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Katz's Letter to Mayor Mandel

Katz's Letter to Mayor Mandel

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Published by pkGlobal

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Published by: pkGlobal on Oct 16, 2012
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05/13/2014

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DarylA.KatzChairmanOctober16,2012MayorStephenMandelMayoroftheCityofEdmonton2ndFloor,CityHall1SirWinstonChurchillSquareEdmonton,ABT5J2R7DearMr.Mayor:IwasextremelydisappointedbytherecentcommunicationsfromtheCityofEdmontontotheKatzGroupregardingthedowntownarenaproject.Wehadthoughtweweremakingconsiderableprogress,butitseemsfromyourrecentcommunicationsthat,infact,wehavegonebackwards.Asidefromthemanyissuesstilltoberesolved,weandtheCitycannotevenagreeonbasicassumptionsrelatingtothefinancialaspectsofoperatinganewarena.Inthewordsoftheleadershipcommitteeyouappointednearlyfiveyearsago,thisprojectwastobe“Edmonton’sgreatestopportunity”.Iboughtintothatvisionwholeheartedlyandhavecommittedanextraordinaryamountoftimeandmoneytomakeitareality.Fromdayone,mygoalshavebeensimpleandclear:(1)toensuretheEdmontonOilerscouldbesustainableinEdmontonforthelong-term,and(2)toacceleratethelongoverdueandmuch-neededrevitalizationofourdowntowncore.Toachievethesegoals,Ihavebeenpreparedtoinvestupwardsof$250milliontohelpbuildanarenathattheCityofEdmontonwouldown,andtosigna35-yearcommitmenttokeeptheOilersinEdmonton,wheretheybelong.Byanyobjectivemeasure,thisfarexceedswhatNHLownersincomparablecitieshavedone.Ihavealsobeenpreparedtoinvestover$1billioninaprivatesectordevelopmentthatwouldtransformourcityandgeneratenewtaxrevenuesthatyourAdministrationhas“veryconservatively”estimatedat$1.2billion,withonlythearenaasacatalyst--and$1.6billionifweproceedwithjustthefirstphaseofourplanneddevelopment.Muchofthesenewtaxrevenues,whichwouldbenefitEdmontonandEdmontoniansforgenerationstocome,willnototherwiseberealized,atleastnotinthenextmanyyearsandnotwithoutanewarenaasthecatalystproject.Lestanyonequestionmycommitmenttothearenaortothisdevelopment,Ihavealreadyinvested$70milliontowardsrealizationoftheprivatesectordevelopmentthroughlandpurchasesandextensivedesignandotherwork.ThisismorethandoubleCityCouncil’sunilateralrequirementthatweinvestatleast$30millionintheprivatesectordevelopmentbeforeitwouldauthorizeproceedingwiththearenaonanybasis.IfeartheCityhasapproachedthisnegotiationbasedonnarrowpoliticalconsiderationsratherthanagenuinedesiretostrikeadealthatisfairandmakeseconomicsenseforbothsides.Ibasethis,inpart,onyourrepeatedinsistencetothepressthatwesomehowhavea“deal”basedontheNewYorkframework.Asyouknow,itwasnotadeal,butaframeworkthatweeachthoughtwecouldsupport,subjecttoactuallyprovingitoutandensuringitwouldachieveourmutuallyrecognizedgoalofensuringthelong-termsustainabilityfortheOilers.Inplainterms,weallunderstoodthedevilwouldbeinthedetails,andindeeditwas.

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