LEO tried to find some contractors to explain how renovating a sports bar could cost more than $112 per square foot. LEO’s Jonathan Meador even went undercover to size things up inside the Sports and Social Club, enduring one of those faux country bands and plastic cup-beer to do it.
And with all that, he could only find about $725K in expenses. And that’s going the Rolls Royce route, rounding up and making generous allowances for a building that, in part, wasn’t even renovated.
So LEO’s estimate on the Cordish rip-off of taxpayer dollars is about $225,000.Whether something like that went into the Cordish corporate coffers, Paris Hilton’s checking account or was kicked back in some secret way to Jerry Abramson, we’ll probably never know.
At least the Metro Council is making some effort to make sure it never happens again. And tomorrow, activist Chris Thieneman will hold a press conference to announce he’s taking another route to getting an accounting — through the courts. It’s likely that A.G. Jack Conway will have his own critique of the deal soon.
But the bottom line is that this deal, with all its scrutiny and gnashing of teeth and complaints from local business owners and with the public silence from Cordish officials — is done. Let’s hope that all this publicity will do one thing — keep the Mayor from doling out the remaining $850,000 available in forgivable loans — to Cordish or anyone else, without a full accounting.
Many sources have told the V.V. that on the dozens of smaller forgivable loans provided to businesses by Metro Government, accurate record-keeping is a requirement, and that transparency is a given. No business goes to the city asking for a loan without a list of expenses on which the money will be used.
Except for Cordish.