While all eyes are on the Edison deal, the Gateway Building, and the Doubletree project that the FBI are reviewing (see the subpoenas here), the CRA made ANOTHER stinker of a deal on a prime piece of real estate at the end of E. Gaines St.
A few days after Governor Scott won reelection back in 2014, he and the Cabinet (sitting as the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund) approved a land swap with FSU.
The City of Tallahassee held FSU hostage for 3 prime parcels of real estate PLUS $960,000 cash to the City of Tallahassee Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) for a stinker piece of vacant land across from The Warehouse at 402 West Gaines Street. According to the minutes and records from the meeting, Andrew Gillum personally lobbied for this swap, along with State Representative Alan Williams.
— Paul Flemming (@PaulFlemming) November 12, 2014
The agenda also makes it clear that the city was holding FSU hostage to complete this deal: “FSU is requesting this exchange to support its development plans for the Arena District.”
So what happened to the property?
It was recently sold to NAP, big donors and builders in the CRA, for $4.28 m. Campaign records show that North American Properties and an affiliate company, District Joint Ventures, made numerous campaign contributions to a CRA Board members. The recipients include Mayor Andrew Gillum ($1,000) and City Commissioners Nancy Miller ($2,000) and Scott Maddox ($500) and County Commissioners Mary Ann Lindley ($250), and Nick Maddox ($500). A message to NAP went unanswered.
The city appeared to make $280,000 on the sale….BUT if you read the fine print, the developer flips 145 parking spots back to the CRA for $4 million IN THE SAME MEETING! Plus, the CRA agreed to buy or lease back 7500 square ft. of space for an amphitheater.
To recap, they sold a 4m piece of property for 145 parking spots and an amphitheater as big as some lobbyists’ house AND lost money on the deal. The developer gets a free piece of land, and possibly gets paid for taking it off the CRA’s hands. This was all possible because they held FSU and the Governor hostage over approvals for redevelopment around the stadium.
Even if it’s not illegal, this deal STINKS for taxpayers!