Energy Tower Developers Asking For Up to $75 Million From City 8/21/13
CBS 7 News
August 21, 2013
MIDLAND-The Energy Tower is the buzz in Midland and today we're learning more about just how much developers want from the city.
The construction of the ambitious 50-plus story mixed-use Energy Tower is expected to cost more than $400 million. Developers told the community last night in a forum that they are asking the city to kick in as much as $75 million, partly to build a parking garage.
"We consider anything a developer brings to us and then negotiate accordingly,” said Midland’s Public Information Officer Sara Higgins.
The city has not worked out an official agreement with developer Energy Related Properties. The money could come from any number of sources--including, for example, the Midland Economic Development Corporation. If any incentives are promised, the council would have to vote on it first.
"When we’re ready to come in front of voters with an actual number and actual method, we plan to educate the community on exactly what that would mean,” Higgins said. “And how that would affect their taxes.”
The Midland Economic Development Corporation released an independent analysis by Austin-based AngelouEconomics last week that estimates the ten-year economic impact to the city in the billions.
We asked Midlanders what they thought about what the developers want.
"Anything that we can get a big return on our investment on is a good thing for the city,” said Midland Resident Gary Glasscock. “They’re going to put in $75 million, we’ll get $750 or a billion back before it’s said and done.”
“To me that doesn’t seem like a good idea for our taxes to go to,” said Midland Resident Liz Williams. “If they’re going to pay to build it, they need to pay all the costs associated with it.”
CBS 7 went to the offices of Energy Related Properties, but they were not available for an interview today.
Developers were tight-lipped at last night's meeting about a construction date --it likely won't be set until there is an agreement with the city. In March, the city gave them 12 months to find tenants and finalize that development agreement.