Letter: Confusing investment

Friday, October 13, 2017
Confusing investment

I read with interest Caitlin Andrews’s story on the former Department of Employment Security building on South Main Street (Monitor front page, Oct. 11).

However, I’m a bit confused.

The city bought this building in 2014 for $1.58 million and has spent an additional $1.7 million for renovations, etc. During this period, the building has remained empty, which, of course, begs the question for the need to buy it in the first place.

Anyway, the city taxpayers have $3.27 million invested in the property. Now the city wants to sell it to developers for $1.08 million as well as spend an additional $300,000 to demolish it. I don’t know why the developers aren’t paying for the demolition.

Oh, yes, the city is also giving away 82 public parking spaces as well – spaces currently available to shoppers and workers.

We are being told that, in 10 years, the building will generate a profit. Of course, we know from the initial projections of the cost of the downtown renovation how well those work out.

Initially, the city taxpayers will suffer a loss of more than $3 million as well as a significant number of parking spaces.

I would also guess that sometime in the next 10 years, the city will require additional office space, which it will then have to rent at market value. Just seems to me that the taxpayers are, once again, subsidizing developers.