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City of College Station puts taxpayers on hook for mall redevelopment

23,707 Views | 147 Replies | Last: 1 day ago by Realestategod
officerfred
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Late Thursday at almost midnight, one of the largest speculative purchases of private property in College Station's history was unanimously approved by all members of College Station City council with zero debate.

College Station staff and some of the same city council members that voted to purchase the failed "Chimney Hill" property almost 15 years ago (only to later sell for what would be a multi-million dollar loss for the city) voted to purchase the Macys property at Post Oak Mall.

When the sale closes in 30 days, the city will pay $7.3 million for a property that sold only 7 months ago for $3.5 million dollars. City council seemed unphased when a concerned citizen spoke about the high price tag and government overreach. A local businessman spoke about their attempts to purchase the same property to only be later dissuaded by city staff who were obviously vying to purchase the property themselves.

The city was competing with several private purchasers that included 2 big box retailers, an entertainment center, and a storage center. The unseemly "negotiation" has the city over paying once again for property while also taking over $100,000 each year off the city tax roles.

When the City Manager was asked about the reason, he stated that the city wanted to purchase the property before someone else did and that there were no secure users identified for the project. This is a city with no experience in mall development and a history of losing money on real estate purchases.

Earlier in the evening the council voted unanimously to raise tax revenues and city utility fees over 10% across the board.

Funds to purchase the building will come from general funds. The same funds needed to hire police and fire to combat skyrocketing crime rates happening across parts of College Station.

The city will ask tax payers this November to approve borrowing over $90 million dollars for projects ranging from fire protection to pickleball courts.

Watch the meeting here at around 4:12 https://collegestationtx.civicclerk.com/Web/Player.aspx?id=1309&key=-1&mod=-1&mk=-1&nov=0
befitter
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I'd like to say I'm surprised.....but I'm not.
Captn_Ag05
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AG
At the same meeting where earlier in the night, the police chief presented about not having the resources needed to police Northgate and an earlier shut down of the bars (midnight or 1 am) was discussed. The money used for this purchase would have been much better used for officer coverage of the main entertainment district of the city. It is especially egregious if there was private business interested in purchasing the property. If it is a business that meets the zoning for that location, the city shouldn't be in the business of deciding what they deem best use.
Flatlander
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I assume that this is the sort of thing wanted by the 5000-or-so residents who actually vote in local elections.
maroon barchetta
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Mumbo Jimbo
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who just made $3.8m?
CS78
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Other people's money.
Captn_Ag05
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AG
trouble
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AG
https://texags.com/forums/35/topics/3310117
RafterAg223
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AG
The statement by the city manager is alarming to say the least. It is not city government's job to "purchase a property before someone else does" City government should not be competing wit the private sector. City hall in College Station needs to be flushed. Sadly, as long as only the nimby vote from the East side and Southside shows up at the polls with any semblance of regularity, things will never change. These people are reckless with our tax dollars and they don't care. The majority of people living in College Station dont agree with this garbage. People need to wake up and show up at the polls. The fact that Crompton and Maloney ever won seats again on council, is sad. Their history on council alone should have shut them out for good. Go vote!!
TyHolden
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AG
When is the next election? VOTE THEM OUT!
AG81
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AG
Just the latest reason I don't live in College Station.
Nasreddin
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The increasing chumminess between government and business should terrify us all.
doubledog
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TyHolden said:

When is the next election? VOTE THEM OUT!
We did that when the Council (CS) bought Chimney Hill. CoCS taxpayers lost almost 3 million in that fiasco.

Follow the money, who is getting kickbacks and who is making money off of this "deal"?

TyHolden
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AG
doubledog said:

TyHolden said:

When is the next election? VOTE THEM OUT!
We did that when the Council (CS) bought Chimney Hill. CoCS taxpayers lost almost 3 million in that fiasco.

Follow the money, who is getting kickbacks and who is making money off of this "deal"?


Get OB involved
texAZtea
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AG
Couldn't one of the companies who lost out on this bid, with proper documentation, bring it up in court somewhere?
befitter
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TyHolden said:

When is the next election? VOTE THEM OUT!
November 2022.
Is Not a Turtle
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Officer Fred, who bought the property? I am not seeing a deed filed of record out of Primary Properties as of today's date.

I hope this isn't some sweetheart deal where they are holding the recording until the city is in agreement.

This city needs a thorough divorce from developers and a real intervention by tax payers.
PS3D
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Is Not a Turtle said:

Officer Fred, who bought the property? I am not seeing a deed filed of record out of Primary Properties as of today's date.

I hope this isn't some sweetheart deal where they are holding the recording until the city is in agreement.

This city needs a thorough divorce from developers and a real intervention by tax payers.
The previous deed that signed it over from Macy's to a California-based company was notarized and dated in Ohio. It took over a week to appear in the county deeds website.


officerfred said:



When the City Manager was asked about the reason, he stated that the city wanted to purchase the property before someone else did and that there were no secure users identified for the project. This is a city with no experience in mall development and a history of losing money on real estate purchases.


The city is not in "mall development", they are buying the Macy's property so it doesn't go to some non-retail institution that would permanently take it off the tax rolls (imagine if TAMU or a church bought it, for instance) and want to flip it to a company that will develop it as retail or entertainment space.

Whether this is government overreach and a good decision is up to you, but trying to spin as "mall development" is either being a misinformed voter or willingly spinning misinformation.
George Costanza
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It's not the city's role to buy property so "it doesn't go to some non-retail institution that would permanently take it off the tax rolls."
techno-ag
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AG
It would have made a good city hall. Excellent location right off the bypass.
officerfred
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[You can give your opinion on this board but we do our best to keep the threads respectful and ask that the posters be respectful when disagreeing with others on the board. Please assist us with this by refraining from being sarcastic or belittling to other posters when giving and opinion. Thank you. -Staff]

BattleGrackle
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The city bought it (taking it off it tax rolls) so that someone else wouldn't buy it and take it off the tax rolls?
maroon barchetta
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BattleGrackle said:

The city bought it (taking it off it tax rolls) so that someone else wouldn't buy it and take it off the tax rolls?


You can't make this up.
TyHolden
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AG
Election page...I guess this the full list?

https://www.cstx.gov/departments___city_hall/elections



3 candidates for mayor

1. John Nichols - retired professor from Cornell and city council since 2012

https://theeagle.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/nichols-announces-candidacy-for-college-station-mayor/article_8cf00f34-02f8-11ed-a68a-abaf92e43c00.html

2. Rick Robison - retired federal prison supervisor and Army vet of 6 years

https://theeagle.com/news/robison-announces-candidacy-for-mayor-of-college-station/article_af065c40-0c6c-11ed-be76-03279edf4883.html#tncms-source=signup

3. Jacob Randolph - Sales team member at Buddy's Appliance

https://theeagle.com/news/randolph-announces-candidacy-for-college-station-mayor/article_b99207d8-2420-11ed-b607-1743b976ee85.html
phillytex24
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officerfred said:

Late Thursday at almost midnight, one of the largest speculative purchases of private property in College Station's history was unanimously approved by all members of College Station City council with zero debate.

College Station staff and some of the same city council members that voted to purchase the failed "Chimney Hill" property almost 15 years ago (only to later sell for what would be a multi-million dollar loss for the city) voted to purchase the Macys property at Post Oak Mall.

When the sale closes in 30 days, the city will pay $7.3 million for a property that sold only 7 months ago for $3.5 million dollars. City council seemed unphased when a concerned citizen spoke about the high price tag and government overreach. A local businessman spoke about their attempts to purchase the same property to only be later dissuaded by city staff who were obviously vying to purchase the property themselves.

The city was competing with several private purchasers that included 2 big box retailers, an entertainment center, and a storage center. The unseemly "negotiation" has the city over paying once again for property while also taking over $100,000 each year off the city tax roles.

When the City Manager was asked about the reason, he stated that the city wanted to purchase the property before someone else did and that there were no secure users identified for the project. This is a city with no experience in mall development and a history of losing money on real estate purchases.

Earlier in the evening the council voted unanimously to raise tax revenues and city utility fees over 10% across the board.

Funds to purchase the building will come from general funds. The same funds needed to hire police and fire to combat skyrocketing crime rates happening across parts of College Station.

The city will ask tax payers this November to approve borrowing over $90 million dollars for projects ranging from fire protection to pickleball courts.

Watch the meeting here at around 4:12 https://collegestationtx.civicclerk.com/Web/Player.aspx?id=1309&key=-1&mod=-1&mk=-1&nov=0


You are a great American for bringing this corruption to light. We must elect good men and women to replace this corruption. So sad.

We could have had an amazing retail business or church in that location and that would've been jobs for our community. Now we'll have an empty lot for years.
Aggieland Proud
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AG
I already cannot vote for John Nichols because of his attitude about neighborhood integrity. He recently wanted to relocate the Pebble Creek Parkway entrance, the main entrance into the Pebble Creek neighborhood, so that it would connect to the new Corporate Parkway coming out of Midtown. That would potentially bring commercial 18 wheelers driving right through the middle of a large, established residential neighborhood. His comment was that road connectivity was more important than neighborhood integrity. I'm sorry but that man does not deserve to be mayor, much less be on council.
H2SAag
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AG
https://dolcefino.com/
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PS3D
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George Costanza said:

It's not the city's role to buy property so "it doesn't go to some non-retail institution that would permanently take it off the tax rolls."


I didn't say that it was the right thing to do or even that I agreed with it. I do understand why they did it, though they're almost certainly going to do more harm than good either way.
officerfred
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Lets try this again.

PS3D Respectfully, the city purchase of the mall's largest retail anchor space along with over 7 acres is certainly "mall redevelopment".

The city stated that they wanted to protect the other retailers and businesses in the mall by this purchase. So clearly the city is stepping in here with taxpayer funds to redevelop the mall. I bet none of these folks would have paid 2X for a property that sold only 7 months ago with their own money.

I view this as a rescue of CBL Properties, the REIT that owns the mall. A mall operator that hasn't invested a nickel to make the mall better in decades. Now we know why. They knew that our city would use taxpayer funds and come rescue them. If the city must be involved, I would prefer the city use incentive funds to encourage private redevelopers that could fairly bid on the project. At least then they could place benchmarks that could protect us, the taxpayers.

Watch the meeting everyone and inform yourself. Make your own decision. But ask yourself why we don't have more details. Why is it that they can talk to insiders and do this kind of deal making without any public transparency? Ask yourself who stands the profit from the sale of this property? Who is at risk?

Do you believe the city "appraisal" of $6 to $11 million for a property that sold only 7 months ago for $3.5 million?

My view is that this purchase will serve as a ball and chain for City of College Station taxpayers for the next decade.

Last but not least. Here are other recent purchases of similar properties across the US as dozens of Macys closed locations have sold in the past year to private investors. Do a quick search for yourself.

Macys in Kentucky sold May 2022 $2 million
Macys in Tennessee sold Nov 2021 $4 million
Macys in Colorado sold June 2022 $3.5 million

We need to hear from the people who recently filed to help lead our city. Do not vote for someone unless they can explain their position on this issue. God Bless College Station.

wareagle044
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Fun being a county resident these days. If you decide to come help us civilize in the northeast make sure we never vote to incorporate
tb9665
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I think that the whole mall needs to be sold to either Brookfield Properties (Woodlands Mall/Baybrook Mall) or Simon Property Group (Galleria Houston). Let them redevelop it.
wareagle044
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tb9665 said:

I think that the whole mall needs to be sold to either Brookfield Properties (Woodlands Mall/Baybrook Mall) or Simon Property Group (Galleria Houston). Let them redevelop it.


Great potential there. Though I've heard it brings in more tax revenue for the city than Northgate as it sits now
Texasclipper
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AG
wareagle044 said:

tb9665 said:

I think that the whole mall needs to be sold to either Brookfield Properties (Woodlands Mall/Baybrook Mall) or Simon Property Group (Galleria Houston). Let them redevelop it.


Great potential there. Though I've heard it brings in more tax revenue for the city than Northgate as it sits now
Why would either of these companies want the Post Oak Mall?
BattleGrackle
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Shhh… don't bring more attention to us out here
 
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