Monday, February 11, 2013

Remember When A Billy Goats Was Going To Come To Aurora...

Back in 2009?  I do, heck I blogged about it but surprise, surprise, surprise there is no Billy Goat tavern in downtown Aurora, money was spent as part of economic development (be it a TIFF or whatever, keep in mind no money from the government nor money the government has to spend does not appear by magic so it is real money that has already been spent)

So much like Bullwinkle reaching into his hat and promising he is going to pull out a rabbit, the city again is going to TIFF route to bring more dining to downtown Aurora.

But wait, this time it is pizza... Because that is what downtown Aurora needs is a pizza place that apparently requires TIFF funds to happen..

Bill Wiet, the city’s chief development officer, said if it wasn’t for the city’s commitment to kick TIF dollars to the project, a new Restaurant Row would not be happening. “But for the use of TIF monies, would this project go? The answer is no,” Wiet said.

Others have written about the connections of the folks involved, so I will leave that to them. But at the end of the day do we really want to spend money to bring a pizza place to downtown Aurora?  Is that what has been missing? Pizza? I love pizza, really I do, but I would be hard pressed to think of what kind of pizza would bring me to downtown to eat it.

Part of the argument being made is
Add a better economy to a changing downtown — RiverEdge Park is set to open this summer, a new main library location is set to break ground and a booming Paramount Broadway series is packing them in

You know I hope they are right... If they are right, why in the heck is tax money needed?  The Paramount Broadway thing has been going for a while, the Rivers Edge park is going to have shows once in a while, so either those two venues and their events bring folks in, in enough numbers or they don't (suffice to say Rivers Edge is not a year round venue).  Why put city funds at risk?

Also sorry but in my humble opinion the library argument falls on it's face. Who really goes to the library and says afterwards, lets get some pizza locally? Anyone?


Anonymous said...

A. Funny how the flaws of the FREE Market (i.e. Billy Goat's failure to be financially stable enough to come to Aurora; they shut down two of their 11 shops, etc.) are still somehow blamed on the City/government.
B. You should go to Batavia and eat at Aliano's fine dining Italian rest. It's NOT a pizzeria.
C. There will be a 2nd restaurant space built-out on Restaurant Row above the fine dinining Italian for a Sandwhich/Panini/Brick Oven pizza place/Tavern-Bar, with a separate kitchen.
D. You really should do some homework before speculating.
E. The TIF money already spent in '09 is mostly still on the street in infrastructure. So no, it wasn't wasted or mispent. The new developer will actually be able to build upon that infrastructure, so thank God it's there.

Jillian's Random Ruminations said...

Aliano's is really awesome and I would never categorize it as a pizza place. That's actually one of the last things I would think of ordering there.
It really is an incredible place. You will probably be surprised. I can tell from Mario's Batavia place that he doesn't do things in a small way and many who have tried things in Aurora HAVE tried to do things in small ways.
I agree with you, though, that this deal sounds shady, but I assure you, you'd be crazy not to love Aliano's. Everything is right about them....cuisine, price, ambiance, and service!

OneMan said...

Funny no one comments for two weeks and I get two within an hour. But whatever.

The issue fundamentally isn't if it is a pizza place or not, the issue is simply why do TIF funds need to be spent to bring them here at all?

Did Batavia use TIF funds to bring him to Batavia, don't know but I doubt it.

It could be the greatest food in the world or the worst. It doesn't really make a difference, just don't use TIF funds to bring the place here.

If the food is that good and everyone is so confident, let the private sector (since this is a private business) do what needs to be done, don't use TIF funds.

That's the point

Anonymous said...

I ate at Aliano' is average. It is a large step above a chain like Spaghetti Warehouse, but it is not even remotely in the same class as something like Chianti's in Geneva or an authentic Italian cooking experience like Gioacchino's in Bellwood.