The Times Herald did a story today on the RFP involving the Verizon Building and West Elm and Fayette. It confirmed one aspect of this story that we have been exploring. Carl Rotenberg reports, “Borough officials purchased the Verizon building for $3.25 million from the Verizon Corp. in September 2007. Council rejected several purchase proposals, including one for $3.25 million, in December 2008. A proposal to replace the roof of the building for $408,000 in November 2010 was tabled by council.”
What Rotenberg didn’t mention was that Verizon was still a tenant of the building when the Borough purchased it. Between September 2007 and August 2008, Verizon paid the Borough $610,000 in rental fees. As you see in the above paragraph, the Borough rejected a proposal in December 2008 that would have paid the Borough exactly what it had paid for the building and the Borough could have walked away with $610,000 in profit from its investment (actually the taxpayer’s investment). That would have been a $610,000 profit (minus expenses) within a year and a half.
I have been working on obtaining a copy of this rejected proposal. I am told it proposed a market on the ground floor and senior housing on the upper floors.
We are going to find out why this proposal was rejected. Stay tuned.