Thursday, August 14, 2008

Gone Fishin'

In this week's Fly-by (that's the front section of the Flyer) Shara Clark has a story about the ongoing Bass Pro Shops negotiations for the Pyramid.

Now I'm not going to spoil the story — click here to read it — but under a preliminary development agreement, Bass Pro will be expected to pay $35,000 a month for use of the Pyramid.

As I understand it, the development agreement gives the city, county, and outdoor retailer a year to come to a lease agreement for the building. If it opts out after the development agreement is signed, Bass Pro will have to pay $500K in termination fees.

Here's what I don't fully understand: It costs local taxpayers $600,000 a year to keep the Pyramid dark. Even if Bass Pro pays $35,000 a month for 12 months, that's only $420,000.

Will it cost less to maintain and secure the building if Bass Pro is in a development agreement with the city and county? Are we taking a loss on the rent to give them an incentive to sign? Or are we just giving them a sweetheart deal?

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