There’s a great moment in last week’s City Council meeting that I want to talk about but will wait till I get a chance to splice through some video, because it really needs to be watch to fully appreciate. But in the meantime I wanted to talk about the discussion that occurred around the new, really exciting food and beverage maker space. Now given that it’s pretty much exactly what people say they want to see in new businesses, of course you would think this would have been a relatively short discussion (love it, yay! move on) But naturally with this Council that was not meant to be.
Everyone was completely on board with it with the exception of Trish Spencer. Why? Because she had an issue with the option for purchase price.
Remember these are buildings that have been neglected for years, calling it Class C Commercial is probably a generous description. Plus the option to purchase would generate $68 per square foot for one building and $74 per square foot for the other. According to Trish Spencer this was too low because residential properties are going for way over that.
Our mayor said that.
Look I know she’s not a real estate agent but really? Really? Comparing residential real estate per square footage rates to Class C commercial rates and saying that because they’re not aligned that the negotiated price is deficient is just seriously wacky. I can understand if she asked staff to explain the difference between the two, but throwing down and making the implication that the price was too low because residential real estate is so high is completely absurd. She actually said that because homes were selling for $1 million for 2000 or 3000 that there needed to be more analysis on the price for purchase.
Or she could simply ask the commercial real estate experts in the audience what current commercial rates for Class C Commercial buildings are going for. Or she could have asked Google.
This is completely embarrassing and micromanage-y considering that the City Council gave direction for staff to negotiate these leases with the lessee and Trish Spencer wants to, instead, negotiate from the dais without being informed about comparable commercial sale prices or even having a basic understanding that commercial buildings have different costs than residential buildings.
I suppose Trish Spencer is trying to appear like she’s fiscally prudent by trying to extract every nickel possible, but she comes off looking completely out of her depth and uninformed when she speaks from her gut instead of using actual information.