Tuesday, November 24, 2009

not all connected you say?

You need to go to law school to figure out the current state of assessment litigation before Judge Wettick.  It looks to me like everyone is appealing.  Appeals of appeals of an appeal that has already been appealed or something like that.  I'm sure it makes sense to the legal beagles. .

There is also news that Pittsburgh's one-time savior Don Barden is declaring bankruptcy.  Well not him, but his Majestic Star casino operation.  Bankruptcy needs lawyers as well, maybe that's a theme for today.

Which reminds me that it was a little noticed news item that progress has been made on getting a property assessment in place for the Rivers casino now operating.  Want to place odds whatever valuation the county comes up with will be appealed.... so more billable hours.

Still my best to understand the current state of the assessment litigation. http://www.evtv1.com/player.aspx?itemnum=2122. Lawyers in film that is.

Which then gets me wondering if the anticipated valuation of the casino property is baked into the city budget that is all a tizzy these days.   City itself will get roughly a $million in revenue for every $100 million in assessed value.  You would think that in at least a semi-rational world, the value of the new casino structure and the real estate it sits on would at least be worth the cost of construction which was not a small number.  In one fell swoop the casino may become one of the most valuable non-tax-exempt parcels in the city proper.  

How small is Pittsburgh? Let's connect the news of Gene Connelly passing away.  The location of the casino is entirely the result of that parcel being amalgamated and bought by Connelly for the local site of riverboat gambling that never happened.
Only for loal history nuts.  Gene Connelly's story is tied much to that of his brother John whose earliest career had an big part in the story of one time congressman Harry Davenport as documented in Hoerr's Harry, Tom, and Father Rice: accusation and betrayal in America's Cold War.  The book also talks about some of his early business career in the news/advertising business of East Liberty back when people said it was the third biggest retail district in Pennsylvania. Lawyers in there somewhere I am sure.  We'll stop the stream of consciousness at that, though we could leap into the current debate of late over getting Target into East Liberty. For another day.

I still think it is fascinating that as we, as the paragon of success weathering the current recesssion, are nonetheless more and more looking to casinos to save us from our troubles.   All while Las Vegas looks toward us for lessons on the future.  Interesting to read the 86 comments now with that article from the Las Angeles Sun. 

and not up yet as I type, but maybe by the time you are reading this there will be an update to the casino watch.  We will see how Thanksgiving and the whole holiday season impact revenues down there.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for the heads up on both the book and the LV article.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 9:24:00 AM  

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