Minutes

Chamber of Commerce Letter, March 2010, regarding Bay Cities Mechanical BRIP Loan and New Business Development Assistance Grant. 
Chamber’of Commerce Working for Businesses and The Community
Received APR 26 2010
Office of the City Clerk
Honorable Debbie Long
Honorable Roy Swearingen
Honorable Peter Murray
Honorable Virginia Fujita
Honorable Timothy Banuelos
March 1, 2010
City of Pinole
2131 Pear Street
Pinole, Ca. 94564
Dear Mayor Long, Mayor Pro Tern Swearingen, and Council members, Murray, Fujita
and Banuelos:
The Pinole Chamber of Commerce has been asked to state its position on the proposal to
approve a Business Relocation and Job Incentive Program loan (BRIP) from the Pinole
Redevelopment Agency to Bay City Mechanical, Inc. in the amount of $430,000 and a New Business Development Assistance grant in the amount of $50,000.
The Pinole Chamber of Commerce, as always, applauds the City Council and City Staff for being aggressive in their effort to spur economic development in the project areas.
Both the Business Relocation and Job Incentive Loan Program and the New Business Development Assistance Grant Program are excellent programs, and should be used aggressively, especially in this economy, to help bring businesses to Pinole.
However, based on the information available to us, we feel that the benefits to the City, of the proposed $430,000 BRIP loan and the $50,000 New Business Development Assistance Grant are not sufficient to justify the expenditures, in this case.
The deal does not provide the City of Pinole, its citizens nor the business community with benefits commensurate with the City’s investment of $480,000.
It is our position that the Bay City Mechanical proposal does not meet several important Redevelopment goals.
Tel (510) 724-4484 P.O. Box 1 Pinole, CA 94564 I (510) 724-4408 Fax y http://www.pinolechamber.org I pinolechamber@yahoo.com

Chamber of Commerce
Working for Businesses the Community
1. The loan is paid over a term of 15 years and is paid back using virtually all of the project’s tax increment over that period. Although using the Redevelopment Agency’s tax increment income to subsidize a new business is a valuable tool, we believe that it is a mistake to give away all of it for such a long period of time.
2. We are skeptical that the project will generate much sales tax revenue. Bay Cities Mechanical is not a retail store and most of its sales will be at work sites, with sales tax payable at those sites.
3. We are also skeptical that the location of the business at Pinole Shores Business Park will generate much additional traffic for nearby businesses. Although Bay Cities employs a lot of people, a relatively small fraction of them are expected to be on site.
4. We are worried that regardless of whether these funds are afready in this year’s budget, the City can actually afford the cash outlay this year.
The Pinole Chamber of Commerce would welcome Bay Cities Mechanical to Pinole with great enthusiasm. Our reservations about this transaction are not reservations about Bay Cities; they are merely concerns that the subsidy in this case outweighs the
benefits.
We urge the City Council, City Redevelopment Staff and Bay City Mechanical, Inc. to renegotiate the terms of the subsidy.
CC: Pinole Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
Tel (510) 724.4484 P.O. Box 1 Pinole, CA 94564 I (510) 724.4408

Ivette Ricco
http://www.pinolechamber.org I pinolechamber@yahoo.com
President, Pinole Chamber of Commerce

Pinole Bank Building September 2012 Emails regarding lease of the vacant space.

Dear Belinda, Winston and City Council:
I just got off the phone with the Pinole resident who had expressed an interest in opening a restaurant in the Pinole Bank Building.
He told me that he contacted Cushman and Wakefield and was told that the city did not want a restaurant in that location, that they wanted a coffee shop. There seemed to be no room for discussion. He was simply shut down and not allowed to even have a dialogue about his idea.
I understand that the city has been in negotiations with the couple who have proposed a coffee shop/internet cafe with live music. I met with them back in April.
What is baffling is why the broker would discourage anyone with any interest whatsoever in this property. Most real estate people are eager to have a back up just in case things don’t work out.
An Italian restaurant seems like a good fit and a compatible use of the space and is worthy of consideration by the city.
Has the city entered into an exclusive contract with the coffee shop prospects? If so perhaps it would be fair and wise to remove the For Lease signs from the building.
Has the city instructed Cushman and Wakefield to not bring forth any and all prospects to the city?
As a taxpayer I am totally baffled by this action.
Please enlighten me so that I can communicate the reasoning behind this to the interested party.
Sincerely,
Ivette Ricco

On Mon, Sep 24, 2012 at 12:40 PM, Winston Rhodes <WRhodes@ci.pinole.ca.us> wrote:
Good Morning Ivette, This rumor sounds untrue. To my knowledge, the City has had no such conversation regarding the Pinole Bank Building and would welcome a restaurant use that protects the historic character of the building. A restaurant is a permitted use in this Commercial Mixed Use Zoning District so we would be supportive of an additional restaurant that would provide another dining option, add employment opportunities, generate sales tax revenue, and pay rent on this currently empty publicly-owned building. Any new tenant and lease agreement for this space would require City Council review and approval in order to lease this building. Discussions have been ongoing with prospective business owners interested in occupying this vacant building. The most recent of which is a local couple who have moved to Pinole and are interested in developing a coffee house / cafe with live music to complement the existing businesses nearby and provide another community gathering location in the Old Town. Belinda would be able to provide the latest information regarding the status of this most recent inquiry. Please note alcohol sales at the property would require a conditional use permit and we anticipate that any new restaurant would require a building permit for tenant improvements that would be carefully reviewed since this historic building is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Depending on the specifics concerning live entertainment, the City may require a use permit for this business operational component. Hope this information helps and thank you for contacting the City regarding this rumor. Additionally, city staff would be happy to speak directly with residents that contact you to provide further information on this matter if needed. Regards,Winston Winston Rhodes, AICPPlanning Manager City of Pinole 2131 Pear Street Pinole, CA 94564-1774 Phone: (510) 724-9832 Fax: (510) 724-4921

Hello Belinda, Winston and Council:
It seems unusual that the question of whether the broker acted on his own or whether he had been instructed to discontinue marketing the property while the city negotiated with the coffee shop, requires an open records request.
We are not asking for closed session negotiation information, merely asking why this party’s inquiry was rebuffed three months ago, and in no uncertain terms.
Was the broker acting on his own? Was the broker instructed to reject new offers pending the outcome of the coffee shop negotiations?
We, as Pinole residents are entitled to know how and why this happened and under whose authority.
I will relay your response to them.
Ivette Ricco

From Ben Reyes:
To me, Belinda, Debbie, Pete, Pete, Phil, Phil, Roy, Tim
Ivette: The information that you are seeking is related generally to matters that are being discussed as part of a real property negotiation. Under the Ralph M. Brown Act (Government Code Section 54956.8 and 54963), the Council and Staff are simply not permitted to discuss any of these items with you or any member of the public until the conclusion of negotiations. If they answer your questions, this may potentially compromise an existing negotiation and subject the Council or Staff to criminal or civil liability. I hope you understand that I will not permit the City Council or the staff to breach confidentiality. Please contact me if you have any questions. Ben

July 2010 Minutes which show that no one representing the Pinole Chamber of Commerce, nor I, spoke against Tina’s.
Minutes here

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