Council had an in-camera (closed to the public) session before the Council meeting on Monday evening where an agenda item caught our attention. It seems that a discussion ensued about an offer to purchase the Midland Bay Landing property. The offer, which we have since learned was “unsolicited”, meaning the land was not offered up for public sale, was turned down after some debate. The details of the offer, the amount offered or the person or people behind the offer are not immediately known but details may become clearer in the days to come.
Knowing that the land is contaminated, in need of remediation and further study to know if it could be used for anything more than a park or field, likely meant an opportunistic low bid hoping that Midland might divest itself of this troubling property for a below market value bag of cash.
Instead of selling off what’s left of publicly accessible Midland waterfront to those with the deepest pockets, it seems that Council has re-affirmed its desire to regain control over the direction that we should take with what could be our crown jewel on the waterfront.
The money left in deposit from Consar (the failed developer from our first round of hopes for Midland Bay Landing) will be spent on further studies along with some grant money that Midland has applied for once again, after having turned it down a few years ago. The real test of whether we bought ourselves another “love canal” will become evident once we know the price tag to remediate the lands to become suitable for human habitation and commercial development mixed with publicly accessible waterfront.
The balance owing on our loan for the purchase of Midland Bay Landing (at the end of June 2017) is $3,684,000 with $96k interest being added yearly.
What are your thoughts? Did we just pass up a “potentially great deal” to get rid of a polluted tract of land that will cost more to remediate than we paid for it? – or – Do we hold this land, study it and hope for the best and that we can afford to remediate it and control what ultimately gets built on it?
Time will tell and hope springs eternal.