Monday, March 19, 2012

Wait a minute....

So remember when the headlines about property assessments in Allegheny County were near apogee not very long ago?  I thought the clear message was that all the local real estate deals were being cancelled because the owners didn't like their assessment values. The end is nigh was the talking point all around.  Remember specifically when the headline was the assessments were so eggregious that the planned sale of the former former Alcoa Building was not going to go through?  Trib on Jan 2012: Regional Enterprise Tower deal canceled.  The clear message was in this quote:
That will hinder a sale of the building, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said this week. 
"You can't give it away because no one wants to buy it and face the higher assessment on it as well as the major improvements the building needs," he said.

Yet, miraculously the Trib over this last weekend: Building conversion to uproot agencies from Downtown.  That article says:
Novick said PMC will close its purchase of the Regional Enterprise Tower at 425 Sixth Ave. on Friday. His company, which specializes in restoring older commercial buildings for residential use, will convert the tower into a combination of half office space and half residential, he said."

So the deal was not canceled for long. Not even any mention that there was angst over this not much more than a month ago.  It was slated to happen early in the year, and it happened by mid-March.  Was the deal even delayed?  Any other non-cancellations of Downtown real estate deals out there? 

Anyway.  Given the headline last week that still has me in a bit of cognitive dissonance with all past reporting on the subject of assessments (see the  PG last week: "Higher assessment could mean lower bill for many"),  I thought the angst level over all the assessment news had subsided. 

But where did that headline come from?  I mean, what was January all about?? Nothing at all has changed in how the assessment will impact property owners from the first release of numbers in December??   Nothing has changed in the process and that headline could have been dropped in December for all we have learned since then. Has anything really changed since January?

In fact, legally speaking, the actual assessment process looks to be about as contentious as ever at least.   For example, Judge Wettick has a proposed ruling in the case that has some awfully curious language.  I will leave it to the leagle beagles whether this is normal verbiage in court orders, not that there is anything normal in the case, but parse the wording of the following proposed ruling he will be holding hearings on.  So this is not from January, this is recent:


Anonymous Alex B. said...

That's how an intelligent man sounds when he's pissed.

Monday, March 19, 2012 10:18:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

I suppose riffing off the "to the pain" speech from The Princess Bride would have been too much.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 9:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The language that you highlight from the March 13, 2012 proposed order is nothing new -- it is culled verbatim from Wettick's January order where he "took control" of the reassessment. The March 13, 2012 proposed order simply collects a series of orders, as modified recently, into one order. As Kevin Bacon's character in Animal House said, "Remain calm."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 10:22:00 AM  

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