Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Nearly $18 Million Spent on Avoiding Eminent Domain for Ryser Project

File under public disclosure.

My wife likes to read the real estate section of the PD on Saturdays. This way she can keep up on housing values in the neighborhood. In this past Saturday's issue, she noticed something peculiar – dozens of house all on the same street had been transferred from one property owner to another. Then she noticed it was ore then one street – in fact, there were five streets with no less then 65 properties listed. (Over 100 properties were purchased.)

The total amount paid for the properties listed is around $12,875,882. In total, Ryser Properties is said to have paid almost $18 million for all of the properties. This was done with help of a loan of $6 million from the city, which Target will pay back to the city with taxes generated.

I figured out right away the listings being shown were the parcels being used for the new Ryser Properties shopping center featuring a Giant Eagle and Target store on West 117th Street, north of I-90. I’ve driven around this neighborhood a few times over the past couple of months. It is very strange seeing all of the houses boarded up throughout the area - a modern day ghost town, if you will. Most of the tenants are to be moved out by the end of this month and demolition is to begin right away. Target plans to be opened by October of this year (2006). (There is no mention of this project on Ryser's website.)

From the listing in the paper and with help from county auditor information, it appears Target has paid the most for a piece of property. That would be the parcel located 11826 Elmwood Avenue that was purchased for $2,119,022. Not bad for a 5,000 sq ft property that sold for $33,000 in 1983. That’s over $423 a square foot.

The top five are listed as follows:

11826 Elmwood Avenue - $2,119,022;
3105 West 121st Street - $1,000,000;
11916 Elmwood Avenue – $400,000;
11839 Sector Avenue - $305,000; and
11933 Sector Avenue - $225,000.

The bottom five include:

12024 Sector Avenue - $35,000;
11810 Belmont Avenue - $45,000;
12012 Sector Avenue - $55,000;
12004 Sector Avenue - $80,000; and
3106 West 120th street - $80,000.

Keep in mind, the developers paid an additional 30% over market value to the owners so there would not be any use of eminent domain. Just goes to show, everyone has their price – some more then others... and some les.