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March 26, 2009


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Agreed! His article kicked a$$...

... perhaps he should change his site to: My Name is IRL-Investigator ?? MNI Magnum P.I.(RL)??? MNI Woodward or Bernstein ????

:) :)

Don Erwin


The following are comments I am trying to leave at Mr. Iannucci's website, but it doesn't seem to post. Mr. Iannucci's research is very poor.


Most of your comments are wrong. I know, because I was there.

You are totally wrong in saying that “the city front[ed] the $55 million to build the track.” 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. It was in a very difficult area of downtown. The Mayor wanted something done with it. We worked very hard to lease it, but in the non-government world, one can’t compel businesses to locate in places they do not want to locate. When the MotoGP opportunity came along, it was not possible to do the deal without public help. The State of Alabama and other public entities were supportive, but the Mayor of Birmingham wanted us to give him the Sears building, in return for his support. We declined. We kept working on the deal we had been working on for 18 months at that time, which resulted in the renovation of the building into the beautiful Innovation Depot. See

Regarding our not doing the MotoGP and World Superbike deals: Racing history is full of race series and venues that have collapsed because they lost control of costs and did bad deals. We’re not going to do that. We will do deals for races and motorsports events when it is good for the sport, good for the series and good for the Barber Motorsports Park.

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.

The non-profit Barber Museum and Barber Park is the largest philanthropic undertaking by an individual in the history of the State of Alabama. It cost government almost nothing, yet it annually generates many millions in tax revenue for the betterment of Birmingham and Alabama.

I won’t question your motives for what you wrote. I will simply say that your research was poor.

Don Erwin
Vice President, Corporate Development
The Barber Companies
[email protected]


I will forward the information.


Don Erwin:

Perhaps because blog "Post a Comment" sections are designed to take a few paragraphs... NOT War & Peace length counter claims.

AND... his research was GOOGLE , that provided a series of previous bad press for your boss. Jeff was just pointing out the OPPOSITE of the BMP press-release written stories that all seemed to have Alabama sunshine emanating from your boss's arse!

Good & bad press... I'm sure the TRUTH lies somewhere in the middle, eh Don?

new balance

Success covers a multitude of blunders.

keylogger for Mac

Agreed! His article kicked a$$...

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