City of CS Achieves Major Capital Gain for Taxpayers

9,187 Views | 77 Replies | Last: 5 mo ago by harrierdoc
Bob Yancy
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doubledog said:

Bob, thanks for coming on F35 and taking the "slings and arrows" of your fellow council members. It is not your fault that the voter's have elected some questionable members in the past. Your actions and words here show you have good intentions and values.
Thank you.


Thanks for that. It means a lot. We'll keep plugging away. I will say that, no matter their philosophical views on the political spectrum, most who serve on council do so because they love our city. They give a lot of their time and themselves by volunteering for no pay. I may disagree with decisions of years past, but there's no question the passion and common goal of a better city is there.

Respectfully
AggiePhil
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Chrundle the Great said:

Where is this lot? Just curious

Gateway and Lakeway.
Orlando Ayala Cant Read
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Kudos to Mr Yancy for this dialogue when most people in his position would not.
91_Aggie
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AG
Bob Yancy said:

91_Aggie said:

Bob Yancy said:

That's going way, way back- but Chimney Hill was bought for $9.3 and sold for $7.5 at a loss of $1.79 as I vaguely recall. So yes, Chimney Hill will be all but erased twice.
That was then. This is now. :-)
Well that is not counting the interest that $9 million lost while the city sat on Chimney Hill property several years, and not counting the property tax that the privately owned land would have generated while the city owned it.

yeah, this was a good recent deal... but make sure you don't leave out details like the above when talking about the actual losses of that Chimney Hill deal


Not sure about interest expense. The city usually acquires such properties out of cash reserves. I suppose there's lost interest on the reserve's investment cost. But yes for sure on both property tax and sales tax lost opportunity. But here again, we're talking about a decade old deal wherein history cannot be changed.

I am beginning to realize every time I cite a touchdown pass, though, the common refrain "chimney hill, chimney hill" will be the response time and again. How about when that deal has been eclipsed x5 we let it rest in piece? Or x7? What's the number so I know the goal? ;-)

Respectfully,


Don't get me wrong... I know it is old deal, but that deal had more losses than just the difference between purchase price and then sale price that you glossed over.
doubledog
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Bob Yancy said:

doubledog said:

Bob, thanks for coming on F35 and taking the "slings and arrows" of your fellow council members. It is not your fault that the voter's have elected some questionable members in the past. Your actions and words here show you have good intentions and values.
Thank you.


Thanks for that. It means a lot. We'll keep plugging away. I will say that, no matter their philosophical views on the political spectrum, most who serve on council do so because they love our city. They give a lot of their time and themselves by volunteering for no pay. I may disagree with decisions of years past, but there's no question the passion and common goal of a better city is there.

Respectfully
I agree in the "other" jobs the members of council, were most likely competent individuals... As a member of the city government, some council people, not so much.
AggieCVQ
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Hey Bob, as the Texas triangle grows bigger do you see that pitch becoming more and more important to private interests? Also, curious as to where you see CS in 10-15 years. Thanks
Bob Yancy
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The growth of the Texas Triangle is unbelievable and frankly a serious challenge. It's arguably the fastest growing megalopolis in the world, and growth is inarguably accelerating.

Brazos County could break 300,000 in population while I'm writing this. Virtually no aspect of our local community is sufficient to support what's happening. Our water supply, power infrastructure, roadways, sanitary sewer, storm drainage, and all infrastructure are challenged.

Police, fire and EMS must grow. Housing, and in particular affordable housing, are in short supply. Realtors will tell you the number of out of town homebuyers is unprecedented. My new next door neighbor just moved here from Iowa.

In 15 years, we'll look back and see where the City of Bryan rapidly outpaced College Station in population growth rate. I think Bryan will have approximately 130,000 in population- the size of College Station today. College Station would be around 160,000. Brazos County will likely approximate 385,000.

You'll have a new bypass with diverging diamonds and fancy aesthetics. Drones will be buzzing everywhere. The new I-14 freeway will be in early construction and the I-214 loop around our cities as well.

The upside down population pyramid will be more pronounced in College Station while Bryan will be younger. Texas A&M will be enormous. Northgate will look like a block in Manhattan. (There are a half dozen new student towers being talked about or in the permit process now).

Communities within the community will emerge in all cardinal directions on the periphery of town. That's taking shape now, much like a real world version of SimCity.

We can't stop people from moving here. We can't stop folks from wanting to attend Texas A&M. Rellis will look completely different. Uniformed military personnel will be prominent in the grocery stores and restaurants. Ospreys, Blackhawks and F-35s will be common overhead. (I love that part.)

Easterwood will be under expansion and there will be 3 servicing carriers with multiple arrivals per day, each.

If you believed all of this, as I do, wouldn't it be paramount for Bryan, College Station, Brazos County, Texas A&M, and the state of Texas to work better together? Wouldn't it be absolutely crucial to begin planning now for what's to come? Wouldn't it be a dereliction of duty not to demand strong intergovernmental cooperation to command greater economies of scale for the benefit of hardworking, taxpaying citizens? To ensure we grow together, while to the greatest extent possible never losing our identity as a fantastic place to live, work, study, play, and raise a family?

We'll have a national championship in football by 2038, too. I hope I live to see it.

Is that responsive to your question? ;-)
HWY6_RunsBothWays
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Bob Yancy said:

Yes much of that is true. There have been some mistakes and the city of CS has not proactively concerned itself with the optics of its decisions in years past. They just kind of plodded along, come what may.

My goal is to one day be able to say, "that was then and this is now." I believe this touchdown pass, and that's exactly what it is, is a start.

A final note. Just because city hall doesn't tout its wins doesn't mean they haven't happened. City Hall must be doing something right, sometime. Otherwise you wouldn't have less debt than most, more reserves than most, a cleaner, safer city than most, at a lower tax rate than most.

Why do we all love it here so much? I offer that for your consideration.

Respectfully,

-yancy


"There have been some mistakes and the city of CS has not proactively concerned itself with the optics of its decisions in years past. They just kind of plodded along, come what may."

Yep! And we do not want a YMCA!
dubi
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AG
Why permit more high rises at north gate until the sewer situation is resolved?
techno-ag
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Got to hand it to you, Mr. Yancy, you have contributed quite a bit to this board. Kudos. Appreciate your responsiveness.
Bob Yancy
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dubi said:

Why permit more high rises at north gate until the sewer situation is resolved?


Contrary to popular belief and the statements of some, we have planned ahead on infrastructure quite a bit and we have a great staff with smart, professional planners and engineers. I was personally involved in resolving a sewer line over-sizing request of the next developer to break ground on an 800 unit student tower. With that and other issues resolved, the project is shovel ready and will break ground imminently.
Rexter
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Bob Yancy said:

Yes much of that is true. There have been some mistakes and the city of CS has not proactively concerned itself with the optics of its decisions in years past. They just kind of plodded along, come what may.

My goal is to one day be able to say, "that was then and this is now." I believe this touchdown pass, and that's exactly what it is, is a start.

A final note. Just because city hall doesn't tout its wins doesn't mean they haven't happened. City Hall must be doing something right, sometime. Otherwise you wouldn't have less debt than most, more reserves than most, a cleaner, safer city than most, at a lower tax rate than most.

Why do we all love it here so much? I offer that for your consideration.

Respectfully,

-yancy



This is pretty disingenuous due to the transfer of funds from CSU to the general fund. How many millions will get moved this year?
aggiepaintrain
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AG
Run for Mayor, please
RafterAg223
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It's great that this tract was sold at such a profit. What I have an issue with here is what appears to be an attitude of good deals canceling out poor past decisions. That is terrible logic. We aren't balancing chemistry equations here. Terrible deals aren't simply offset by others. Those losses still remain on the ledger. The Macy's debacle is still extremely fresh, and one that city hall is going to have to wear for some time.
threecatcorner
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@AggiePhil, thank you for posting the location.
BCS-Ag
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Thanks for interacting here Councilman Yancy. Can you clarify when and what the initial purchase price was paid by the city? That will help give a clearer picture on the ROI.
Bob Yancy
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The city paid about $144,000 for the parcel close to 1993. We approved a sales price of $3,489,000 Thursday night.
MeKnowNot
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Bob Yancy said:

The city paid about $144,000 for the parcel close to 1993. We approved a sales price of $3,489,000 Thursday night.
Councilman Yancy, first and foremost: Thank you for having the intestinal fortitude to come on this forum and make your position know. I truly respect that you are willing to do participate in this media, head and shoulders above others in similar positions!

Also congratulations for the apparent recent "win", but with the property off the tax roles for 20 years, I doubt that the "win" is as actually as large as you stated.

As with several other posters, I am against the policy of the City using public funds to gamble on real estate investing. That's not a proper use of public funds under the Public Funds Investment Act (PFIA) and probably does not meet the criteria established in the City's Investment Policy.

Aside from whatever policy the City may or may not have, I am against the City entering a business activity that competes with the private sector. We have many real estate developers that make their living off the business activity that you are promoting the City participating in. The City has an un-fair advantage when it comes to development as the City holds control of the blind card of the permitting process. The City should never compete with private real-estate developers.

You are promoting the City's investment in speculative real estate. What are the limits? Can/should the City of College Station purchase real estate outside the City limits but within the ETJ? Outside the ETJ, like downtown Hearn? Out of State? If the City is in the real estate business, what are the policies, the controls, and investment criteria?

Sorry for sounding harsh but you are spending our money and we deserve to know what rules apply.

Thank you again for participating in the forum. You are providing many people with more access to local government than many of of your peers.


ETA:
While we may on agree on every issue, if you do choose to run for higher office, you'll get my vote for being transparent in your position and willing to hear and consider all sides of the issue. Leaps and bounds over where we are today!

Bob Yancy
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Thanks for the kind words. In a perfect world, as a conservative I'd agree with you on a lot of that. But, sometime long long ago, the first city decided to buy land and use it to lure new business to their town with free land, tax abatements, dirt leases and other enticements. Then another city did. And another. Fast forward to today and virtually every city is involved in an arms race offering baskets of goodies to lure business. That competition is fierce among cities. They literally compete against each other trying to hook that big fish.

But that's not what happened here. This land was sitting there. We owned it and we approved a sale at market price. There's no goodies attached. They'll pay their taxes. I would think selling it and divesting ourselves of it and capturing a gain for you, the taxpayer, is what you'd expect from us given it was already on the ledger.

I'm not saying I'm against economic development in this world. I'm saying in a perfect world, I'd agree with you.

Thanks for the dialog. I appreciate the debate. Signing off for now to watch the Aggies!

Have a wonderful Veterans Day weekend!

Respectfully,

-yancy
Bob Yancy
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MeKnowNot said:

Bob Yancy said:

The city paid about $144,000 for the parcel close to 1993. We approved a sales price of $3,489,000 Thursday night.
Councilman Yancy, first and foremost: Thank you for having the intestinal fortitude to come on this forum and make your position know. I truly respect that you are willing to do participate in this media, head and shoulders above others in similar positions!

Also congratulations for the apparent recent "win", but with the property off the tax roles for 20 years, I doubt that the "win" is as actually as large as you stated.

As with several other posters, I am against the policy of the City using public funds to gamble on real estate investing. That's not a proper use of public funds under the Public Funds Investment Act (PFIA) and probably does not meet the criteria established in the City's Investment Policy (Required to be updated annually by the PFIA).

Aside from whatever policy the City may or may not have, I am against the City entering a business activity that competes with the private sector. We have many real estate developers that make their living off the business activity that you are promoting the City participating in. The City has an un-fair advantage when it comes to development as the City holds control of the blind card of the permitting process. The City should never compete with private real-estate developers.

You are promoting the City's investment in speculative real estate. What are the limits? Can/should the City of College Station purchase real estate outside the City limits but within the ETJ? Outside the ETJ, like downtown Hearn? Out of State? If the City is in the real estate business, what are the policies, the controls, and investment criteria?

Sorry for sounding harsh but you are spending our money and we deserve to know what rules apply.

Thank you again for participating in the forum. You are providing many people with more access to local government than many of of your peers.


ETA:
While we may on agree on every issue, if you do choose to run for higher office, you'll get my vote for being transparent in your position and willing to hear and consider all sides of the issue. Leaps and bounds over where we are today!




I'm honored by that. Thank you kindly. Have a great evening.
Brian Alg
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Bob Yancy said:

The city paid about $144,000 for the parcel close to 1993. We approved a sales price of $3,489,000 Thursday night.
Using this calculator:

https://dqydj.com/sp-500-return-calculator/

It looks like the S&P 500 returns (with dividend reinvestment) from July 1993 to October 2023 was around 1,600%.

I am glad the City is divesting from speculative real estate positions. If you are driving the bus on that, thank you.

But when determining how much the City has made or lost on these kinds of things, it is important to benchmark appropriately. If the City lets taxpayers keep their money, it doesn't go under a mattress for 30 years. It gets invested in great projects of our own. At the very least we can park it in a Vanguard account and get those returns. But most have even better things to spend their money on (spoiling grandkids, date night, math tutor, hot dog at the baseball game, coffee with a good friend, etc.).
Brian Alg

Brazos Coalition for Responsible Government
Bob Yancy
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Brian Alg said:

Bob Yancy said:

The city paid about $144,000 for the parcel close to 1993. We approved a sales price of $3,489,000 Thursday night.
Using this calculator:

https://dqydj.com/sp-500-return-calculator/

It looks like the S&P 500 returns (with dividend reinvestment) from July 1993 to October 2023 was around 1,600%.

I am glad the City is divesting from speculative real estate positions. If you are driving the bus on that, thank you.

But when determining how much the City has made or lost on these kinds of things, it is important to benchmark appropriately. If the City lets taxpayers keep their money, it doesn't go under a mattress for 30 years. It gets invested in great projects of our own. At the very least we can park it in a Vanguard account and get those returns. But most have even better things to spend their money on (spoiling grandkids, date night, math tutor, hot dog at the baseball game, coffee with a good friend, etc.).


Agreed. I'd rather capital be in the pocket of a hardworking taxpayer than city coffers.
Tumble Weed
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Glad that the cocs made some money on the sale of the property.

Congrats on the TD.

Thank you for keeping us informed.
MsDoubleD81
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AG
Councilman Yancy,

What is the status of the property between Costco and the Methodist church? BCAD still shows COCS as owner.

https://wtaw.com/college-station-city-council-approves-land-sale-for-another-commercial-development-north-of-the-costco-store/

Thank you for having the courage to post here under your real name!
Bob Yancy
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Thanks for the kind words ma'am. That one is being efforted now and getting really close. Massive home run for our city if it happens. Fingers crossed.

Respectfully,

-yancy
Bob Yancy
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Tumble Weed said:

Glad that the cocs made some money on the sale of the property.

Congrats on the TD.

Thank you for keeping us informed.


Thanks for the kind words and stay tuned- more to come as we divest these holdings.

Respectfully,
AggieCVQ
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I live a minute from there so I thank you for the property value boost.
Bob Yancy
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I'll say I'm not sure it could develop any better for citizens in that area than what we are working on. If it works out it'll be very nice. Say what you will about city hall but CS is not prone to giving away the farm. I think it's fair to say developments either meet standards or they're not approved. Cross your fingers but I think this will be nice. My $.02.

Have a wonderful evening!

-yancy
Brian Alg
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Bob Yancy said:

Say what you will about city hall but CS is not prone to giving away the farm.
It wasn't the farm, but the folks involved in the City's economic development activity are for sure prone to giveaways, in my experience. Before your election, there was the 2020 Viasat fraud kerfuffle where I had to drag the City kicking and screaming to eventually get them to look into it.

Then in July 2023, the City signed off on terminating the Viasat agreement in order to let Viasat off the hook for the $50k in fee waivers that they would have had to pay back when they moved out early. An unnecessary $50k giveaway to a firm that just a little earlier had fraudulently taken the City for around $45k (until they had to give it back).

I dig $50k giveaways are relatively minor in the grand scheme of City activity. But these cases were frustrating. I don't watch everything that the City does. But I doubt these were isolated events that I just happened to stumble across.
Brian Alg

Brazos Coalition for Responsible Government
Bob Yancy
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Thanks for the feedback. While that predates me, except the very end, there is acknowledgment that you discovered that- if it's any consolation.

Going forward, I like the notion of divesting unimproved land holdings at market price without complex incentives and enticements except for perhaps the rarest of quality opportunities.

Our sister city sees it quite differently and I understand their strategy and why they do it. A tale of two cities.

Respectfully,

-yancy
Brian Alg
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Bob Yancy said:

Going forward, I like the notion of divesting unimproved land holdings at market price without complex incentives and enticements except for perhaps the rarest of quality opportunities.
Oh for sure. I am super appreciative of that, even if it ends up selling at a loss (e.g., what may happen with Macy's).

If anyone wants to give you grief about that, they're in the wrong.
Brian Alg

Brazos Coalition for Responsible Government
EliteElectric
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Bob Yancy said:

Our sister city sees it quite differently and I understand their strategy and why they do it. A tale of two cities.

Your "sister city" has been running laps around you for the past two decades or so. Maybe you should try their glasses on for a while? A shift in ideology and strategy would probably equal parts welcomed and needed at this point.

CoB is far outpacing CoCS in momentum and decision making which troubles me. As a business and property owner in both cities I would love to see CoCS model themselves after CoB.
Brian Alg
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Bryan is doing several things differently from College Station. The flashy Economic Development stuff leading to pictures in hard hats and shovels gets a lot of attention, but my understanding is the P&Z friction and general ease of dealing with City Hall is a major factor that non-business owners might not appreciate.

If you are talking about CS cribbing off of Bryan in how they are allowing sensible development closer to the relative oasis that is the TAMU campus, I am all for it.

If you are talking about CS cribbing off Bryan making it easier for businesses without an army of attorneys to navigate red tape to do business, I am all for it.

If you are talking about going all out on public-private partnerships to funnel taxpayer resources into necessarily risky entrepreneurial enterprises or using red tape and economic incentives to guide firms into less sensible decisions, I disagree.
Brian Alg

Brazos Coalition for Responsible Government
EliteElectric
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Brian Alg said:

If you are talking about going all out on public-private partnerships to funnel taxpayer resources into necessarily risky entrepreneurial enterprises or using red tape and economic incentives to guide firms into less sensible decisions, I disagree.
We'll just have to agree to disagree on your last paragraph and that's ok with me. I don't expect everyone to believe in what I believe in. I respect the work you do to keep everyone honest and have a healthy skepticism. We need more citizens like you who are passionate about their community. If more people had your passion for this stuff we'd all be in a better place.

I have never understood people who are OK riding on the bus but refuse to try to learn how to drive it.

"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."

~Plato~
Brian Alg
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Entrepreneurial activity is super hard. Confiscating and redirecting taxpayer resources or trying to puppeteer business owners is rarely going to make things better. Do it enough and it is possible to get lucky sometimes. But it doesn't seem to be possible to know which interventions are going to be those lucky ones that don't just mess things up. Better to just steer clear and let people figure things out on their own.


Quote:

We need more citizens like you who are passionate about their community.

I will never begrudge people for having better things to do than getting informed about or involved with government.

At least if, as in my case, they have no power to affect anything. All I can do is say stuff and hope that somebody who can do something will listen to me. It is a lot of effort and usually it does not seem to make [edit: much of] a difference.

God willing, these people involved in government will leave us alone more and I'll have an easier time focusing on the stuff in my life I can affect.
Brian Alg

Brazos Coalition for Responsible Government
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