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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    Whole Lotta Incentives

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Thu Jul 28, 2011 at 03:14:26 PM EST
    Tags: Organic, All natural Business, Mega, Whole Foods, Detroit, Subsidies, Payoffs, Dragon Fruit (all tags)

    I like Whole Foods' program. I have great respect for the man who started as an idealistic organic sales guy with a dozen or so workers and turned the program into what could be considered a model for the American dream.

    Who was it?

    John Mackey, The former liberal turned moderate/considered-conservative businessman who royally ticked off the administration a couple years ago with his scathing editorial on Obamacare. The editorial frankly is worth going over again. Its brilliant.  In fact, I would say the man is equally so, and understands how to squish those (organic) lemons into some fine lemonade.  It takes opportunity multiplied by desire for the lemonade.

    And maybe a little cash.

    Desire of course for the finest lemonade around, or at least a few good jobs, and the possibility of revivals in neighborhoods might what is driving this successful entrepreneur to look at a full blown grocery operation in Detroit.

    Continued Below ~

    Whole Foods would like to build a new store. In Detroit. Downtown Detroit.

    But what does it take for such a courageous move?

    Apparently, an all natural incentive, frosted by a organic credit, slathered in an unpasteurized incentive, and served with a well cultivated tax break.

    At least that is what Crains reported yesterday.

    But according to email communications between the Michigan Economic Growth Authority and the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., the deal hinges on nearly $4.2 million in incentives.

    The documents, obtained by the Chaldean News under the Freedom of Information Act and provided to Crain's, show that Whole Foods is asking for $4.2 million in city, state and federal incentives to open a store in downtown Detroit.

    According to the exchanges, the 21,000-square-foot project is expected to get $1.5 million in local and community foundation funds, $1.2 million in federal tax credits under the New Market program and $1.5 million in state incentives.

    The documents also say the project will apply for a brownfield incentive through MEGA.

    And that is what it will take to bring a respectable business to Detroit.

    And John Mackey gets it.

    And given all that, its hard to imagine it is not still a risk for the organic businessman. Its still Detroit.  If what is outside doesn't get you, what is inside likely will.

    If I had to guess, Detroit is not yet considered completely free of corruption. Before too long the corrosive elements of politics within the city will view Mr. Mackey's operation as having advantaged from all that incentive driven goodwill a little too much. They will undoubtedly view Whole Foods as an interloper taking advantage of the city's poor condition to the point of extorting its natural resources, whatever those might be.  Before long the hands of those in power will be extended for such things as political fundraisers (or else), or added "protection" by the city's finest (without radios).  You know, to "make up" for the transgression of bringing the business there.

    Ultimately, someone will want their palm greased with purely natural coconut oil not found in the only other enterprises left; the quickee marts, and other ethnically operated businesses not receiving such financial attention. And those folks might not be so happy with the competition paid for with their taxes. (along with ours of course)

    Ultimately, it could be said that a 30 year brownfield does nothing directly for the city's coffers, and it should be noted that would be true. Unless of course, the seed of such an operation being established bears the fruit of new enterprises surrounding and expanding outward.  Certainly MEGA grants, Federal matches, and money from a city that doesn't have it might make it a go. It Might.

    Until it is stopped.

    By the mega organically grown resources we know as Detroit politics.

    Good luck with that.  And by the way, anyone know where I can get some dragon fruit?

    < Jason's Radar: It Doesn't Miss Much | The Simple Fix >

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    Whole Foods? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Corinthian Scales on Thu Jul 28, 2011 at 05:01:42 PM EST
    No thanks.  I stand with Israel.

    P!ss on Palestinian terrorist funding/loving Whole Foods.

    It's a damned shame that a "moderate/considered-conservative businessman" turned GoverNerd is throwing our coerced tax dollars away on this.  Not much point in our brave young service men and women fighting muslim terrorists abroad when they're getting stabbed in the back at home.

    Nice location. (none / 0) (#2)
    by KG One on Thu Jul 28, 2011 at 05:22:46 PM EST
    Mack & Woodward.

    Right next to the Cass Corridor.

    I give the place two years...tops.

    If you can't keep the undesirables out of Starbucks, how do they expect to keep them out of Whole Foods?

    This is so dead on (none / 0) (#3)
    by archiespeck on Thu Jul 28, 2011 at 07:03:03 PM EST
    If there's something Detroit's leadership has learned from the Founding Fathers of race hustling, Jesse and Al, it's how to shake down a deep pocketed business. First their will be demands that it be staffed and run by "Detroiters" (I.e. Family members of connected administrators) and it will devolve from there. Expect lots of marching and megaphones in front of Whole Foods Deee-troit. They be keeping us down.

    Rush just had this (none / 0) (#4)
    by JGillman on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 08:11:33 AM EST
    topic on his morning minute.

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