Thursday, July 21, 2005

Parking, Parking, Parking

The Pelican has a great follow up on the Orange Dolphin Galleria deal. No appraisal was done, apparently the 401 Pineapple was acquired by Chris Brown after the sale to Bay Mountain, LLC; thus the rumors all over town that Chris Brown was the owner. It seems that the city wants to acquire this property also - making a large area for parking.

McNees has sent a letter to the Dolphin property owners with the purchase conditions.

We also note that on Channel 7 yesterday, their coverage of the acquisition of the Bank of America property on Main indicated that McNees was interested in obtaining parking in this building also. Benderson, recently purchased this building and while the bank and the University Club will stay, a hotel (possibly DoubleTree will occupy part of the building).

We certainly hope that the parking study needs assessment is on target for timing and quantity of parking required. Other wise we will be spending TIF dollars on a "glut" of parking - maybe that goes along with todays story in the SHT about the "glut" of condos downtown.

In the Pelican article McNees is quoted as saying he was “confident that if the garage falls from favor, we can sell it [the site] for the purchase price or even make a profit.” Contingencies in the deal include soil testing is OK (former printing plant site known to have environmental issues) and lease buy out cost for current tenants.

Meanwhile Bilyeu was quoted in the Pelican: “Well then the city ought to have a lot of friends,” commented Commissioner Danny Bilyeu. He was the sole commissioner to vote against purchasing the Orange Avenue site for a 315-car parking garage. “If you’re going to buy land high and sell it low, you’re going to have a lot of friends.” Apparently his confidence in this poker game/real estate gamble is not too high.

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