Palomar or Streetcar?
Tom Daykin did some digging and was able to uncover that the final request from Gatehouse Capital Corp. was $18 million in public money for the Palomar.
What else does $18 million buy us? Well, it would be about the salary Bucks’ star Michael Redd will earn in the 2010-2011, around the time the Palomar would have opened down the block. If you had bought one of the condos financed with $18 million in taxpayer dollars you would have been able to get a good view of Redd’s jump shot from the luxury box that the Palomar was going to buy for residents.
But how about something that would have impacted the city the way the Palomar was supposed to (and in case you can’t remember Mary Beth Waite had a whole list of great things the building was going to do), what else could we do with that $18 million?
Sure, there is a question of a funding source for operating costs for that system, but the RTA (which we endorsed) has a solution in the works.
Would you spend $18 million on a building that may or may not encourage development on the land around it? Or would you spend it on a system that links up not only downtown, but the region and encourages development on (and increases the value of) every property near the route.
It’s not a choice between the two, but it’s important when considering the potential value of the Palomar to consider what else you could get with a similar amount of public dollars. Spending that much on a luxury project with dubious catalytic potential is just too much.
In case you’re not yet convinced it probably wouldn’t have been a good investment to make. Manpower received a $25.3 million TIF for their new headquarters just a few blocks away from the project. They brought 900 permanent jobs, as opposed to the 200 or so permanent jobs the Palomar would have created.
For more project details, including the project timeline, financing, route and possible extensions, see our extensive past coverage.
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- Transportation: Should Milwaukee Stop The Hop? - Jeramey Jannene - Oct 13th, 2020
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- Eyes on Milwaukee: Is A Couture Deal Finally Coming? - Jeramey Jannene - May 13th, 2020
- Transportation: SUV Driver Runs Into The Hop - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 28th, 2020
- Transportation: Streetcar Kiosks Could Bring In $500,000 Annually - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 20th, 2020
- Thanks A Million, Hop Riders! - The Hop - Feb 19th, 2020
- Transportation: We Energies Will Sponsor Streetcar - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 10th, 2020
- Transportation: Streetcar Ridership Up in January Versus 2019 - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 7th, 2020
- Transportation: Streetcar Ridership Up in December - Jeramey Jannene - Jan 14th, 2020
Read more about Milwaukee Streetcar here