Farah building: Tax breaks won't be i...

Farah building: Tax breaks won't be issued until tenants move in

There are 80 comments on the El Paso Times story from Feb 23, 2009, titled Farah building: Tax breaks won't be issued until tenants move in. In it, El Paso Times reports that:

Western Refining CEO Paul Foster and his real estate partners at Hawkins Regency on Tuesday received the last chunk of tax incentives they needed to raze the old Farah building and build a new lifestyle ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at El Paso Times.

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Bill

Austin, TX

#1 Feb 23, 2009
Does this project finally make sense to you opponents? You all realize the only people who actually showed up to oppose this project were potential competitors, right? I implore you all to actually read carefully before making stupid comments.
No to Fosterville

El Paso, TX

#2 Feb 24, 2009
Same billionaire person who wants gas raised 2 dollar a gallon but wants tax incentives for more billions. Where is free enterprise?

Let these billionaires pay their rightful taxes.
Who agrees?

Example of the latest: Wanting Trowbridge street for a private driveway for his multi-billion refinery.

Earlier tax incentives to rebuild downtown.

OK he gave a million dollars for the new doctor school. Out of a billion dollars. What is that 1%?
One percent of a billion dollars.

He also shuttered some of his refinery on the latest 50 cent increase in a gallon of gas. This a 25% increase in our fuel budget. Who do you think is getting this extra cash?

Pay your rightful taxes Mr. Foster!
time to rethink this one

Seminole, FL

#3 Feb 24, 2009
No to Fosterville wrote:
Same billionaire person who wants gas raised 2 dollar a gallon but wants tax incentives for more billions. Where is free enterprise?
Let these billionaires pay their rightful taxes.
Who agrees?
Example of the latest: Wanting Trowbridge street for a private driveway for his multi-billion refinery.
Earlier tax incentives to rebuild downtown.
OK he gave a million dollars for the new doctor school. Out of a billion dollars. What is that 1%?
One percent of a billion dollars.
He also shuttered some of his refinery on the latest 50 cent increase in a gallon of gas. This a 25% increase in our fuel budget. Who do you think is getting this extra cash?
Pay your rightful taxes Mr. Foster!
Ok, I was with you and the gas tax and property,storm water tax issue, but he actually gave $50M, not $1M and he's not a billionaire anymore. His stock is only worth about $10 a share. It needs to be in the $60 range for him to be considered a billionaire again.

On the Trowbridge issue, he's actually giving the new right-of-way for a major roadway, Airway Blvd. He does want to close a portion of Trowbridge, but some "throw-back" residents who moved unto his fence line, want to keep Trowbridge open, that's a superbly bad idea.

By the way, at the time he gave Texas Tech the $50M, it was 5% of his wealth. He probably pays a lot more taxes than we do. Imagine if we all gave just 5% of our wealth (that means after taxes) to public enterprises?

He's not as bad as you make him out to be.
No to Fosterville

El Paso, TX

#4 Feb 24, 2009
time to rethink this one wrote:
<quoted text>
Ok, I was with you and the gas tax and property,storm water tax issue, but he actually gave $50M, not $1M and he's not a billionaire anymore. His stock is only worth about $10 a share. It needs to be in the $60 range for him to be considered a billionaire again.
On the Trowbridge issue, he's actually giving the new right-of-way for a major roadway, Airway Blvd. He does want to close a portion of Trowbridge, but some "throw-back" residents who moved unto his fence line, want to keep Trowbridge open, that's a superbly bad idea.
By the way, at the time he gave Texas Tech the $50M, it was 5% of his wealth. He probably pays a lot more taxes than we do. Imagine if we all gave just 5% of our wealth (that means after taxes) to public enterprises?
He's not as bad as you make him out to be.
If true I stand corrected. Last summer all the media was still quoting a billion when the stock was near the 14 to 16 range. How do you look it up?

Trowbridge is a main road in that area. Still it is the peoples. If they want a road so bad put it up to the voters. Let it be in the open.

He does pay more monetary taxes but percentage wise it is 30% of what the average US citizen pays. This part is a fact. Check the IRS on its website. UTEP Professors in the Business School will also provide this information.

The donation was a necessity at the time. El Paso was lucky on this donation.

All the tax breaks are just too much. Still think all should pay their fair share.

Your right he is not that bad. I just think if the average citizen and small business owners don't get these breaks of only 5% taxes. It isn't right.

I did rethink it. Thanks because originally I am not as upset as you might think. I just believe we all need to pay our fair share.
Jerry K

El Paso, TX

#5 Feb 24, 2009
"This is a good deal for the city and county of El Paso and a wonderful opportunity for the people living here," said West Miller, the senior vice president of investments at Hawkins Regency. "I think everybody ends up winning here."

If it's such a wonderful deal, why does it need taxpayer funding to make it work? Development should pull its own weight.

This is another rip-off for the City.
whatever

El Paso, TX

#6 Feb 24, 2009
hello..how are they gong to control the traffic in that area..our city council and county are a bunch idiots....
Not Blind

San Elizario, TX

#7 Feb 24, 2009
whatever wrote:
hello..how are they gong to control the traffic in that area..our city council and county are a bunch idiots....
If people bothered to read what the plan was they'd see that they are going to do work on improving that intersection. I haven't looked at it since the last time it came up (I honestly thought it was dead in the water after the last batch of commissioners nixed it) but if I remember correctly the first stage is that Hawkins Regency is going pay (out of their own pockets) to do a traffic study to really take a look at that area so that they can come up with a plan to resolve the issues. That's one of the top things on their agenda because they need the traffic to be manageable if they want their development to really succeed.

As far as everyone who is whining about this project, take a look at how it really works. They aren't asking the city to give them money from nowhere, they want to get a refund on sales taxes AFTER they build the development and AFTER they start paying all the taxes to the city and county. Furthermore they will only ever get the $12M in rebates. If they get that back in 2 or 3 years, guess what? The rebates end and the city keeps it all. If they build it and it flops then they only get whatever rebates they earn for a set number of years and after that, it's also over.

It's a win-win for the city. We get rid of a blighted property and hopefully we get to see new retailers that haven't been in the area before. Look closely at the "businessmen" who oppose the development. People like De La Vega are only opposed to it because it hurts his bottom line. He doesn't care about you or the city, he cares about making more money for himself and as far as I'm concerned he can keep his stupid Las Palmas with it's horrible traffic at Zaragosa. If he wants to complain let him pay to fix that intersection (which is as bad as it is largely because of his shopping center) before he starts attacking what other people are doing.
I Get It

Pflugerville, TX

#8 Feb 24, 2009
If you build it, they will come. Oh, ok. I get it now.
Jerry K

El Paso, TX

#9 Feb 24, 2009
I Get It wrote:
If you build it, they will come. Oh, ok. I get it now.
They will get paid AFTER the money starts rolling in. That money is taxpayer revenue, not developer giveaway. It belongs to the taxpayers of the City who make the City possible by their taxes.
Proud American

El Paso, TX

#10 Feb 24, 2009
Not Blind wrote:
<quoted text>
If people bothered to read what the plan was they'd see that they are going to do work on improving that intersection. I haven't looked at it since the last time it came up (I honestly thought it was dead in the water after the last batch of commissioners nixed it) but if I remember correctly the first stage is that Hawkins Regency is going pay (out of their own pockets) to do a traffic study to really take a look at that area so that they can come up with a plan to resolve the issues. That's one of the top things on their agenda because they need the traffic to be manageable if they want their development to really succeed.
As far as everyone who is whining about this project, take a look at how it really works. They aren't asking the city to give them money from nowhere, they want to get a refund on sales taxes AFTER they build the development and AFTER they start paying all the taxes to the city and county. Furthermore they will only ever get the $12M in rebates. If they get that back in 2 or 3 years, guess what? The rebates end and the city keeps it all. If they build it and it flops then they only get whatever rebates they earn for a set number of years and after that, it's also over.
It's a win-win for the city. We get rid of a blighted property and hopefully we get to see new retailers that haven't been in the area before. Look closely at the "businessmen" who oppose the development. People like De La Vega are only opposed to it because it hurts his bottom line. He doesn't care about you or the city, he cares about making more money for himself and as far as I'm concerned he can keep his stupid Las Palmas with it's horrible traffic at Zaragosa. If he wants to complain let him pay to fix that intersection (which is as bad as it is largely because of his shopping center) before he starts attacking what other people are doing.
Good Job!.Good Post!
Nice to hear a comment from somebody other than a whiny businessperson of this community.
2V or not to V

El Paso, TX

#11 Feb 24, 2009
Has no one seen the irony in the family fued that may be going on behind the scenes? Artemio de la Vega is actually fighting his brother-in-law, Paul Foster, in the battle over the new shopping center. The money married money recently in the wedding of Foster to de la Vega's sister, Alejandra. Now that the honeymoon is over, we've got family money fighting family money over a new shopping center. Then again, family may have nothing to do with it. Afterall, this is business, isn't it?
suleiman

Laurel, MD

#12 Feb 24, 2009
Not blind, you hit the nail on the head. All the whiners as you correctly call them clearly haven't read the agreement. I have; I also watched the past CC meetings where this issue was discussed on streaming video. De La Vega doesn't care about El Paso; he doesn't even live here--he lives in Dallas. Both de la Vega and Simon themselves sought tax breaks to develop the Farah property, so their opposition to this deal is incredibly hypocritical.

This is a win-win. Neither the city nor the county pay a dime unless and until the project is up and running. All the up-front costs are borne by Hawkins/Regency. None of the other taxing entities ever pay any rebates.

Cobos's and Haggerty's oppostion to the plan wasn't principled. Cobos hates the white Republican business guys (like Foster)so he jumps at any chance to stick it to them (can't blame him totally for that, but he lets his hatred get in the way of rational decision-making). Haggerty hates Foster becasue Foster (stupidly) supported Dee Margo when Margo ran and beat Pat Haggerty. Again, can't totally blame Haggerty, but, once again, bad blood got in the way of rationality.

Fortunately, Perez and Escobar, who are both very smart cookies, convinced Gandara to do the right thing.
The one upper

Silver City, NM

#13 Feb 24, 2009
Geez, even if they tear down Farah and leave it empty, that alone will be an upgrade to that white monstrous ugly building!! If they build something nice will even better, I'M ALL FOR IT!!!!
shoptiludrop

El Paso, TX

#14 Feb 24, 2009
I want IKEA and I want it now!
meg

United States

#15 Feb 24, 2009
Let me see, Mervyn's closed, Dillards, Old Navy and Sears are laying off employees and consumer confidence is at an all time low. The Mexican Peso is at 14.98 per dollar so the Mexicans aren't shopping in El Paso. We are giving 12 million in tax breaks for a new shopping center to be built? How does this make sense???? How many of you are on the take????
Texican

United States

#16 Feb 24, 2009
With the Mexican peso taking a dive it might take longer to get a return on the investment.
whatever

El Paso, TX

#17 Feb 24, 2009
meg wrote:
Let me see, Mervyn's closed, Dillards, Old Navy and Sears are laying off employees and consumer confidence is at an all time low. The Mexican Peso is at 14.98 per dollar so the Mexicans aren't shopping in El Paso. We are giving 12 million in tax breaks for a new shopping center to be built? How does this make sense???? How many of you are on the take????
i agree...
Taxpayer Ripoff

El Paso, TX

#18 Feb 24, 2009
This Billionaire gets $4,000,000.00 from his paid politicians at the expense of El Paso taxpayers. The city is $9,000,000 in the hole this year, but Cook gives this jerk $4,000,000 anyway.

El Paso voters needs to clean house come election time in May to rid this city of all the corruption.
Poor Rich Turd

El Paso, TX

#19 Feb 24, 2009
Obviously the Rich in El Paso DON'T PAY taxes, they PAY political hacks and COLLECT the taxes. Who in El Paso dosen't want 4 million for improving your private property, raise your hands!
Investigate Foster

El Paso, TX

#20 Feb 24, 2009
There needs to be an outside Federal investigation of the goings on in this latest El Paso corruption saga.

This "deal" smells real bad. What have these people been doing behind the scenes to pull off this robbery of the community? No one in El Paso supports this, except the crooks.

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