Originally created 10/15/02

Questions city's sale of riverfront land without bids



It's business as usual in Augusta. I read with great interest the article about the city selling land on the riverfront. They mentioned taking bids from the real estate community. My question is, what real estate community?

I know of no one who has been contacted on the downtown property. I have been very active in downtown Augusta. My company has been responsible for downtown office space in excess of 20,000 feet and over $1 million of property added to the tax rolls in the last three years. I also own commercial property downtown.

I would like to know what companies have been contacted, and why them and not the entire commercial real estate community.

On two separate occasions, I have offered to buy city- or county-owned property, only to be told that they are not for sale, then later sold without public notice (the old Eighth Street jail and the old Davidson school). To my knowledge, no one was asked to bid on these properties. The jail was sold to a local downtown bank, and the school was sold to "out-of-town investors."

Also, don't forget that the city property now owned by a California investor was sold without public bid. That property fronts the river and canal, and is worth millions more than it was sold for. It is located at the junction of I-20 and River Watch Parkway.

Something is rotten in Augusta. As in fish, the head usually rots first.

John Capes, Augusta

(Editor's note: The writer is a real estate broker for VIP Realty Services Inc.)