The building at the skate park sits vacant. Perhaps that is a better option than to lease it for a measly $5 a year that a local fraternity is offering. Seriously, this is absolutely a pathetic offer and the fact that ADICA is even considering it is troublesome at least.
The Kappa Alpha Psi wants to use the building for community outreach, which sounds great on the surface, but they’re also far from the only entity performing community outreach in Albany. In fact, a large portion of property in this town is tied up in non-profits. We have a lot of community outreach going on here.
I have no doubt that the fraternity intends to do good things with the property. That’s not really in dispute. What bothers me is their offer. Really? A whole $5 per year? Seriously?
Lane Rosen reportedly offered a whole lot more per month, and the City of Albany apparently tried to screw him over on the deal. Rosen’s plan was to use the building as the central point for an “adventure” business with rafting, zip lines, and nature trails. It’s an idea that many in the community are still talking about. He was offering a whole lot more per month than this fraternity is offering up per year.
Rosen’s accounting of what happened is disputed by city attorney Nathan Davis. However, I’m willing to bet that while the truth is probably somewhere in between, it’s a lot closer to Rosen’s version. Rosen was willing to give the city a percentage of the net receipts for his enterprise, which could have potentially been a big moneymaker for the city. When he went to get the paperwork, the contract called for gross receipts. That means the city would expect a percentage of everything, which could prevent Rosen from even covering expenses in the early going.
Davis claims that nothing underhanded went on, but this is a man who smuggled a pistol into his office illegally. I’m not sure he’s the one to pay attention to on something like this.
Unfortunately, that deal appears to be over and done with. Now, we see ADICA considering a $5 per year lease on the building. Why?
By leasing it for $5 annually, you tie up the building. That means no one else can make use of it while it’s under lease. This limits the opportunity for someone else to turn it into something that would make the city some real money and maybe help ease the tax burden on regular folks.
Some things, like a $5 per year lease, shouldn’t even be considered. Selling the property outright makes a whole lot more sense. Which is probably why it’s still owed by the local government.