BG Reads | News - What We're Reading (August 1, 2018)
Expect talk on rent, rail station and ticking clocks at soccer hearing (Austin Monitor)
With the term sheet for a proposed professional soccer stadium on city property in North Austin out for public debate since Friday, a special City Council meeting today on the possible agreement will give those on both sides a chance to have perhaps the most substantive debate on the issue yet.
As of Tuesday evening, the likely plan for the meeting at City Hall was for public comment on the soccer proposal shortly after the 9 a.m. start time with Council adjourning to executive session at 11:15 a.m., followed by a reconvening at 3 p.m. that would feature staff and Council discussion. While no action will be taken on Wednesday related to the possible move of the Columbus Crew soccer club to Austin, the discussion could play a big part in how the 11 members vote at the Aug. 9 meeting on possibly authorizing city staff to execute an agreement based on the terms negotiated with Precourt Sports Ventures.
The term sheet would have PSV pay $550,000 in rent to the city annually beginning in 2026 but pay no property taxes after donating the 20,000-seat stadium to the city. The sheet also sets aside part of the 24-acre parcel for a 130-unit affordable housing development, with the city and team owners agreeing to work toward an arrangement to finance and build a MetroRail station next to the stadium...
Capella proposes McKalla Place partnership with PSV or putting MLS stadium at F1 track (Austin Business Journal)
Austin-based Capella Capital Partners LLC said it submitted two development proposals to City Hall for McKalla Place, the proposed Major League Soccer stadium site in North Austin.
Capella Managing Partner Neil Francois said Tuesday afternoon print copies of the plans had been submitted to the offices of City Manager Spencer Cronk, Mayor Steve Adler and all Austin City Council members. He said they would be digitally submitted to the city on Wednesday.
One proposal would be a mixed-use development with apartments or condos, shops, a hotel and office space — with the suggestion to build the Major League Soccer stadium at Circuit of The Americas, the Formula 1 race track east of Austin. Capella tells city officials it has reached an agreement with COTA, where a United Soccer League team is supposed to kick off next season and potentially serve as a competitor to a PSV-led MLS team.
The second proposal calls for pairing PSV's soccer stadium at McKalla with parking, an office tower, green space and mixed-use and residential development. That option raises the possibility that the out-of-state operator of an MLS team and local developers — long seen as competition to one another for the sought-after city land — could instead work together...
Time is now, mayor says, to end homelessness in Austin (Austin American-Statesman)
About a dozen Austin organizations and companies, including Amazon Web Services and Cielo Property Group, pledged their support Tuesday to end homelessness in the city.
Cielo, a real estate development and investment company, committed $1 million to the effort during a community summit at 3Ten at ACL Live that brought together more than 100 advocates across Austin.
Mayor Steve Adler urged other companies to step up and build on the momentum to help the city reach its goal.
“What you feel now is one of those rare moonshot moments,” Adler said. “Everything is aligned right now (from political will to the community’s sentiment to address homelessness). If we don’t do this now, then we will be missing an opportunity that comes to this city only once in decades.”...
Capital Metro gives green light to Green Line (Austin Monitor)
On Monday, the board of directors of the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted to study a hotly debated commuter rail line that could stretch from downtown Austin to as far away as Elgin.
The Green Line would be very similar to Capital Metro’s existing MetroRail Red Line that runs from downtown to Leander. Like the Red Line, the Green Line would use diesel-powered rail cars and run on existing freight tracks that Capital Metro already owns.
The Green Line corridor begins in downtown Austin and splits from the existing Red Line just past the Plaza Saltillo station. It runs via Govalle, Colony Park and Manor and terminates in downtown Elgin.
Republican Pete Flores, Democrat Pete Gallego set for runoff for Uresti seat (Texas Tribune)
Republican Pete Flores and Democrat Pete Gallego are headed to a runoff in the special election to replace convicted former state Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio. With all precincts reporting Tuesday night, Flores led Gallego by 5 percentage points, 34 percent to 29 percent, according to unofficial returns.
At 24 percent, state Rep. Roland Gutierrez of San Antonio came in third in the eight-way race, and he conceded in a statement. The five other candidates were in single digits, including Uresti's brother, outgoing state Rep. Tomas Uresti of San Antonio. The first-place finish by Flores, who unsuccessfully challenged Carlos Uresti in 2016, is a boon to Republicans in the Democratic-leaning district. In the home stretch of the race, Flores benefited from a raft of endorsements from Texas' top elected officials including Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz...
Full-scale bailout for industries impacted by tariffs would cost $39 billion, Chamber of Commerce says (CNBC)
Spreading a bailout across all industries affected by the ongoing trade war would cost taxpayers $39 billion, according to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce analysis. The Chamber opposes the billions in tariffs that President Donald Trump has slapped on a host of goods from China as well as steel and aluminum imports. To compensate for the economic damage, Trump recently approved $12 billion in emergency aid for farmers who produce certain goods, particularly soybeans.
The package was touted as a temporary solution while negotiations continue, but the president has taken seething criticism including from his own party and some farmers themselves. In its study of what would happen should the aid program spread, the Chamber said the effects would be substantial. "The best way to protect American industries from the damaging consequences of a trade war is to avoid entering into a trade war in the first place," Neil Bradley, the organization's executive vice president and chief policy officer, said in a statement. "...
'It’s a significant shift in our thinking': Business takes fresh look at Democrats (Politico)
Business groups, at war with President Donald Trump over trade and immigration, say they’re taking steps to rebuild the political center — including taking fresh looks at moderate Democrats. The American Bankers Association this month began airing ads in support of candidates for the first time, including Democrats Sen. Jon Tester of Montana and Rep. Lou Correa of California. The International Franchise Association has more than doubled its support to Democrats this cycle, with 27 percent of its donations going to centrists in the party.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which leans heavily Republican, endorsed Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey over Republican John McCann, who has the support of former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka. Even the powerful Koch network appears to be withholding some support for the Republican Party, if not outright supporting Democrats...