Opinion » Letters

Carter: Appraisal too low for Chinatown land

San Luis Obispo

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I received an e-mail today from a local broker who strongly believes the $8.8 million market rate appraisal for the Chinatown property is too low. This broker told me he “knew” the Copelands had spent at least $12 million accumulating the Blackstone, Sauer, Muzio, and Bello property. I asked him how he knew this. He said check the assessed values at the County Assessor’s Office. I did that.

The current assessed value for those properties is $12,716,880. Add the small building on Palm, which the Copelands also own, and you get an assessed value of $13,523,397 for their Chinatown property. That property equals 37 percent of the entire Chinatown project. The city parking lots and Public Works building equal 63 percent. Using a straight-line projection, this would make the city’s property worth $23 million. Even discounting that value by 60 percent, to account for the smaller frontage on Monterey, would make the city’s property worth $13.8 million. It seems to me that the market rate appraisal is too low.

Given this new information, I would ask the council majority to once again consider whether $3.7 million is fair value for our property. Sixty-three percent of the property is ours, yet we’re prepared to sell it for not even 30 percent of what the Copelands have already paid for the rest? Does that make sense?

Incidentally, I am very disappointed that I am discovering this information now when the information is a matter of public record. I question why this information was not part of the market rate appraisal prepared by our consultant, C.B. Richard Ellis.

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