Denver City Land Sale To REI A Sweetheart Deal

Dated: 12/21/2015

Views: 379

Denver City Council approved a controversial deal last Monday to sell about an acre of city-owned land in Confluence Park to REI for $500,000. The controversy stems from Denver's lack of a "Master Plan" for disposing of city-owned property.  The property's current valuation is assessed at $1.229 million, with an "actual value", or fair market value of $2.4 million, according to city records.  On the property stands a 190-space, below ground parking garage, constructed and paid for by REI in 2000.

The lone opposition in the deal was Denver City Councilman Rafael Espinoza, who represents District 1, where the land is located. Espinoza's points of issue included: 1) that the property is capable of generating significant revenue, to the tune of $260,000 annually, 2) that the proposed sale of the asset was based off of a 2 year-old appraisal and 4 year-old market data, which does not take into account huge improvements of the surrounding area, 3) that the proposed contract offers no assurance that the property will remain in it's current state and that future redevelopment does not affect "a property that is central to some of Denver's most meaningful destinations", and 5) that the REI move continues to make use of taxpayer subsidy, in that another office in the city of Denver (Denver Urban Renewal Authority) is providing a $1.5 million incentive to Costco to occupy the previous REI location at Alameda Ave. and Federal Blvd., which is in addition to a $7.3 million incentive already provided by Denver for the Alameda Square redevelopment at that location.

While these are just some of many valid points raised by Espinoza in the City Council decision, the consequence of not approving the vote would have been that REI would continue to rent the land and the 190-space parking structure for $1,050/mo, and the city would just keep the asset.  This deal has brought to the foreground a need for a Denver City property plan to assess current (city-owned) property values and maintain a portfolio that maximizes city assets. This could have the affect of streamlining the sales process for future proposals, which could ultimately benefit the metro area in overall property value realization and redevelopment incentive appropriation.

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James Tedesco

13 years Experiance with sales involving all types of buyers and sellers needs. Single family home, town-home or condos no matter the need or location through out the greater Denver area and all surro....

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