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2009-03-30T00:00:00.000Z

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Wrong George Barber?

Mr. George W. Barber Jr.

Mayor

Birmingham

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Birmingham

Background Information

Employment History

Legends

Bob Frey & Steve

President and Chief Executive Officer

Zoom Motorsports

Collector of Motorcycles

Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum

Affiliations

Founder
Racetrack

Founder
The Barber Companies Inc

Web References (69 Total References)


It is the private collection of ...

birmingham.tekgroupweb.com [cached]

It is the private collection of Birmingham's George Barber, who opened the museum in 2003 to put his acquisitions on public display. www.barbermuseum.org


My Name Is IRL: Barber responds to my Google adventure

www.mynameisirl.com [cached]

George Barber financed the $50+ million construction of the Barber Museum and Barber Park by himself. The State of Alabama built a road to the site and Jefferson County helped finance a lake needed for stormwater control. The public incentives for this 501(c)3 non-profit foundation were only a few percent of Mr. Barber's investment. This is in an era when for-profit companies typically receive major incentives for projects.

The City of Birmingham leased the land to the Barber Museum Foundation in 2000 for $1/year, with an option to buy it. This land was valued at $1 million in 1999. In 2007, Barber purchased this land from the City of Birmingham for $4.3 million - a 430% profit for the City in eight years. Not a bad deal for the City.
Regarding the Sears building, Mr. Barber bought this building after it had sat empty for five years.
...
Regarding our keeping contractual promises, Mr. Barber's core business, the business that has allowed him to contribute tens of millions to the Barber Museum Foundation, is commercial real estate, which is based on leases and contracts.
Regarding our conflicts with the Mayor of Birmingham, the citizens of Birmingham made an evaluation of this mayor's performance when he ran for re-election in 2007 and received only 8% of the vote.


My Name Is IRL: March 2009

www.mynameisirl.com [cached]

George Barber financed the $50+ million construction of the Barber Museum and Barber Park by himself. The State of Alabama built a road to the site and Jefferson County helped finance a lake needed for stormwater control. The public incentives for this 501(c)3 non-profit foundation were only a few percent of Mr. Barber's investment. This is in an era when for-profit companies typically receive major incentives for projects.

The City of Birmingham leased the land to the Barber Museum Foundation in 2000 for $1/year, with an option to buy it. This land was valued at $1 million in 1999. In 2007, Barber purchased this land from the City of Birmingham for $4.3 million - a 430% profit for the City in eight years. Not a bad deal for the City.
Regarding the Sears building, Mr. Barber bought this building after it had sat empty for five years.
...
Regarding our keeping contractual promises, Mr. Barber's core business, the business that has allowed him to contribute tens of millions to the Barber Museum Foundation, is commercial real estate, which is based on leases and contracts.
Regarding our conflicts with the Mayor of Birmingham, the citizens of Birmingham made an evaluation of this mayor's performance when he ran for re-election in 2007 and received only 8% of the vote.
...
As is stands, Barber is an outstanding venue for motorcycle racing, but it does not feature the combination of a long straight followed by a tight turn necessary to create passing in an Indy car road race.
The good news in that regard is that George Barber has a "whatever it takes" attitude and says he is ready to write a check to make whatever changes are necessary to bring the track up to a raceable standard for IndyCars.
Based on everything the man has done to date, we have no reason to doubt him. Well, it turns out there should be considerable reason to doubt Mr Barber, because "everything the man has done to date" includes a very astonishing series of actions that includes the loss of an almost certain MotoGP event a few years ago. As you'll see, Barber's "whatever it takes" isn't as all-inclusive as it sounds.
Set the WABAC machine to 2000, where George Barber engaged in a deal with the City of Birmingham. Reports are fuzzy on the details, but it appears Barber received what is commonly referred to as a "sweetheart deal" from the city of Birmingham. Not only did the city front the $55 million to build the track, but they also leased the land for his park and museum for the grand sum of $1 per year.
There were, of course, requirements on Barber as compensation for this deal, one of which allegedly included the renovation of the dilapidated Sears Building in downtown Birmingham which one of Barber's companies owned. This is important as we fast forward to 2004.
That year BMP was on the verge of securing it's first major event, a MotoGP race. To accommodate the possible race, Barber went back to the city to request a $250,000 per year over three years, as well as $80,000 worth of law enforcement for the event. The Birmingham Mayor at the time, Bernard Kinkaid, said the city wasn't going to give a dime until Barber did something with the Sears Building, which had gone untouched for the four years.
...
Long story short, Barber offered to tear it down and build a park, but city officials said that wasn't what they had in mind. This showdown over the downtown structure resulted in a stalemate that effectively killed any chances of the MotoGP event (which went to Laguna Seca). In 2005 the city ended up buying the building from Barber for $3M and renovating it themselves for use by the University of Alabama - Birmingham.
As several of the above articles state, BMP contended that fixing the Sears Building wasn't part of the original deal. Without access to the original contract we'll never know, but the bottom line on this affair is that despite touting it as an opportunity to raise international exposure of Birmingham and bring the city over $200 million in additional revenue, Barber chose to hit up the city for around a million bucks, and when rebuffed didn't see enough value to open his own wallet to pay for it.
...
Clearly there are more than a few things in Mr Barber's past that would give pause to the idea of rushing in to consummating a deal - and probably a multi-year one at that - with BMP.
...
Then IRL officials can discuss them publicly, lay out the requirements for Mr Barber should they still be amenable to holding an event at his facility, and - most importantly - hold him accountable to any contractual promises he makes, because ultimately that's "Whatever it takes".
...
Tons of fans, a beautiful facility, and eager ownership group, and a populous locale not yet explored by the IRL - it would seem Barber would be the perfect fit for the IndyCar series schedule in Spring or Fall.
...
Look, the series will not sink or swim based on whether Barber gets a race, and if they are, as John Oreovicz writes, willing to do "whatever it takes" to modify the track to invite a little passing here and there then they should be seriously considered.


My Name Is IRL

www.mynameisirl.com [cached]

George Barber financed the $50+ million construction of the Barber Museum and Barber Park by himself. The State of Alabama built a road to the site and Jefferson County helped finance a lake needed for stormwater control. The public incentives for this 501(c)3 non-profit foundation were only a few percent of Mr. Barber's investment. This is in an era when for-profit companies typically receive major incentives for projects.

The City of Birmingham leased the land to the Barber Museum Foundation in 2000 for $1/year, with an option to buy it. This land was valued at $1 million in 1999. In 2007, Barber purchased this land from the City of Birmingham for $4.3 million - a 430% profit for the City in eight years. Not a bad deal for the City.
Regarding the Sears building, Mr. Barber bought this building after it had sat empty for five years.
...
Regarding our keeping contractual promises, Mr. Barber's core business, the business that has allowed him to contribute tens of millions to the Barber Museum Foundation, is commercial real estate, which is based on leases and contracts.
Regarding our conflicts with the Mayor of Birmingham, the citizens of Birmingham made an evaluation of this mayor's performance when he ran for re-election in 2007 and received only 8% of the vote.
...
As is stands, Barber is an outstanding venue for motorcycle racing, but it does not feature the combination of a long straight followed by a tight turn necessary to create passing in an Indy car road race.
The good news in that regard is that George Barber has a "whatever it takes" attitude and says he is ready to write a check to make whatever changes are necessary to bring the track up to a raceable standard for IndyCars.
Based on everything the man has done to date, we have no reason to doubt him. Well, it turns out there should be considerable reason to doubt Mr Barber, because "everything the man has done to date" includes a very astonishing series of actions that includes the loss of an almost certain MotoGP event a few years ago. As you'll see, Barber's "whatever it takes" isn't as all-inclusive as it sounds.
Set the WABAC machine to 2000, where George Barber engaged in a deal with the City of Birmingham. Reports are fuzzy on the details, but it appears Barber received what is commonly referred to as a "sweetheart deal" from the city of Birmingham. Not only did the city front the $55 million to build the track, but they also leased the land for his park and museum for the grand sum of $1 per year.
There were, of course, requirements on Barber as compensation for this deal, one of which allegedly included the renovation of the dilapidated Sears Building in downtown Birmingham which one of Barber's companies owned. This is important as we fast forward to 2004.
That year BMP was on the verge of securing it's first major event, a MotoGP race. To accommodate the possible race, Barber went back to the city to request a $250,000 per year over three years, as well as $80,000 worth of law enforcement for the event. The Birmingham Mayor at the time, Bernard Kinkaid, said the city wasn't going to give a dime until Barber did something with the Sears Building, which had gone untouched for the four years.
...
Long story short, Barber offered to tear it down and build a park, but city officials said that wasn't what they had in mind. This showdown over the downtown structure resulted in a stalemate that effectively killed any chances of the MotoGP event (which went to Laguna Seca). In 2005 the city ended up buying the building from Barber for $3M and renovating it themselves for use by the University of Alabama - Birmingham.
As several of the above articles state, BMP contended that fixing the Sears Building wasn't part of the original deal. Without access to the original contract we'll never know, but the bottom line on this affair is that despite touting it as an opportunity to raise international exposure of Birmingham and bring the city over $200 million in additional revenue, Barber chose to hit up the city for around a million bucks, and when rebuffed didn't see enough value to open his own wallet to pay for it.
...
Clearly there are more than a few things in Mr Barber's past that would give pause to the idea of rushing in to consummating a deal - and probably a multi-year one at that - with BMP.
...
Then IRL officials can discuss them publicly, lay out the requirements for Mr Barber should they still be amenable to holding an event at his facility, and - most importantly - hold him accountable to any contractual promises he makes, because ultimately that's "Whatever it takes".


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