Sunday, March 04, 2007

Liberty Station "Lottery" Expose

I'm sure that most market watchers observed the "lotteries" back in the boom days and if you were like me thought that whole process was somewhere between sales gimmick and poor ethics. The Union Tribune has published an interesting analysis on the situation.

It is a real shame that so many properties have sat totally vacant all this time.


Dave said...

If you entered the lottery you had a 24% chance of being assigned a property (349/1459). Corky and his buddies ended up with 15% of the properties. The question that hasn't been answered is how many of Corky's buddies entered the lottery and did NOT get a property. Without that information, these other stats are meaningless.

Anonymous said...

I think the concerns here are that these were public lands that were transfered either with the official or implied expectation that the property would be reallocated in a fair way. I don't think the vacant investor homes really met that goal nor does giving friends a seat at the head of the "lottery" line also meet those objectives.

This was a public asset and just like any asset that is sold conditions and expections can be baked into the sale.

If land is bought from a private party then I think they can sell to whoever they want at whatever price. They stil can't make up a "lottery" that is not fair or is actually a gimmick.

Anonymous said...

I can't understand why the city did not simply hold an auction and sell the land to the highest bidder. I cannot understand why the city gave the property to Corky essentially for nothing. This has got to be the biggest rip off of the taxpayer in city history.

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely DISGUSTING that the developer got this land basically for free and then made a boatload of cash off of it. Who made the decision to do this? There should be a criminal investigation. What an absolute waste of money that the city sorely needed.

That land may have helped the airport situation too, but in 1999 they'd only been try to come up with a new site for 15-20 years at that time, why think ahead?

Anonymous said...

How can we get a criminal investigation started?

What's the proper government agency?

Anonymous said...

Any seller can hold properties for VIP's or whomever they wish, however, Corky got the land in part based on their representations that they would not hold properties for VIP's outside of the lottery. Then they represented to buyers that ALL prospective buyers had to enter the lottery in order to get the chance to buy. The facts presented by the UT article suggest that there were some who were given priority on certain properties without having to participate in the lottery. Certainly the fact that some owners bought two properties when the rules provide for one property only, suggest favoritism. Or that some owners were allowed to sell before the one year holding period. Or that some properties are not owner occupied as required by the purchase agreements. Looks like a fraud to me.