Ingenus CEO Defends Financial District Properties - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Ingenus CEO Defends Financial District Properties

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Davenport's decision to negotiate with Ingenus allows the Davenport Community Improvement Corporation to begin digging deeper into that company's proposal.

A TV 6 investigation into unpaid property taxes revealed Ingenus's partner, Davenport's Financial District Properties owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes to Rock Island County.

It paid nearly 418-thousand dollars yesterday after our Monday story aired and a day before Wednesday's vote.

Ingenus CEO Ken Mimmack was here to witness the Davenport council's decision to begin negotiating with his company.

We weren't able to get a hold of him yesterday by phone to ask him about F-D-P, but he was able to answer our questions today in person.

He remains confident in the selection of Financial District Properties to finance and develop a new casino.

"We saw that they were someone that had been copied on the r.f.p. list and we were looking for a local opportunity to create a relationship," says Mimmack.

We asked him if Ingenus looked into FDP's financial background, whether it knew about the back taxes. He says Ingenus doesn't do that. Instead, his company looks at a potential partner's reputation.

"Typically we look to relationships we already have, and get recommendations of who people are and who's been involved in the community for a long period of time and what their reputation is and obviously I think we've created a great team here."

Mimmack says its proposed construction partner, the Ryan Companies, recommended FDP because it had a prior working relationship with the Ryan. Mimmack also says it is common for tax issues to crop up in large real estate companies.

"When you have large developments and you have lots of property, multiple transactions, going on, who's responsible for what when something is purchased, there's a lot of moving pieces so this is not something that would be uncommon for a large developer, people involved in real estate, people involved in acquisitions and mergers these things happen."

If the City, DCIC, and Riverboat Development Authority agree to have Ingenus operate a new casino, it and all its partners will have to pass an Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation background check. The application includes a section on finances which looks at prior unpaid taxes. Mimmack says he's not concerned FDP's late taxes will cause a problem.

"We certainly don't believe it is at all, when we sit down and talk to people we talk about the fact this is a highly regulated business and so all of our backgrounds are going to be significantly scrutinized particularly from an operator standpoint and that's the way the industry is," says Mimmack.

As the DCIC digs into Ingenus, information it finds could shape the negotiations, getting any issues ironed out before any development agreement is signed.

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