Flexing legal muscles pumps up land prices for transit project

  • Article by: PAT DOYLE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 31, 2011 - 3:17 PM
  • 71
  • Comments

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spendmoreOct. 30, 11 8:46 PM

lets see, the project will cost more than planned, the government tried to low ball offers to land owners, and all for a project that will never pay for itself. Classic. Glad government doesn't get involved in more.

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SupervonOct. 30, 11 8:57 PM

Another shining example of why government always costs more that they claim it's going to cost. No matter what it is-people always treat the government like a blank check. If this had been a private company building this it would have cost boatloads less.

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jtriceOct. 30, 11 9:00 PM

If a business sticks it out for years in a tough neighborhood, then light rail comes along and needs their property, that business should be paid the value of the property "after" light rail is finished. It's only fair. The neighboring buildings that remain get to benefit from the value increase.

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maddawgOct. 30, 11 9:17 PM

Yep, government is about to ruin my property value in Saint Louis Park by diverting freight rail to the low/slow switch rails next to my house. I am sure that if they take my property I will get full tax assessed value. Not.

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jbpaperOct. 30, 11 9:22 PM

What were these lots/buildings valued at for property tax purposes?

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mnmonkeyboyOct. 30, 11 9:50 PM

My property values have skyrocketed because I am 3 blocks from LRT...I have no complaints.

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liberaleliteOct. 30, 11 9:53 PM

madding you should have complained 10 years ago when the City of St. Louis Park and MnDOT agreed to that plan. Also the "low/slow switch rails" you cite are actually the Minneapolis Northfield & Southern mainline which has existed since 1918.

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liberaleliteOct. 30, 11 9:55 PM

Hey at least it's better than the alternative. Look at what happened back in the 1950s/60s when MnDOT was planning freeway corridors. They LEVELED Rondo Ave in St. Paul because it was easier to take hundreds of residential houses from people with no economic power compared to the effort it would have taken them to work with the BN Railroad for freeway ROW along the industrial corridor.

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liberaleliteOct. 30, 1110:06 PM

If government is paying more for condemned land, then it reasons we should be building MORE light rail and LESS freeways. Two tracks with overhead caternary takes 25' of ROW, and 35W through S. Mpls takes up 250'. Rail can also be scaled to move more people on the same rail with the same operating costs, unlike roadways. Roads get clogged far too easily and unclogged roads just create additional demand for that roadway. So LRT is a bargain compared to wasting our money on freeway corridors that destroy entire neighborhoods and need rebuilding every 30 years.

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ekholmOct. 30, 1110:20 PM

Another fine example of our state taking the fast track to light rail. The Hiawatha light rail project was approved at a cost of $400 million. When completed, it had a price tag over $715 million. Just think what this thing will end up costing - and its up to the state and local gov't to fill in the extra cash, the federal money only gets to come in when the project starts.

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