Monday, August 31, 2015

CRA Real Estate Debacle

When you ask why the Hawkshaw property was not sweetheart dealt to any of the proposers, you need to know the CRA rules and responsibilities.

The bylaws of the CRA state:

The sale, lease, disposal or transfer of CRA real property, or any interest therein, shall be consistent with the Act and approved by City Council. The Board shall strive to obtain market value for the sale or lease of any CRA-owned land, or clearly state for the record the reason(s) the transaction is below market value."

CRA Bylaws

The fair market appraisal for the property was $1,740,000

Proposals Received Purchase Price     Percent of FMV of Property

  1. Whitesell - Hagen    $1,280,000            73.5%
  2. ITEX                        $1,000,000            57.5%
  3. Gunther                    $1,100,000            63.2%
  4. Granger                    $1,200,000            70.0%
  5. Aragon                     $1,309,000            75.2%
What could the CRA state the reasons for such a deep discount on the property are when you look at the insider GOB nature of all of the people proposing.  Anyone ever heard of the following po'folks who proposed?

  • Bob Montgomery
  • Jim Reeves
  • Justin Witkin
  • Neal Nash
  • Eric Nickelsen
  • Sonny Granger
  • William Whitesell
  • Levin Rinke
  • Robby Booth
Any Irish Politicians in that group?

Sadly, this fact wasn't even discussed.

No one ever discusses giving Quint Studer a discount off of Fair Market Value when he is involved with a deal.

Why is that?  Full price for Quint....25% off for Good Ole Boys?


Anonymous said...

Quint has gotten his share of GOB deals in the past. PNJ property was given tax free status that is usually given to Industrial Projects that bring jobs. ECUA wanted 8 million for their property and Quint got it for 5 million and change. Last but surely not least Quint got the deal of the century when he got the city to dismiss the building of the Bayfront Auditorium's replacement and instead forced a vote to get the community to build him a multi-million dollar baseball park instead, complete with multi-million dollar infrastructure. The 40-50 million Quint saved on that deal alone is appalling at least. Give me a 40 million dollar piece of property and I'll kick back some philanthropic donations as well.

It's not about if the Good Ole Boys are involved. It's about which Good Ole Boys are involved. Connections in Pensacola is the primary means of getting work. Competence and quality of work rarely plays a part. I've lived in Pensacola since 1975 and it has never changed in the last 40 years. Get used to it because this latest spat of problems for the Mayor will be ignored and forgotten soon enough and it will be business as usual in the Upside of Florida.

Anonymous said...

What is the Irish Politicians?

Anonymous said...

Who is on the CRA Board?

Anonymous said...

Irish Politicians private club at Maguires.

Anonymous said...

Maren, you are crazy if you think that Pensacola has gotten flush off of Quint Studer.
What about the discount on the ECUA property
What about the whole stadium deal?
What about the fact that we take in 175,000 in rent and turn around and pay over 150,000 in taxes?

I can go on and on and on here with the shellacking Pensacola has taken from Quint Studer deals.

Why do you think they look so closely at this carefully crafted lease contracts which in writing didn't match what he was stating publicly.

Anonymous said...

The CRA board is composed of the City Council members.

Anonymous said...

This is a very bogus article. An appraisal is not “fair market value” by any stretch of the imagination. Fair market value is the amount that a willing buyer and a willing seller agree upon. An appraisal may or may not be in the ballpark of fair market value. I have seen some very off-the-wall appraisals in my time. When buying property, most governmental bodies will obtain two or three appraisals and will pay the average of those appraisals. When selling property, the city should do the same thing. Relying on this single appraisal is ridiculous and the market has proven that to be the case. If you think that this appraisal is legitimate, then please pony up the $1.74 million for two acres of land in a floor-prone area. You certainly were given the opportunity to do so.

The RFP process for the Hawkshaw property has been an embarrassment to the citizens of Pensacola. Five excellent proposals were received and all responded to the requirements of the RFP. The requirements were agreed upon by the members of the City Council. Now, however, these same members want a “do-over” for a third time based upon who knows what. One city council member says that she wants minorities included but no one has any idea what she is talking about. Brian Spencer wants to start a new lengthy process where everyone in the city will sit around singing “Kumbaya” until we finally chose the developer that is “right” to Brian Spencer. Spencer, by the way, has famously used this same technique to steer city projects to his friends.

The fools on the city council should have never issued an RFP if they didn’t agree with the requirements and were willing to accept the results. Both of the previous RFP’s required that the responders jump through some very expensive hoops. The RFP’s were full of absurd subjective requirements that left plenty of room for shenanigans. The message is pretty clear. “Don’t do business with the City of Pensacola!”

Anonymous said...

Big Jim Reeves

Anonymous said...

What? Quint Studer didn't get a discount? Let's see if that's true.

A pre-2004 appraisal for the 30 acres of waterfront property in downtown Pensacola said it was worth $18,000,000. Quint Studer paid ZERO for the land. Is that not a discount??? The best part about not paying anything for the land (and the stadium) is that he NEVER has to pay real estate taxes on these business assets. Surely that counts as a BONUS discount.

The argument from Studer and his backers was that the waterfront property was WORTHLESS because there were hobos living on it. Our city council refused to obtain a new appraisal for fear that it might prove that waterfront property actually has a value.

Anonymous said...

Please let City Hall wake up before posting an unfounded attack on the "GOB" aka businesses/business people that develop real estate, pay taxes, create jobs, remove blight, and hopefully make a living doing it. City Hall can certainly offer your blog much more entertaining and substantive content which which to share your thoughts. You seem to be very intelligent and diligent but this post is just not your best work.

1. Fair Market Value was clearly established with 5 proposals with prices ranging from $1M to $1.3M. Forget about the appraisal.
2. The #1 ranked proposal was from ITEX. They are from Texas and did not seem to have any GOB connection.
3. This #1 ranked proposal, according to Mrs. Meyers, would have possibly begun the process of the "ghettofication" of the area. Her word not mine. Why do you not mention anything about this offensive remark? Wouldn't a post regarding an elected official who purports to be all about eliminating gentrification every time she speaks making such a racially charged comment be a more thought provoking use of your time?
4. How did Studer enter the conversation? Had he been one of the proposers on the Hawkshaw project then the connection could be made. He stayed on the sidelines as did any other offer for an amount close to the appraisal. If you want to look at each of Studer's "deals" then do that. Hawkshaw and Studer have no connection.
5. There was no discount given to any proposer as all the proposal were thrown out. Its not a discount if the two parties agree to a price for purchase. It is then the value of the property.
6. The CRA said themselves that they are broke. That to me equals a motivated seller. Apparently not motivated enough to sell this property and get some income from the sale and the AdValorem revenue any one of the proposed projects would have generated. This story should be your lead-in. Maybe discuss why Spencer wants a teach a public class in architecture or why Bare just wants to object to everything or Why Meyers wants affordable housing on CRA property and then drops the "ghettofication" bomb.
7. Maybe look at why the CRA- being broke mind you- would even consider a proposal from ITEX that included an e-date? The e-date would have eliminated AdValorem tax revenue for a period of time that would have potentially resulted in ITEX actually getting the property for FREE. Certainly you could do a good job with that topic.

I know that nowadays its popular to attach the establishment but this attack is completely unfounded. Like I said, let City Hall wake up. Citizens who read this blog are interested in the accountability of our elected officials not in your personal vendetta against the IPC.

Anonymous said...

There should be a board game for this...The Six Degrees of Quint Studer in Pensacola and Gulf Breeze.

Reeves used to be at the center of dirty dealings in Pensacola. However, he has been eclipsed in relevance by Studer. So, Studer employs Andy Marlette's wife. Studer employs Rick Outzen's wife. Studer employs Big Stuff's son. Studer stands to gain the most by shooting the Hawkshaw property down. He doesn't need the competition. Spencer works for Studer. This is about as hard as Candy Land.

Anonymous said...

How about those unsold lots in Arragon that the CRA keeps mowing. Wasn't there a deadline to sell or those properties go back to the city?

Does the city staff, legal staff, mayor or council members EVER read ANY of the contract or codes or regulations or ethics policies that they make?