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Operator of parking decks for TEE, Marriott stays same as city negotiates

City negotiating with business

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The deal to manage parking decks associated with the downtown Marriott and TEE Center isn’t finalized, but the operator to manage both remains the same.

City Administrator Fred Russell met with Paul Simon, president of Augusta Riverfront LLC, Tuesday morning to review the terms of a lease and management agreement associated with the new TEE Center parking deck and existing Marriott parking.

The numbers associated with both may “improve” to the city’s advantage slightly, Russell said of revised plans he’ll present to the commission next week.

But the operator of both decks, Marriott and TEE Center operator Augusta Riverfront LLC, hasn’t changed, to the chagrin of some commissioners.

Commissioner Bill Lockett said he expected Russell to review a bid offered by Ampco System Parking, the chosen bidder when the city requested proposals from management companies, to see if it was a better deal.

“There needs to be an investigation,”  said Lockett, who has previously called for a citywide forensic audit of all operating agreements with outside firms as well as all city departments.

But Russell and Commissioner Jerry Brigham said the commission selected Augusta Riverfront LLC as parking deck operator years ago and that detail cannot change.

Augusta Riverfront has ties to management of Morris Communications, owner of The Augusta Chronicle, as does 933 Broad Investment Co., owner of most of the real estate beneath the new deck, to which the city owns only air rights.

“I believe the commission said to deal with who the operator was previously,” Brigham said.

The city’s finance committee on Nov. 11 sent Russell back for “a new proposal,” and the administrator said he’s vetting numbers for
that from the morning meeting.

Existing proposals on the table are for the city to pay Augusta Riverfront $25,000 annually to operate the new TEE deck, with ground floor spaces reserved during business hours for 933 Broad, and lease outright what remains of Marriott parking to Augusta Riverfront for $50,000 annually.

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blues550
374
Points
blues550 11/29/11 - 11:07 pm
0
0
Augusta City Leadership
Unpublished

Augusta City Leadership reminds me of Frank Burns' wheeling and dealing in M*A*S*H.

tomcasey
-2
Points
tomcasey 11/30/11 - 12:01 am
0
0
Susan excellent article thank

Susan excellent article thank you...

933 Broad Investment (Co.) LLC is owned by Augusta Riverfront LLC.

tomcasey
-2
Points
tomcasey 11/30/11 - 12:03 am
0
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When are we really going to

When are we really going to see some transparency in the incompetent ministrations of the cop that thought he was a city county manager or our collective city county government (the mayor and his Core Four lackeys) regarding the Parking Gate scandal...

This is mind numbing!

tomcasey
-2
Points
tomcasey 11/30/11 - 12:19 am
0
0
There truly needs to be an

There truly needs to be an investigation by an impartial group into how (1) Augusta Riverfront LLC got a contract without a proper procurement process, (2) How did a state senator sell a parcel of land, make a killing at taxpayer expense at the time purposely inflating the value of the land the parking deck now rests, (3) Why didn't anyone in the ARC government follow through with securing the rights or buying the land out right before the parking deck was built...

We deserve real answers!

dichotomy
32136
Points
dichotomy 11/30/11 - 12:22 am
0
0
I do not understand how Paul

I do not understand how Paul Simon, Billy Morris' surrogate, continues to persuade our gullible commissioners to use taxpayer money to build them buildings and then pay him to operate them. We seem to be involved in some really flaky deal where we do not even own the land where we just spent a lot of taxpayer money to build the parking deck. Are we sure we even own the TEE? Do you think I could get the commissioners to build me a Publix or a Radio Shack or something out here on the south end and pay me to operate it whether it makes money or not. Commissioners.....here is a clue. If you see Paul Simon coming grab your wallet and run. You do not have the mental ability to deal with him.

Riverman1
82436
Points
Riverman1 11/30/11 - 06:35 am
0
0
Does Billy Morris still

Does Billy Morris still charge his employees to park? The debt holders of the Chronicle will spare no one to get their money back.

lifelongresident
1323
Points
lifelongresident 11/30/11 - 08:57 am
0
0
the TEE CENTER and the
Unpublished

the TEE CENTER and the parking deck!?!????!?!?!?!?!? hey joe how did that happen what marching orders did you receive in order to allow his highness to operate the TEE CENTER and the parking deck and get paid for it via taxpayer dollars. once you become mayor "ole billy" will be in tall cotton

Riverman1
82436
Points
Riverman1 11/30/11 - 09:11 am
0
0
Lifelongresident had a post

Lifelongresident had a post pulled..understandably. But I, too, would like to hear Joe Bowles tell us about all this. I know at first he was against the TEE...or at least asking hard questions. Later, he sort of caved in and said something like, "Let's just build the thing and get it over." Of course this was after Aitken was found walking down the street with old newspapers blowing in the wind past him. So Joe, what's the deal with this parking agreement that seems to be pretty much unchanged as far as how much THEY will get?

CorporalGripweed
0
Points
CorporalGripweed 11/30/11 - 10:29 am
0
0
Funny how Fred nor Paul will

Funny how Fred nor Paul will release the details until commission next week. They want to give Commisioners time to meet behind closed doors to decide how to vote. While not giving the public time to mount any substantive opposition if this deal "stinks" as well.
Transparency in this city is a joke.

PhiloPublius
386
Points
PhiloPublius 11/30/11 - 11:43 am
0
0
Isn't it ironic that the only

Isn't it ironic that the only thing we are getting from Russell and "Paul Simon" is "the sound of silence"?

showboat
330
Points
showboat 11/30/11 - 01:01 pm
0
0
THEY STILL NEED TO FIRE
Unpublished

THEY STILL NEED TO FIRE RUSSELL, WITH ALL OF THESE BACK DOOR DEALS.

dichotomy
32136
Points
dichotomy 11/30/11 - 07:46 pm
0
0
I believe Paul Simon was

I believe Paul Simon was involved in getting a similar agreement with the city to allow Fort Discovery to operate the city owned parking deck at Port Royal back in 1997. Not sure if it was an outright lease or a percentage of revenue sharing thing. My understanding is that FD quit paying and the city never tried to collect. Someone should check the numbers on how much revenue was collected from that deck in the 13 years between '97 and 2010. It would probably be a good indicator of how the current parking deck deal will turn out, especially if the TEE flops like Fort Discovery did. The difference here would be that not only would we loose the revenue from an unused parking deck, but we will be paying the people who own the land on which it is built to operate it and have free first floor parking when they go to work in the TEE which we also built with taxpayer money and pay them to operate. Sweet deal for somebody but not the taxpayers.

Of course, back in '97 Paul Simon rightfully figured he could get by with anything (and he apparently can) because he had just successfully conned our brain dead (or crooked) commissioners into forgiving a $7.5 million dollar loan they gave him and his associates to build the hotel on Riverwalk. He was already laying his plans for the TEE and the parking deck back then. Randy Oliver rightfully opposed these deals and that probably explains why he is no longer around. When the money men in Augusta speak, you had better snap to and forward march. After all, the good ole' boy commissioners can't make any money unless the money men are getting taxpayer money and the black commissioners can't blackmail leverage their votes unless the good ole' boys are trying to do something crooked.

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