City Government

City Has Poor Record On Land Speculation

The Daily Paper ran a lengthy story Saturday detailing plans by Team Dave to sell a bunch of “surplus property” to finance other projects intended to stimulate the economy through GROWTH.

The City can’t be trusted to follow through. Since the inception of the GUARDIAN we have watched the city buy land with grandiose plans that never develop. They periodically announce plans to sell these white elephant parcels…just like they are claiming to do now. Always promising to use the proceeds for something like libraries, but never doing it.

One of the first GUARDIAN posts was about city LAND SPECULATION and little has changed in 5 years.JUNE 2007 and NOVEMBER 2007 were great examples of deception by the city.

The biggest of the white elephants are the so-called industrial park south of the airport and land they acquired at 2900 Fairview for a police building that was to be paid for with the sale of other land at 25th-27th and Fairview.

Instead of selling at auction, the city entered into an ill-conceived deal with a group of doctors to swap land at 27th and Fairview for a foothills pistol range. That deal included trade of a piece of rocky land off Gowen Road appraised at $241,000, but they valued it at $414,000 for the trade. We publicly challenge ANYONE to prove the parcel at 950 Citation is worth $414,000 today.

As soon as the land swap was made, the doctors sold the land to St. Luke’s and never built the private for profit hospital they had promised. If Saint Luke’s Builds there–which we doubt, it will be tax exempt. City got snookered!

In the Statesman piece the local government land speculators predict a “profit” on the industrial park land–after getting a road built and installing sewer. No word about the gas-fired electrical generating plant that was never built, but contracted on a lease deal several years ago on that parcel.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. untamedshrew
    Feb 15, 2010, 10:28 am

    When exactly was the land valued at $414,000? In 2007? And you’re challenging someone to show it’s worth the same amount today?

    In June, 2007 you said you were “glad” the city was selling this property and getting out of “the real estate speculation business.” Since you argue today that the city “can’t be trusted” to use the proceeds in a way that you find appropriate, are you suggesting that you’ve flip flopped and now think the city should keep the property?

    St. Luke’s now owns property the City once owned. Even though you don’t think St. Luke’s will build on the property, in which case the property remains taxable, you still suggest that the city somehow got snookered? Is this because St. Luke’s *could* build there, even though you doubt it will?

    EDITOR NOTE–City inflated the value of the Citation rocky outcrop in order to come up with a “certificate of gift” to the docs for tax avoidance purposes (they could show a big deduction on their income tax return). At the time of the deal the assessor was absolutely adamant the land was not worth $414,000. Here is official value and history for that parcel

    Your husband’s boss won that round. Our concession speech is here:

    With regard to proposed sale of surplus land, I still want it to happen, but based on past record, we doubt it will happen. Some of those parcels have been identified repeatedly as revenue sources for various projects.

  2. untamedshrew
    Feb 15, 2010, 1:04 pm

    I have a husband? That’s good news – will you identify him for me? I have couple of projects around the house I could use some help with.

    EDITOR NOTE–Ok. I admit to phishing on that one. Do you still think the land swap was clean?

    So in other words, you support the city’s plan to sell the property. Funny, I missed that part in your first post.

  3. untamedshrew
    Feb 15, 2010, 3:10 pm

    To be honest, I don’t recall enough information about the land swap to answer your question, and I don’t have time to look into it now (and would need more information than what you’ve provided on this site).

    But I can say that I approach questions such as this from a different perspective than yours and most of your readers. I know several city and state employees. I have been acquainted with the mayor for years. Without fail, my experience with all of them indicates that they are honest, hard-working people doing the best job they can – just like most of the rest of us. Therefore, the general theme and tenor of this site – that these people are intentionally deceitful and corrupt – is unfair and offensive.

    EDITOR NOTE–We don’t know if they are corrupt. We have revealed corruption within the city in the past (Poop Farm, Public Works come to mind). Not even sure if they are deceitful. Inept, ill-advised, secretive are all accurate descriptions.

  4. I don’t believe you have a husband Angry Woman. No one could be that vindictive. It appears that every time the city plays “land speculator” they get their butts handed to them. That wouldn’t be so bad, but they do it on our money.

  5. untamedshrew
    Feb 15, 2010, 6:17 pm

    Well, if you aren’t sure they’ve been deceitful, then perhaps you should stop using phrases such as this, taken from today’s post: “great examples of deception by the city.”

  6. Angry woman, do you think the mayor is telling the truth about Kenosha Wi.? Do you believe him when he says we have added 100 acres of new parks? Do you believe him when he said it was OK that the developer reneged on the hole in the ground because ” there are two or three other developers waiting in the wings”? My God! Just how many lies and half truths do you need? Because I can go on and on and on!!

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