December 04, 2008

Jahn and I Start a New Business

We have begun a new business to help non-profits raise money, here it works:
  • we find a struggling non profit that needs money
  • we partner with them to buy a parcel of land at our expense
  • we then apply to the City and State looking for grants to build low income housing using the non-profit as the front guy
  • we then get letters of support from the politicians
  • work with the city to get the appropriate variances, sidewalks/streets repaired by the city, permit/water/sewer fees waived
  • eventually we get all of our funding of which 90% are grants, since the units must be rented to low to mod income peopler for 20 years, pay ourselves back for the land purchase as well as any other incurred expenses of course
  • big ribbon cutting to announce the project
  • we can move property into the non-profits name to get EPA grants that we do not have to pay back.
  • big ribbon cutting when the project is done

We owe very little to the bank since most of the monies were grants, get all our up-front money as well as incurred expenses back, pay a mgmt company to handle the day to day problems, but here is the best part. We split the profits from the rentals with the non-profit 50/50!!!

It is a win for us since in the end, we have nothing invested in the project and get half the profit and the non-profit entity is happy since they have a new stream of income. On our way to the bank each month we garner awards as great humitarians, versus the greedy profit motivated developer.

Everyone wins!! Except the City of Worcester, but who is counting.

Accepting ideas for the name of our new company. Please note will even take monies from large corporations for naming rights.


Anonymous said...

How about the 'Jahn Can Cook Books' foundation?

...or the Jahn-kers Realty trust?

...or the "Bill"jahn-aires club?

Harry T
Worcester, MA

Bill Randell said...

How about the Jahnover Group?

Anonymous said...

Jahn Billders

Not sure what that evangelical bumper sticker is b/c I got bounced from Assumption Prep for conduct unbecoming a Preppie...but how about

Jahn 30:7
(30 units, 7 parking slots)

Is that the correct chapter and verse that the born again Chistians always reference.

Bill I know this bit of humor you posted is about residential low income housing..............but just think about how The Hand it Over Theatre organzied their charade agaisnt the city and the we have a commercial theater business with a similar motis operandi....the real est. is held by a non profit and the theatre is a for profit venture.

Now think about how the city is re Pilot payments and then stop and think about how the council let The Hand it Over Theatre screw the city out of commercial property taxes on a $30M worth of improvements to the old theatre....the council wants to have it both ways...........Hand I It Over gets free ride............but colleges are expected to ante up.

ANd you want to think of something even scarier..these non profits can keep rolling over their new found cash from being landlords and keep up this process into perpetuity.

Anonymous said...

wowee i saw that big bird come at about 400 pm today ( thursday)...nice sight in the sky as it came in low over east Worc..........i almost fell backward off my ladder as I looked skyward.....that was DA......right

Bill Randell said...


I was thinking of the same thing --Hanover Theatre.

Did you read about the 25 million dollar of improvements to the DCU Center today? S--- did it cost us this much to build it??

Good news is that it will cost the tax-payers nothing? Do people think we will believe that?

You see the 25 million dollars will be repaid by "new net revenues The fund consists of “net new” state tax revenues, such as meals and sales taxes, that are being collected at the DCU Center, the Hilton Garden Inn, the Residence Inn on Plantation Street and the Major Taylor Boulevard. garage (retail space and parking operations). "

Keep in mind the words "net new". In this economy how much in "net new" are we going to generate.

More importantly the City is constantly touting the Hanover Theatre, guess what? It is not in this "special district".

Here we have a newly formed district whereby the City of Worcester is able to keep "net new" revenues but does not include the Hanover Theatre area.

Bill Randell said...

I always think of my friend Kevin at Vive Bene,

Did he get any grants for his restaurant?

Were his permit fees waived?

Does the telegram and the city of worcester constantly advertise his restaurant for free?

How does a private investor, paying his own expenses compete? Jahn, you are right the Hanover Theatre has many similarities.


Gabe said...

You guys remember that I was all for the Hanover due to what I thought would be spin off and possibley a domino effect with other things opening in the neighborhood to cater to the Hanover's theater goers. In March it will be a year and the only thing I have seen happen down there has been the ongoing construction of a restaurant opened by the Hanover folks themselves.

There is quite a bit of open storefront down there. A nice space at the corner of Mertle and Southbridge. A few between Franklin and Federal, a few on Franklin, a bunch on Portland.

I am not saying the city is wrong in thinking that things like The Hanover and a skating rink can create the kind of economic spin off they are thinking of, but they are putting the cart before the horse.

There is a reason that people aren't excited about opening businesses in those storefronts and it is all about perception.

I know I am preaching to the converted on this blog, but mostly I am just venting my frustration.

In my conversations with folks it seem like there are only a very small handful of folks that get it.

Anonymous said...

Bill , as I think you have pointed out here before re district improvement financing........when the "net New Rev's" dont materliaize guess who has to step up to teh plate and ante up......yup the taxpayers and I assume it's the taxpayers of Worcester. Dont forget that $25M of net new revenues means $500M of taxable restaurant food sales in that district at 5% meals tax or who know show much in room occupancy tax...what's that rate at 8% or somehwere in that area?

This economy is also going to eat up quite a few restaurants & other entertainment/leisure venues, as this is one of the 1st items that people cut when the going gets tough and I am telling you this country is up against something the likes of which we havent seen in 75+ yrs.

With all teh city has handed over to Hand It Over Theatre, do you think they'd be gracious enough during the holiday season to offer a free christmas comcert for school kiddies (it's for the children!) or to the adult taxpayers of Worc who have had money taken forcibly from them via council votes to subsidize the Hand It Over Theatre to the tune of millions of dollars. I have niot heard of any such free offerings and wouldnt you think that when handing over millions in subsidies that someone at city hall would have been savvy enough to include a provision that the theatre real estate and personal property couldnt be sheltered in a non profit entity........or maybe the for profit theatre does pay personal proprety tax on the personal property there. I'd be curious to know if the personal property was also hand off to the non profit.

Lastly, thsi so called improvement district is not even a contiguous district. It is primarily situated in down town Worc but the it also includes property over in the bio-tech park area. It's worse than gerrymandering b/c at least gerrymandered distrists have to be contiguous........just ask Jim Mc Govern about that convoluted district that he represnts that runs from Worc to Fall River....only b/c both communities are loaded with Pajama People who vote the Havana Jim ticket religiously.

Is Uniuon Station also in the district?

Bill Randell said...


Everyone on this blog wants worcester to succeed. I am 43 years old and I have been told.

1) Build a Civic Center and it will revitalize downtown
2) Build Med City and it will revitalize downtown
3) Fashion Outlets will revitalize downtown
4) A refurbished Union Station will revitalize downtown
5) A convention Center will revitalize downtown
6) City Square will revitalize downtown

The onlyt thing that will revitalize downtown are private developers sinking lots of money downtown that will attract more people downtown. Our current attract all developers of low income housing is not condusive to this.

4rilla said...


The Hanover is hosting their own production of A Christmas Carol beginning December 19th, if my memory serves me there is at least 1 (possibly 2) weekday matinees that will be for school kids. I was under the impression that these are comp'd field trip type shows for local schools, but I could be wrong.

As far as private investment down there for restaurants and such every event I volunteer at I am asked by at least 2 people where they can catch a drink within walking distance of the theatre. I pretty much have to tell them the only thing right nearby is Ding Ho, but advise them that it is worth the trek to head to Armsby Abbey or to hit the Canal District.

About 2 months ago I met a lady who owns a travel agency downtown who was in the process of leasing some space about a block North of The Hanover on Main St and was planning on opening a coffee shop called the Theatre Cafe that would be open late and cater to the theatre crowd.

Anonymous said...

Bill Randell said...

"How does a private investor, paying his own expenses compete? "

They compete the same way the Oxford Airport (private) competes with the Southbridge Airport (public).

By throwing in the towel.

Gabe said...


It all comes down to the city father's not understanding urban living. They are not wrong in their perceptions, they are simply ignorant of city living.

Look at that list that you put down there. I am sure that when many of the past and present Worcester city fathers visited other cities they walked away thinking that things like Urban Malls, Train Stations, Theaters, Civic Centers and Convention Centers are what makes a city vital.

Urban centers densely populated with hard working people, blue collar or white collar, student or artist, is what makes a city vital. The tourism and site seeing aren't the seed, they are what eventually will flower. It blows my mind that people cannot see this.

Worcester keeps trying to create this generic "city-ness" instead of trying to create an actual thriving urban community.

Gabe said...

Oh and Bill I hope you didn't take me as saying anything against you or the fine readers/commenters on this blog. I am talking about everyone here when I am referring to the people that get it.

Gabe said...

Neil that coffee shop will be a shrewd move if she makes sure that all the Pharmacy students that live in the immediate area also know about it.

Bill Randell said...


I love all the comments....

Unlike the City fathers who call anyone who says anything against any of these projects as being negative. I find all the comments, even the ones that do not agree with me, as being insightful.

I mean that. I only get sick of the anonymous comments from people who I can almost guess who they are.