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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Intersport: A fair investment?

The proposed Intersport project near the Walworth County complex in Elkhorn could eventually be one of the largest commercial developments this county has seen.

Reporter Mike Heine has outlined the proposal in a series of articles over the past month. (Plan, plan details, opinion mixed).

The biggest bone of contention appears to be the sale price that the county considering.

Although some recent letter writers to the Week imply that the county board is being hoodwinked into a below market price, the consideration is more complex.

It seems everyone agrees that the price is below market value. The debate is whether or not that's a fair trade-off as an investment in economic development.

These sorts of calculations are made all the time.

Just look to Miller Park or Lambeau Field. Both are occupied for for-profit sports franchises, yet the stadiums are paid for by taxpayers, for some reason.

Perhaps, as some argue below, the economic impact will benefit only a few. On the other hand, youth sports wouldn't be the worst type of enterprise to encourage in our county

What do you think? Add your comments below.

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