Economic brake felt by downtown parking company

The company that provides free and low-cost parking for downtown saw lower revenue for the second year in a row, according to officials who spoke at the company's recent annual meeting. "This is sort of a new experience for us," said Charlottesville Parking Center manager Bob Stroh, pointing to daily parkers declining from a high of 717,000 in 2006 to about 552,000 in 2008. Said Stroh, "I consider a two percent decline in this economy to be a pretty favorable outcome." He also noted at the March 26 meeting that the owner of the under-construction Landmark Hotel wants to terminate its lease for spaces in the Water Street Deck. "We're probably not too interested in doing that," said Stroh, "but we may be interested in negotiating."


Believe it or not the City has already spent $405,000 on consultants trying to buy these lots. Hope the City sticks to dredging it's reservoirs and maintaining it's leaky pipes before embarking on parking lot ownership, even if the company does drop the price below $17.5 million...which may be soon
from Oct 2008 letter
ââ?¬Å?The Board has determined that the proper course at the present is to terminate the sale process and operate the company until such time as economic and other circumstances justify reconsideration of the sale.”

Why can't the city simply emminent domain the parking lot at the assessment value? That is the law?

That would at least be a good opening salvo for these folks to come to the table and get tis over with.

What is the assessed value ?

Eminent domain requires just compensation. Just compensation = fair market value. The assessment means nothing.

Half a million dollars. "Spent", in this context, becomes a very interesting word.Is this romper room for the Darden school or just some more good 'ol boy shtick? I get better (and less expensive) advice from my magic eight ball.

So what is fair market value and aren't there specific requirements for the city to take it using eminent domain-- Does this qualify ?
and if it does why would the City spend over $400,000 on consultants figuring out how to buy it ?

The reason that the City cant take the lot by eminent domain is that it isnt interesting in owning the lot for parking - it wants to flip the lot to a developer, along with its own surface lot on Water street so that both lots can be developed.

Mind you, no developer has put forth a serious proposal to do anything with the lots (at least not while I was on council, and I doubt since). As long as real estate tax makes up the bulk of the City budget, staff will always be scheming for ways to increase the real estate tax base, regardless of whether the market is ready for it or whether it is in the interest of residents. Its simple self interest of the bureaucracy. The farmer's market and convenient surface parking may be appreciated by residents, but it wont pay for anyone's annual raises and retirement package.

The yahoos at the Darden School couldn't divine a major financial meltdown while it was farting in their collective faces. Please don't try to get them to resolve a real estate transaction involving a parking lot. Their little brains would simply shut down.

MBA = Master of Bullstuff and Arrogance.

My own childhood was similar. Of course I had the good luck to grow up on a mountain farm in rural Rappahannock County which to this day has no fast food places or shopping malls(hope they never do).
I try not to come down too hard on the "screen generation" I had my nose buried in a book every chance I had growing up.
But the love of Nature remains with me to this day. I would much rather be out tramping through the woods, or watching hawk migration on Afton Mountain than attending a social function.
But I wonder how many kids today can name the common birds or trees they see in their neighborhood.I agree that having comprehensive environmental education is a start. There is a lot more to our relationship to the natural world than just recycling our cans and bottles.