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Thread: Selling of city property, can sale be private?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian martini's avatar
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    Selling of city property, can sale be private?

    I have a parcel of land I'd like to sell off in my fair City. I've looked into this process, and there needs to be a determination of no public need, then a public hearing before Council on the same matter.

    My question is this: Does the sale of the property need to be open to the public? I have a specific business in mind that wants to buy this property (local Eagles Chapter) that are on a budget, and a tight one at that. What I don't want is a bidding war that sees the Eagles stuck in their undersized, non-conforming location, and another business buying this to open yet another warehouse in a valuable downtown location.

    Or does this simply smack of favoritism by wanting to keep it private?

    There's a long story behind this, I'd love to get into, but lets just say angry neighbors and the Eagles aren't getting along right now.
    You're more boring than you know.

  2. #2
         
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    How about a request for proposals just to see what you get? Sell it to the best one with conditions attached and with a negotiated price. If its something the City likes or needs the price could be adjusted accordingly. It can be a totally public process but create some ground rules/criteria up front to give people an idea of what the City wants to see in that spot. Just my 2 cents.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Hmmm.....

    The sale of City owned land should be governed by either state statute and/or local rules. Selling to one group or individual may not be appropriate or at the very least give an impression of impropriety. Certainly if there are angry residents, that makes things worse. You might want to know how the land was acquired in the first place (condemnation? straight purchase? donated?). If the property was condemned, it would look bad in this day and age to transfer/sell to a private developer, even one with great intentions and quasi-non profitt Certainly not a group that already has a neighborhood mad at them
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
    John Kenneth Galbraith

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    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Has the land been available for purchase for a while or was it just reacquired by the city? If its been for sale for a while then it can be sold to anyone who makes an offer. If its new to the city inventory then I am with Senior Jefe and you need to do an RFP.
    "You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it,..." -Bane

  5. #5
    Cyburbian martini's avatar
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    hmmm. The land in question is an old fire station adjacent to a parking lot. Its been in the Cities possession for, well, as long I've been here( four months). I jest. The city had this parcel for a very long time.

    To be clear, residents are angry at the action the group has taken to get rezoned in a 'historic' neighborhood between two highways. I don't think anyone would be too upset if the Eagles were moved to this location. In fact, I think residents would be happy with the move.

    It does seem that a tightly controlled RFP/RFQ is the best route to go. That's what I'm hearing from the City attorney as well.
    You're more boring than you know.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    If the old fire station has been vacant then have the Eagles make an offer and start the proceedings with the council. If the engine company has just moved then you might want to think about an RFP or similiar process. Is there a developer waiting in the wings to acquire property in the downtown?
    "You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it,..." -Bane

  7. #7
    Cyburbian martini's avatar
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    No developers in the wings. So far, this information has not been for public consumption. Not that its been private either, just discussions between the Eagles and Committees of the Cities Planning Dept.
    You're more boring than you know.

  8. #8

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    At a city where I worked, we would negotiate privately with potential purchasers of City land. When the agreement was finalized, we would advertise a public notice specifying the terms of the sale, and request that any other potential purchasers make an offer within 30 days. If no other offer was made, we'd finish off the sale.

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