My comments/responses are in italics
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.
Well, I don't know where you are getting the idea I am blaming the city for the Billy Goat not happening. I am blaming the city for putting money into the idea. Big difference. If a operator had to close two locations then shouldn't the city have noticed that they might have to do that when the city did it's due diligence?
The issue isn't that Billy Goat didn't come to Aurora, it is that Aurora thought it was worth putting money towards bringing a burger place to downtown? Perhaps you would have made a special trip to downtown Aurora for a burger, I wouldn't. Most of the locations of the goat I am aware of are either near locations that have/had high foot traffic or near places that have several large events a month (The United Center). You might think it is a destination burger place, I don't.
B. You should go to Batavia and eat at Aliano's fine dining Italian rest. It's NOT a pizzeria.
Well their menu sure does show a lot of pizza but I will give you that it is an Italian rest not just a pizzeria The Sun Times rated it between good and very good. Sorry when I think fine dining at the least I expect a Zagat rating (didn't find one). We may have different definitions of fine dining, but I don't think Aliano's meets my definition. It may meet yours.
Lets keep in mind they will likely be serving pizza (you mention) a brick oven for pizza yourself in the 'second' space, what message do we send to the pizza operator just on the western edge of downtown (too bad you are not a block closer to the river the city would have put some money in the game) not sure who owns dough balls (or whatever that place is called in the building with Ballydoyle) but if I owned the place I would not be real happy with tax money being used to bring in someone with menu overlap almost directly across the street.
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.
You know that is great, but again, why do city tax dollars have to be involved to make that happen? You think Naperville uses TIF funds to bring dining establishments to downtown? How about Batavia, Geneva or Oswego? I highly doubt it. Has the problem with the row been a lack of space? Isn't there space currently available?
D. You really should do some homework before speculating.
Curious on what I 'speculated' on? Wish you could fill me in on that. Again the issue for me is simple, it isn't if it is Charley Trotter or House Of Slop coming in. The question is my are TIF funds needed at all. It is really that simple. I don't think TIF funds should be used for restaurants. Why, well they are not high end employers generally, they have a terrible batting average in general and in downtown Aurora specifically I think if you are going to spend that money there are better ways to do it.
But again, what did I speculate on?
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.
Well, since I am fairly sure they are looking at going after a developer that some of that money was in fact invested poorly. I don't have a problem with TIF money going to true infrastructure, using it to fix up a building owned by a private entity isn't infrastructure.
Heck I don't fault the folks who take the money, if the government is willing to help your business, let them. I just don't think it is a good use of the cash.