City’s property purchase is a good move

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, July 14, 2016

Sometimes you have to look past today to see what opportunities lay ahead in the future.

That’s what leaders with the City of Troy did this week as they approved the purchase of nearly an acre of property on U.S. 231 at the site of the new Park Place retail development.

The parcel of land is home to the AT&T retail store, and the property was not included in original acquisition plans for the city as leaders put together the project  that includes the Enzor Road connector and the retail development anchored by a new Publix grocery store.

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Instead, city leaders expected to be able to obtain a right of way easement for the property – enough to allow construction of the entrance road into the new shopping center.

But plans can go awry, and faced with potentially lengthy – and expensive – legal efforts to obtain the right of way, city leaders were asked to consider another alternative – one that takes the long view.

As a result, they voted to spend $1.5 million to purchase the entire property from its current owner. The retail store is operated under a lease, and the remainder of that lease will now transfer to the city. Which means for the next five-plus years, the monthly lease payments of more than $7,000 per month will pay the note for the city. And the end of the lease, the city will have the option of selling the property or retain it and seek another leasee.

By taking the long view and acquiring this asset for the city, officials were able to move forward and complete right of way acquisition for the retail project and road. Most important, the city gains a valuable asset: prime retail real estate with a guaranteed tenant for five-plus years and the opportunity to capitalize on the investment in the future.

That’s taking the long view … and it’s a good move for the city and taxpayers.