November 20, 2007

Hanover Theatre

There is a story about it in today's paper. In essence the owners of the Hanover Theatre are locked in at the current assessed value for seven years. They will not have to pay property taxes on the increased value on the property for seven years.

John Mahoney ran for City Council and this was the same exact idea that he proposed, except he proposed ten years similar to what has been done in Philadelphia, not 7 years. The City of Philadelphia realized that their residential tax base was leaving its downtown, so they proposed a freezing of the current assessed value of any building that was convered to residential for 10 years. The results have been startling and the City of Philadelphia has proposed a similar concept for their downtown.

The City of Worcester should target undeveloped commercial areas and buildings as being elgible for a ten year freeze of the assessed value while waiving of all permitting fees, like they have done for the Hanover Theatre. Unlike Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, who are looking for residential units, we should propose commercial taxable development in order to be eligible for these tax breaks.

Ideas like this would truly build back our commercial tax base. My only problem with this TIF, however, is that it is being applied for post development. These breaks should be given up front and give all developers the same opportunities in the City of Worcester.


Anonymous said...

Jahn stands to be corrected.

Contrary to my previous assertions, The Hand It Over Theatre evidently is a property tax paying parcel/entity?

My branding name however still stands untarnished and 100% on point..i.e. :

The Hand It Over Theatre.

However, I am perplexed and this is why I have previously, incorrectly called The Hand It Over Theatre a non taxpaying parcel. According to the City Treasurers website there have been no tax payments assessed for the last 3 fiscal years....2006, 2007, and teh current 2008. See website link at end.

So evidently they are not currently assessed and dont pay taxes? Excuse me, but Blonde Jahn is confused.

If they are a property tax paying entity, evidently they have not been assessed for at leasat the last 3years?

Exactly what is the situation as re: Fy 06, 07, & 08' taxes? Have these already been waived, forgiven, not assessed, not paid, etc? Who or what has owned the property for the last 3 years?

Are the past 3 yrs part of the 7 yrs period that they are asking for a tax break?

The more I look at this, the more confused I become

Bill Randell said...


Now that you say something, you are completely correct. In addition I have never seen a TIF done after the investment has been made?

Typically you do the TIF up front to convince the developer to build. What if the TIF is denied, what can the owners of the Hanover Theatre do--they already built it?


Anonymous said...

I wonder how much the new Walmart will be given in City freebies?

This theater has, according to my calculations, at least an $8 million Mortgage........teh interest alone using a conservative 6-7% is at least $400,000 monthly........and that's before the janitor even enters the building and turns on the lights.

2300 seats according to T&G.........quick back of teh envelope number crunching tells me they have to get $200 per month revenue from each seat just to meet the monthly mortgage nut....and that deosnt even include other non-mortgage debt they probably also have or will have.

Yikes.....hope no one has given any personal guarantees.....there could be a few high profile, West Side foreclosures if they have. The principals in this venture do live in Worcester...right?

Bill Randell said...


I think the City personal guaranteed a portion of the loan? It was in the paper today.


Anonymous said...

Another of my gripes......the city getting into the insurance business by guaranteeing debt that is held by private companies and private individuals...absolute insanity. Is the city a licensed insurance company?

I wonder if the city goes out and buys private mortg insurance to cover their +++ just in case the debt they are insuring ever goes into default and gets called.

How much ya wanna bet we're gauranteeing a 4th or 5th mortg??

The city also guarantees that if a private police detail never gets paid.....that the city will pony up the dough......who the hell ever dreamed that up.........thats like Bill opening up a cleaning service and going to work nights at my office building...and when I stiff go to city Hall and get teh Worc taxpayers to ante your money b/c I am a deadbeat on my bills.

I'd be curious to know how much thsi gaurantee has cost us in years past...........and then letting the Worc Park Spirit group know how many pools cannot be opened next summer b/c the city is guaranteeing the debt of private enities.

Anonymous said...

The more I think about the dealings between this city and theatre.........the more questions I have...........and the more concerns I have about give aways.

But then again, it's the holiday what better time to appraoch the council to hand over more of my dollars and every Taxpayers tax dollars to this apparent(?)for profit entity.

Again, Imagine if the new Walmart, to be built on Rte 146, even asked for a dime of consideration.....they'd be run out of town.

I still want to know the total of municipal giveaways to thsi theatre as well as other inducements like loan guarantees and subsidized interest rates.

Konnie should file an order requesting this info before any more of Jahn's dough is given away.

Anonymous said...

keeping up with the hanover theatre.

we can't even keep up with the kardashians......or the arakelians for that matter

wormtown said...

Jahn, where do you get your mortgage numbers from? An $8 million mortgage at 7% for 30 years is about $53,000 per month, not $400,000. I guess you would rather see a boarded up building downtown instead of a great venue for people to watch a great show. If you are going to criticize something at least get your math right.