What's LaSalle Park worth? Appraisers to give wrangling councils a value

News Mar 29, 2016 by Matthew Van Dongen The Hamilton Spectator

Hamilton and Burlington have agreed to split the cost of figuring out how much LaSalle Park is worth.

Hamilton bought the 23-hectare harbour-side green space in Aldershot a century ago, but has leased it back to Burlington for $1 a year since 1983. The lease expires in 2022, but politicians on both sides of the municipal border ordered their respective city managers in January to begin negotiations over a possible sale.

Both cities will share the still-unspecified cost of an upcoming appraisal for the park to help negotiate "differences of opinion with respect to the value of the land," said Hamilton real estate manager Ray Kessler.

He cautioned the appraisal won't produce a single number, but a "range of figures on which we can start some dialogue" based on different uses for the land.

The touchy topic of park ownership has spurred political sparring over several decades. Some Burlington officials have occasionally suggested the property should be gifted to the city given its location and the millions of dollars invested over time in the park property, which includes a marina, splash pad, pavilion and banquet facility.

Mayor Rick Goldring has previously said he sees "some rationality to Hamilton simply giving us the park," but is willing to wait for the results of staff negotiations.

On Tuesday, he welcomed the appraisal effort, but noted "the hard part" comes when the two cities sit down to negotiate over the results, expected by June.

Coun. Sam Merulla continues to argue Hamilton deserves "fair market value" for the land, though he noted the definition depends on the use of the land. "Hamilton taxpayers deserve fair compensation, one way or the other … We could always end up looking at developing parts of it or just retaining ownership ourselves."

Kessler said the appraisal ranges will take into account "lowest and highest potential uses" for the property, ranging from existing parkland to partial development.

Coun. Lloyd Ferguson suggested that won't be of great help in negotiations, arguing the per-acre price tag could range from $50,000 to $1.5 million for the harbourfront land.

Politicians from both cities requested an advance copy of the appraisal results before the next meeting of the joint city subcommittee.

mvandongen@thespec.com

905-526-3241 | @Mattatthespec

What's LaSalle Park worth? Appraisers to give wrangling councils a value

News Mar 29, 2016 by Matthew Van Dongen The Hamilton Spectator

Hamilton and Burlington have agreed to split the cost of figuring out how much LaSalle Park is worth.

Hamilton bought the 23-hectare harbour-side green space in Aldershot a century ago, but has leased it back to Burlington for $1 a year since 1983. The lease expires in 2022, but politicians on both sides of the municipal border ordered their respective city managers in January to begin negotiations over a possible sale.

Both cities will share the still-unspecified cost of an upcoming appraisal for the park to help negotiate "differences of opinion with respect to the value of the land," said Hamilton real estate manager Ray Kessler.

He cautioned the appraisal won't produce a single number, but a "range of figures on which we can start some dialogue" based on different uses for the land.

The touchy topic of park ownership has spurred political sparring over several decades. Some Burlington officials have occasionally suggested the property should be gifted to the city given its location and the millions of dollars invested over time in the park property, which includes a marina, splash pad, pavilion and banquet facility.

Mayor Rick Goldring has previously said he sees "some rationality to Hamilton simply giving us the park," but is willing to wait for the results of staff negotiations.

On Tuesday, he welcomed the appraisal effort, but noted "the hard part" comes when the two cities sit down to negotiate over the results, expected by June.

Coun. Sam Merulla continues to argue Hamilton deserves "fair market value" for the land, though he noted the definition depends on the use of the land. "Hamilton taxpayers deserve fair compensation, one way or the other … We could always end up looking at developing parts of it or just retaining ownership ourselves."

Kessler said the appraisal ranges will take into account "lowest and highest potential uses" for the property, ranging from existing parkland to partial development.

Coun. Lloyd Ferguson suggested that won't be of great help in negotiations, arguing the per-acre price tag could range from $50,000 to $1.5 million for the harbourfront land.

Politicians from both cities requested an advance copy of the appraisal results before the next meeting of the joint city subcommittee.

mvandongen@thespec.com

905-526-3241 | @Mattatthespec

What's LaSalle Park worth? Appraisers to give wrangling councils a value

News Mar 29, 2016 by Matthew Van Dongen The Hamilton Spectator

Hamilton and Burlington have agreed to split the cost of figuring out how much LaSalle Park is worth.

Hamilton bought the 23-hectare harbour-side green space in Aldershot a century ago, but has leased it back to Burlington for $1 a year since 1983. The lease expires in 2022, but politicians on both sides of the municipal border ordered their respective city managers in January to begin negotiations over a possible sale.

Both cities will share the still-unspecified cost of an upcoming appraisal for the park to help negotiate "differences of opinion with respect to the value of the land," said Hamilton real estate manager Ray Kessler.

He cautioned the appraisal won't produce a single number, but a "range of figures on which we can start some dialogue" based on different uses for the land.

The touchy topic of park ownership has spurred political sparring over several decades. Some Burlington officials have occasionally suggested the property should be gifted to the city given its location and the millions of dollars invested over time in the park property, which includes a marina, splash pad, pavilion and banquet facility.

Mayor Rick Goldring has previously said he sees "some rationality to Hamilton simply giving us the park," but is willing to wait for the results of staff negotiations.

On Tuesday, he welcomed the appraisal effort, but noted "the hard part" comes when the two cities sit down to negotiate over the results, expected by June.

Coun. Sam Merulla continues to argue Hamilton deserves "fair market value" for the land, though he noted the definition depends on the use of the land. "Hamilton taxpayers deserve fair compensation, one way or the other … We could always end up looking at developing parts of it or just retaining ownership ourselves."

Kessler said the appraisal ranges will take into account "lowest and highest potential uses" for the property, ranging from existing parkland to partial development.

Coun. Lloyd Ferguson suggested that won't be of great help in negotiations, arguing the per-acre price tag could range from $50,000 to $1.5 million for the harbourfront land.

Politicians from both cities requested an advance copy of the appraisal results before the next meeting of the joint city subcommittee.

mvandongen@thespec.com

905-526-3241 | @Mattatthespec