As an Orchard Grove resident who has been deeply involved with the issue for the past year, I would like to correct a couple of the inaccuracies in the May 28 Camera article.
First: we have never contemplated paying “$22 to $27 million” for the park – a figure which is more than twice its fair market value. In October, we put in a bid on the park for $10.5 million – which we understand to be very close to its appraised value. We also have reason to believe that our offer was the highest among the dozen or so offers received by the park ownership. Unfortunately, the park owners rejected all offers, including ours.
Second: we are not asking the city to purchase “half the lots at Orchard Grove at $100,000 per space or more.” Rather: we have asked the city to consider adding half the lots at Orchard Grove to its stock of permanently affordable housing, at a cost of roughly $40,000 per lot – a figure which is below the average subsidy per unit for other types of housing in the city’s affordable housing program. This fact is abundantly clear to anyone who read the report we prepared for the Council study session, or listened to our presentation last Tuesday night.