Friday, January 22, 2016

Updated; John Hammer on Kotis' sweet City of Greensboro real estate deal and the obvious, unasked question of whether the sale was crooked or not

"The City Council also agreed to sell the Dorothy Bardolph Building at the corner of Church Street and Washington Street to Marty Kotis for $900,000.  Nathan Duggins, with the Tuggle Duggins law firm, said he understood the period for upset bids had expired but he had a client willing to pay $1 million for the property.  The building had appraised at $1 million, but the only bid received by the city was the $900,000 bid from Kotis.

My understanding is City staff
is supposed to send out an email to local commercial real estate agents
informing them of the opportunity. 

So did they send out an email to real estate agents, 
or not?

...long-time downtown developers and real estate brokers said that they had no idea the building was for sale.  City staff said the sale was put on the city website and advertised in the News & Record.  But councilmembers said they had received calls from people who had been involved in downtown real estate for years who had no idea the property was for sale.

If they didn't, Marty, Council's biggest campaign contributor
got a great deal on a property with the help of City staff
and City Council

Evidently not many people search through the confusing, counterintuitive and often inaccurate city website looking for downtown property for sale.  ...No doubt somewhere on the city website was a notice that this building was for sale, but evidently those involved in real estate don’t know how to find it.

I have yet to witness a story on the sale and the counter offer
by Greensboro's News and Record
who lopped such large chunks of praise upon Mr. Kotis.

As far as an advertisement in the daily newspaper, Greensboro has over 280,000 residents, but the News & Record has a total circulation of less than 50,000, and not all of those are in Greensboro.

Was an email sent to local realtors or not?

A number of people expressed interested in buying the building but didn’t know about the sale until after the upset bid process had closed.

Which appears to indicate City staff 
didn't inform Greensboro's real estate agent community

Only one went to the expense of hiring an attorney to come to the City Council meeting and make a late offer.  The city is in no hurry to sell the building; why would the City Council consider an offer that was below the appraised value?  When the city buys property it often pays above the appraised value.

City Attorney Tom Carruthers told the City Council it could reject the bid, accept the bid or decide to accept the higher offer and leave that open for upset bids. The City Council by a unanimous vote chose to accept the $900,000 offer from Kotis.

A unanimous vote, without the public knowing what actually happened
by City Council's biggest campaign contributor
who had multiples of incumbents ads plastered on his billboard
and who had multiples of incumbents signs on his properties 
all over Greensboro, and the News and Record 
can't seem to investigate whether it was above board or not

If the City Council is going to start selling surplus property it needs to find a way to let the public know the property is for sale.  In this case, if the city had spent a few thousand dollars on advertising it could have increased the sales price by at least $100,000 and maybe more.

Roy Carroll appears to have let John Hammer 
take a little swipe at Marty Kotis, 
his arch real estate nemesis going back years to the Horse Pen Creek Road fight
without much investigation. 

But there is no incentive for the staff to get more money for a property and it appears the City Council doesn’t care much about getting the best price so it isn’t likely to happen."
Nothing in today's News and Record
Triad City Beat's two articles,
neither of which appear to have made it into the print edition;
Yes Weekly, who does business with Marty,
 appears to have gotten out of the investigative reporting business;