Tuesday, November 06, 2012

One person NOT to vote for

I'm not doing anything in the way of endorsements this year, although anyone who knows me could pretty easily guess most of them.

What I am doing, is one un-endorsement. Mark Nelson, who is running for the Iowa House in District 93. Just in case anyone has forgotten about this enemy of Davenport, check out this blog post from 2009.

For some reason the QCTimes article linked to in that post has moved, so it can be found here: Blackhawk Hotel project threatened by critical report -QCTimes

Here's a little excerpt:
Significant financing for Restoration St. Louis’ $36 million Blackhawk Hotel redevelopment project was jeopardized by scathing criticism of downtown Davenport’s investment climate that accompanied a commercial real estate appraisal of the nearly century-old building.The appraisal — conducted by Mark Nelson of Roy R. Fisher Inc. — included a cover letter that warned against lending money for downtown projects, said Amy Gill, one of the Restoration St. Louis partners.
“It was horrible, just horrible,” Amy Gill said, referring to the letter. “We had our financing lined up, and he basically screwed us.”

So, in hindsight, we can see clearly that Mr. Nelson's appraisal cover letter was far off base. The Hotel Blackhawk is considered to be one of the best if not the best hotel in the entire state. The residential units were sold out before the building opened. The commercial spaces are filled. The reception halls are booked up. The President of the United States has stayed there. Even the bowling alley is awesome. So... just a little bit wrong on that one, Mark.

Either Mr. Nelson injected his personal political agenda into his job, or he completely failed in his assessment of the project's chances of working with the City. Biased or inept, it doesn't matter, he certainly doesn't deserve to represent Davenport.

14 Comments:

At 11/06/2012 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A quick check of the Scott County website shows how far off Mr. Nelson was. He said the finished building would appraise for around 8 million dollars. County website shows it appraised at 17 million. So he is also not very good at his job. If he could be off by more than 100 percent in this case what are we to expect from him as a legislator?

 
At 11/06/2012 8:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What percentage of this project is funded by the taxpayers who own what percentage of the Blackhawk Hotel and pay what percentage of the upkeep?

 
At 11/06/2012 8:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't mark nelson the person most responsible for turning back davenport promise?

 
At 11/07/2012 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The City did invest but at that value it will get its money back very quickly in property taxes, sales tax and bed taxes. The City pays for none of the maintenance. Good job Phyllis Thede!

 
At 11/12/2012 5:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never understood your reaction to the Blackhawk valuation. Nelson's job wasn't to be a rah-rah Davenport cheerleader, it was to give the people who paid him for his professional opinion the most accurate forecast on the valuation that he could. The Gills still managed to get the financing they needed and since he appears to be wrong, I would guess that probably impacts his company's ability to get more appraisal work.

 
At 11/17/2012 9:00 AM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

My reaction was so negative precisely because Nelson's appraisal was so wrong. It was clear to me at the time, as someone with no background in appraisal. When his examples of businesses leaving downtown were almost 10 years old (Gentry Shop and Schneff's Jewelry) and he didn't mention the amount of people on waiting lists for apartments downtown, I could see it wasn't good. RestorationSTL has been amazing for downtown Davenport, and Nelson did his best to scare off and disrupt their investment.

 
At 11/19/2012 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess what I'm not understanding is why you attribute his ineptitude to nefarious reasons. If Terry Swails predicts it's going to be 35 and snowy, but it turns out to be 60 and sunny, I don't think he "injected his personal political agenda into his job," or "did his best to scare off and disrupt" my plans for the day. I just think he's bad at predicting the weather.

What possible political agenda reason is there to dissuade someone from urban renewal? What would it have served Nelson to keep the Blackhawk as an empty shell?

 
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At 1/18/2013 8:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Nice work by the Blackhawk to become affiliated with Marriott!

http://qctimes.com/business/davenport-landmark-to-join-collection-of-luxury-hotels/article_c48fac80-6053-11e2-8470-001a4bcf887a.html%3Fcomment_form=true

 

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