I am a resident of Manzanita. I am a commercial property developer and senior investment property broker.
From reading about the new City Hall project in the North Coast Citizen, I am concerned about the way the project has been handled by the City and its future plans. It appears the City Council has a hidden agenda of building a new structure to feed their own egos, regardless of the cost to the taxpayers and any more affordable practical options.
— It appears the Underhill site was purchased without the benefit of a Buyer sponsored appraisal. This was a shortsighted and ultimately expensive use of taxpayer funds. For a property on the market as long as it was, it appears the City overpaid. Tearing the property down including asbestos removal leads to a cost for the remaining land much higher than it needed to be if a new building is to be built.
— It appears the City paid only lip service to the remodeling option. I support thoroughly investigating remodeling the existing structure. With a good architect, this option offers the opportunity to repurpose the building at a much lower cost than new construction. Use of textures, design elements and landscaping would allow the community to have a City Hall that reflects recycling values of the community in a perfectly usable space at a cost the community can better afford.
— I want to vote on any bonding option that affects my property taxes. I’d like to vote on a remodel option compared to a new construction option. Transient tax collections allows the tax on my property to be acceptably low. I want to keep it that way. New construction would be higher cost – maybe unacceptably high. By offering a choice between new versus remodel, voters can decide.
— I get the feeling that someone at the City, either staff or council is trying to railroad this new City Hall project though, ignoring true consideration of the remodeling option. The community could be paying a too high price for a long time.
— Offering a remodel alternative would let the voters choose and would be true leadership by our elected officials.