Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Council Request Fulfilled

City opens file on land deals for downtown

"Greg Leatherman, city deputy director of development, said the city provided all the information to Joseph Bonahoom, council attorney, on Friday. Bonahoom wrote a letter to the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission on behalf of Councilmen Tom Smith, R-1st; Don Schmidt, R-2nd; and John Shoaff, D-at large; seeking information on the purchase of land by Friday. He said the same packet of information was given to all nine members of the council Monday."

"The city paid about $12 million for the land for the project, which some critics argue is too much, especially because appraisals weren’t done until after purchase agreements were reached. Leatherman, however, has long argued that the city knew the value of the downtown land through other appraisals and purchases of downtown property."

"Leatherman said the information given includes maps showing how a special taxing district was enlarged and used to buy part of the land. Also in the packet were resolutions to purchase the property, along with the purchase and appraisal price for each parcel of land, he said."

"Leatherman said the city has closed on all but two residential parcels of land needed for Harrison Square. While the purchase options expire July 1, Leatherman said he isn’t worried about losing control of the property. He said one property has numerous liens with the state, and the city is working with the other property owner to locate a new home."