HELP! We are being bamboozled in Mesa Arizona by get-rich-quick con-artists, with the help of a political hack and conned or corrupted politicians, who are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars peddling their "Waveyard" hype to us Mesa voters.
So what's Waveyard? It's Waveyard Development, LLC and a "plan" for our fair city to give away 125 acres of our actively used and well-maintained public Parks and Recreation properties and facilities, located at the confluence of two freeways and a short drive to the airport, to two young inexperienced developers for a pie-in-the-sky commercial water park resort. These city properties were never put out to bid.
The smoking deal for the developers, but not for us, is that the city sells them the property for a pittance to accommodate their proposed commercial venture (which they say will cost them $500 million to develop, but they can produce no proof of prospective investors for their project). Price is $10 million to them, although the property is said to be valued at about $65 million. They then will bulldoze our much utilized public park property and facilities, which includes a popular 9-hole golf course and the county animal shelter/dog pound at that location.
The City of Mesa declared a value of $30 million for this 125 acres but will be loaning the developers $20 million in "funny money" at a fixed interest rate of 4.4% to be paid back over 24 years. Because of that proposed corporate welfare scheme subsidy by Mesa taxpayers, and yet another $1.5 million taxpayer subsidy to the developers for necessary infrastructure, the law requires approval by Mesa voters.
The sales pitch to Mesa voters is for a (fake) ocean type surfing experience, kayaking, scuba diving, whitewater river rafting and various other water sports surrounded by a 4-star resort hotel, a "boutique" hotel, condos, offices, retail shops, etc. of "conceptual" Mediterranean architecture design. We're also being told that this water recreation resort will be an Arizona tourist attraction second only to the Grand Canyon, and that it will attract l.5 to 2 million visitors a year from at least all over the southwest. The city parkland for this wild dream of rich-tourists-in-a-drought-stricken-desert also happens to abut Mesa's sewage treatment plant. Ever present rank sewer odors permeate the air here, something we locals have become accustomed to, but not likely a draw for wealthy tourists in a $250-a-night resort hotel.
This financial insanity, adverse to the taxpayers' best interest, is punctuated by the fact that the City of Mesa is required by the feds to spend at least $9 million to replace the 25-acre adult softball facility land and facility to be demolished by Waveyard, since federal funds were obtained to build it. The 4-diamonds softball complex last year accommodated 392 teams, and 59,470 rounds of golf were played on the popular and profitable public 9-hole golf course.
Only last week a local investigative reporter uncovered the shaky financing, shaky technology (with the much touted untested wave-making machine) and the shaky history of one of the developers. Given also Mesa's shaky, backroom politics with the well-connected paid political hack who came in the back door, this abominable proposal should be turned down by Mesa voters. it's a ripoff. As one local astute pundit put it, if this thing passes, it will be due to the Mesa lemmings who followed the Salmon upstream, against the current of logic. VOTE "NO" on Tuesday, November 6th.