Friday, January 08, 2010
SunCal Won't Seek Incentives
By Sean Olson
Journal Staff Writer
Lawmakers will be spared at least one piece of controversial legislation in their coming session.
SunCal Cos., the developer of the 55,000-acre Westland property on Albuquerque's West Side, will not seek legislative approval for its tax increment development district or TIDD incentives in the session that begins Jan. 19.
The company is also embroiled in a lawsuit, filed in December by lenders Barclays, Five Mile Capital and iStar Financial, that seeks immediate payment on $182 million in loans. Without a new loan deal or the payment, SunCal would forfeit the land.
"While the lender syndicate is working out the terms of the loan for Westland development, SunCal has decided not to request a TIDD during the 2010 legislative session," SunCal New Mexico president Will Steadman said Thursday. "We have always put jobs at the forefront and will continue to work on economic development for the Westland property."
Steadman said SunCal will go back to the Legislature "when the economy has improved."
The company has been denied approval for the incentives in the Legislature in the last two years.
In 2009, two tie votes in the House of Representatives stopped approval, despite a huge SunCal media campaign promoting the incentives and the company's estimate of nearly 13,000 jobs it would help create. A year earlier, a Senate filibuster by Sen. Cisco McSorley, D-Albuquerque, stifled SunCal efforts.
The incentive allows SunCal to divert some property and gross receipts tax revenues from within its TIDD districts to reimburse the developer for public infrastructure such as roads, water and sewer lines.