No. The City is contributing public resources to the project, as described in Question 5. What is the City of Eugene contributing to this project? If City Council chooses to move forward with this proposal, the City would transfer the land to the development team at no cost and would apply $1.1 million to cover pre-development costs.
There is some confusion about the value of the property that would be transferred to the development team. The City had the property appraised in 2019 by Duncan and Brown, a real-estate appraisal firm located in Eugene. They estimated the value of the property at $680,000. That appraisal stated that the structure added negative value to the property—that is, the property would be worth more if it were a vacant lot.
The Lane County Office of Assessment and Taxation shows the property had an estimated real market value in 2020 of about $6.9 million. It estimates the land at about $0.9 million and the structure at about $6.0 million. The Office of Assessment and Taxation reported that they last analyzed the building in 1994. Since that time, the property’s estimated real market value has been pegged to average commercial values across the county. Commercial property values have increased since 1994, and the Office of Assessment and Taxation simply applies the average growth rate to all commercial properties to this property. The property has been in public ownership since 1979 and is therefore tax exempt. The Office of Assessment and Taxation has not made it a priority to re-assess the value of a building that does not generate tax revenue. Because the building has not been re-assessed, the County’s real market value does not take into account the current state of the unmaintained building, the asbestos in the building, and the amount of investment needed to re-use the existing building. The Duncan and Brown appraised value is an accurate assessment of the building’s property value.