Saturday, July 21, 2018

How Is That Working Out For Us?

January 15, 2018 by  
Filed under Community

BY LOUIE OVERSTREET

Louie Overstreet

My question is in reference to the small (not even) minority/female business participation in the development of the Las Vegas Raiders’ $2 billion stadium. The answer to my question is, “It ain’t happening!”

Participation by minority/ female enterprises on this project is about as likely as a black developer out of New York City redeveloping the old Moulin Rouge site — some 62 years after it closed — for a $100 million.

The handwriting was on the wall from jump-street. Early on, there were telltale signs that this project was being greased. Elected officials at the state and county levels were more than willing to grab the short end of the stick.

Two quick examples are:

  • Citizens are being hosed on the debt financing of the project
  • If you have ever tried to get a simple zoning variance, then you can see that the fix was in after thousands of required parking spaces were waived when the site was changed from one side of I-15 to the other side of the interstate.

With financing in place and variances granted for building permits, persons concerned with even token participation can forget about it. With a 1,000-day development schedule at a cost of $2 billion, you have a money burn rate of $2 million a day.

In my old days of fighting windmills in pursuit of progress for minority/female enterprises, people often confused me with Don Quixote. I learned that, in the absence of political resolve, large projects would not be held up in order to include our participation.

I’m not talking about providing services on the critical path; I am talking about something as small as providing initial construction signage for $60,000.

The 15% small business participation goal is only lip service. These contracts are still being funneled as pass-through contracts to good ol’ boys as a way of bypassing the objective of building capacity for small businesses in Las Vegas.

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