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Sarasota Monday, May. 4, 2009 8 years ago

City to reconsider $5.5 million land purchase

by: Robin Roy City Editor

The City Commission will once again consider the proposed $5.5 million purchase of three lots to convert into public parking.

A second appraisal has been completed on the lots at 495 S. Orange Ave., 307 S. Orange Ave. and 1623 Laurel St., and it came in at $5.72 million — about $900,000 less than the first appraisal, but still more than the city’s offer on the land.

That January appraisal of $6.6 million was the major sticking point when City Manager Bob Bartolotta first proposed buying the three lots earlier this month.

Commissioners were concerned that the appraisal took into account listed prices of nearby for-sale properties and not just actual sale prices. They asked for a second appraisal before deciding whether to approve the purchase.

Michael Saunders and Co. currently owns the three parcels. The city had a contract offer for $5.5 million on the land that was set to expire earlier this month, but the real-estate company granted an extension, so the commission could reconsider the sale at its Monday meeting.

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