Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Wal-Mart products at Nordstrom prices.

Nothing drives the price of commodities higher than a buyer feeling desperate. Not unlike walking through Alderwood Mall with a wad of dollars in your pocket and clearance signs hanging in every window. Sadly, when your pocket holds millions in public money, some still give in to personal desires to part with cash. Most of us know that "clearance" is a just a subtle price shift in the direction of "reasonable", but why in the world are we so quick to believe the recipient of our money when they tell us everything is discounted?

I am frequently asked if the District could have paid for the Old Cedar Valley (Former Scriber Lake) site twice. Sure, some may laugh at the suggestion but I would never exclude the current District administration from making such a mistake. Here is the argument - in a nutshell.

The property sold to the District by MJR Development, LLC (Michael Raskin), does have a value. Without debating what that value might have been at the time of sale, let's explore an inflationary concept. How valuable would Raskin's site be without any real street frontage? Sure, it wouldn't normally be a site offering retail opportunities or depend upon customers driving by, but the site was buried behind the District's property with a piddly point of entrance off the end of 204th. Not a major arterial by any means. Would combining the Raskin site with the District's justify a higher price? One could see things that way, but why should Raskin get a windfall because his neighbor sought to expand? If anyone else bought the site, they would have paid a more realistic price for a lack of frontage. If there was an inflationary effect, why wouldn't the District sell their frontage to Raskin, reaping the benefits while continuing the search for uncontaminated land?

The District really should have sold their frontage to Raskin, using his appraiser's valuation of course, and looked for a better location. Better soil conditions, better soil quality and, as will be discussed in future entries, better traffic conditions for their bus fleet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I still don't understand why the district appraiser and Raskin's appraiser assessments were so different. Furthermore, why did the district accept the seller's assessment? Did the district agree to pay the higher price in return for something?

Something is really fishy.