Update: As someone who helped to build the entire process behind this initiative and who has worked, on a daily basis, with all of the principal players involved, I can state definitively that the numbers presented by Mr. Aymond aren’t just heavily inflated; they’re egregiously inflated. Period. He can say whatever he pleases about me as a person. He is perfectly entitled to his opinion. (And I can take it. I know I’ve been critical of him too).
But the facts are the facts. And the fact is: He’s wrong, and he is misleading his readership.
Re: The Downtown Hotels Initiative in Alexandria.
Considering this was picked up by a local talk radio station and has been covered by another local blogger, I think some clarification is in order. A handful of people have asked me why I even pay attention to this; it’s simple: Apparently, a few folks in our local mainstream media actually believe this.
From Greg Aymond:
What the Town Talk actually wrote was that “The initial phase, Roy said, will be a project in the range of $50 million to $60 million, with more than 80 percent of that funding coming from the private sector”. (See: “$50 million-plus downtown plan will cost Alexandria at least $9.5 million“). The opposite of “private” is “public”, which I thought that the “public” meant us. If my math isn’t wrong, that comes to up to $12 million in “public” funds.In addition to what Hospitality Initiatives Partnership (H.I.P.) has to put up, or not, (the $12 million in “public funds”), we taxpayers of Alexandria will also be out of an additional $10 million in infrastructure improvements plus an additional $2 million — and use that as “gap financing” for the project through a long-term lease or sale at a reduced cost. id. That is, also if my math serves me correctly, is $12 million from us citizens of Alexandria.So the total costs to us taxpayers is a total of $24 million. I apologize for stating that it was $15 million.