2009 3:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard Nelson is contacting a lawyer? Is that true???

 

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