Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Millwood Avenue closure debate

Does anyone have any factual WPD data to support how many accidents have happened on this piece of roadway on Millwood between TV3 and OBT over the last 5yrs?

I can recall several at the Sheetz intersection beside the new SU business school but cannot recall piece of Millwood section that is in question of being a dangerous piece of road.

Really, is this not a final piece of the "deal of the century" that took place back in August of 1995 when the City sold the former Rouss Park (7.2446 acres) to SU for $1.5million at 0% interest on a 3yr note?

This is also at the time when the Park & Rec authority board lost their power and became an "advisory" board to City Council.

This should NOT be a land swap deal.  SU needs to pay "fair market value" for the piece of property that sits in front of OBT.

If a deal goes thru ...

SU will own ALL of that property expect the Beltone property which for some reason SU sold that to the present owners back in 1985 which was just before Dr. Davis came on board.

SU will own everything on the southern end of Jim Barnett Park expect the Tennis Courts and Ross Potts basketball courts.

It's been said that a deal was in the works and near completion of SU getting back that Beltone property (unconfirmed if a deal has been completed or not) and that is up to those individual owners on how they decide to wheel & deal on their own personal property.

The former Armory building ... actually Shenandoah University was 50/50 owner of this building already with the Commonwealth Of VA-Dept Military Affairs. So SU bought out VA-Dept Military Affairs half for $750,000.

But were you aware that the City of Winchester owned 50% of this building up until June of 2006 at which time the City of Winchester sold, well gave away their 50% stake to Shenandoah University for just one-dollar, $1.00?  To clarify, it was donated to SU. The $1.00 transaction fee freed the City of Winchester of any future liability from how it was understood.
Wonder why city officials back in 2006 did not at least get "fair market value" for the city’s 50% stake in the Armory building?

Wonder why city officials did not put the former Winchester Volunteer Rescue Squard building/property out on the open real estate market?

A couple of sources shared that OutBack and one of the major drug store chains were interested but the perception is that those tax base generating businesses were never considered.  Do not believe there was never any doubt that it was going to become part of SU's campus and home of the new business school.

Just more prime examples how the red carpet has been rolled by the City of Winchester for Shenandoah University.

As it's been stated previously, give and take, it's a 2-way street but the perception is that it's been 1-way for SU's entire stay in Winchester.

Back on July 25, 2008 … SU’s real-estate portfolio was as follows:

SU had 66.357 acres in the city with a tax assessed value of $62,272,700 and on-line records show that SU's total sum for those transactions was in the tune of $11,140,176.

As for Frederick County, SU owned 78.15 acres with a then tax assessed value of $4,473,000 million and records show that their out of pocket cash paid to obtain ownership was $710,020.

If this deal goes thru …

SU will get the official "entrance" that they have been seeking and everyone at SU will be happy.

The perception will be that "malfunction junction" just became a bigger problem of heavier traffic congestion as the citizens and motorists will become even more disgruntled with the outcome.  Will this perception become reality? 

Who will be responsible for paying to get this problem resolved of malfunction junction? 

How does the motorists and citizens benefit from this land swap deal?

To close, SU is here to stay and offers a lot of positives but again, they are collecting much prime time real estate that they need to pay at least "fair market value" vs. land swap deals and wholesale deals of City owned property.

SU’s economic impact study, really ... has anyone seen an impact study paid for by a university that is not going to cast a positive light?  How much more timely could that study been released, than several days before the public meeting with the MPO committee?

The citizens of Winchester need to voice their opinion come Monday evening.

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