Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hello all from Antigua, Guatemala.

Although late on my comments regarding the sale of Parcel Y, I do want to state that I concur with city manager Totland's earlier statement that the land is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. And I do question how the values were arrived at given the limitations put on the land as a result of the DCDs. Council has put out requests for proposals in past with very limited response. They obviously liked the Lake Placid proposal as they approved it. This may be one of those times that the adage a "bird in hand. . . " applies. For every year this land sits dormant it will cost us, the tax payers, about a million dollars a year in new taxes to maintain what currently exists at RL. The original intent of the mixed development (private and public) was to have taxes generated from the private developments pay for the public elements.

The concern I have is using this land value to establish new SAMA assessments for property downtown. Too many of the small business owners in the downtown core are taxed to the hilt and with the increase in parking fees for limited parking they may find themselves in distress. I think this situation is such an oddity that council should ensure that whatever the value placed on this land it should be exempted from the assessment formula. And no, I don't own property downtown.

We just finished our hike to the last active volcano in Antigua and will be taking a "chicken" bus west to the Mayan ruins in Tikal. This a good country. The people are friendly and the living is easy. I will report in tomorrow.


  1. Ah Mistress,

    Great to see you are enjoying yourself and even keeping tabs on the soap opera we call city council. Parcel Y is the least of our problems now that it appears Council is willing to set the milrate at a 4% increase. Can you remind us again of those 6 re-elected officials that promised no increase.

    It sure is nice to see that "hammer and sickle" Charlie Clarke is standing by his guns and insisting the citizens of Saskatoon take on all the debt for the establishment of a public park. I wonder if this is how Central Park has survived in NYC for so long.

    Lets get on with this construction so we can finally put this decade old debacle to sleep.

  2. Selling public lands at deep discounts because an out-of-town investor comes waving a cheque (again) is only indicative of how submissive (and desperate) this council is to a quick buck, how myopic their vision for south downtown was, and what a colossal failure their implementation of this myopic vision turned out to be.

    The mayor blew through $133 million public dollars on a plan that was hinged on a private-sector anchor tenant. Yet he failed to secure this private sector tenant before proceeding.

    Complete civic mismanagement.

    Land speculators and investors are the people who realized the lion’s share of the profit from Saskatoon’s real estate “boom.” Lobsinger – by his trade – falls into this category. He failed as an investor by not actually buying the land three years ago.

    Now he expects Saskatonians to subsidize his missed opportunity and failure as an "investor" by demanding the city forfeit $7 million of public revenue to further a speculator’s bottom line.

    Would you sell your home for its appraised value from 2007? Probably not.

    Why should the public expect any different from a sale of publicly-owned property?

    Atch and Co. proceeded with a plan that hinged on a private sector tenant without securing that tenant first.

    Now it's a fire sale of public land...

    Complete mismanagement.

  3. Actually, Clark's position is that Parcel "Y" be broken into smaller lots and developed through multiple builds...hardly keeping it a public park. Get you facts straight.

    Heidt, Neault, Hill, Dubois, Penner, and Wyant are the six who promised not to go above 2.5%

  4. Anon 12:30
    "Would you sell your home for its appraised value from 2007? Probably not. "

    If I had placed restrictions on the new owners that they only build what I say they can and they must first build me a new "home" (u/g parking) and I continue to control many aspects of how the property is run oh and I can use the land anytime I want, you bet.

    That's the problem with an "appraised" value versus a market value. I don't see anyone scrambling to give us any money for this property given the substantial controls on it. Comparing this property to any other piece or privately owned land is disgraceful. Even now with the city saying they want full disclosure of finances prior to saying yes. If this deal doesn't get done will this be a requirement on all future RFPs? That will sure bring out a lot of investors. NOT!!

    As for "Charles the Red" - who would build and pay for the much needed u/g parking that is a must for the downtown and a requirement prior to any of the development beginning. Now if he is suggesting we don't need the parking then lets change the current restriction and wow I bet there will be many who will jump to build on this site. As I hinted before the restrictions and demands of the city are what is keeping this property from being developed not the feasibility of the private owned portions.

  5. I don't think he ever called for the UG parking to be included in that plan...last time I checked there was lots of parking downtown, of course it does require people to walk a block or two to get to their destination (the horror, I know!)

  6. Hey I'm not saying the parking is needed but in able to compare or at least know why this property is so hard to sell one of the reasons is the requirement by whomever buys it to provide an u/g parking lot @ an estimated $50 Million. I'm saying take things like that off the table and remove the restrictive design guidelines and then we can see who comes to the table. Hell I might even throw a couple of bucks in.

  7. If there was only one proponent willing to pay $4.5KK at the height of the real estate boom what makes anyone think someone would pay $11KK now. It is worth what someone will pay. With the significant building requirements/restrictions, I'm would be surprised if Council didnt have to give it away. As the Mistress says, 'A bird in the hand . . . "

  8. Lake Placid's proposal failed to meet several of the RFP guidelines, such as LEED certification, public accessibility, and the development of cultural facilities.

    Perhaps there would have been more bids if other developers would have known the initial RFP stipulations were, as it turns out, suggestions and not guidelines.

    Complete mismanagement has lead to this being the only "bird in the hand."


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