A Drop-Dead Time Frame

Oh my goodness, how the biting-cold was creeping into every crack and crevice early this morning, and truth be told, my vehicle didn’t get fully warmed-up before I arrived at office, but on the positive side, the wind wasn’t blowing as hard as yesterday.

Once I got my office chores completed, I headed to the computer to see if there was any interesting news for the day, and since I don’t subscribe to the Globe Gazette, I can usually glean thru their headlines online, and go elsewhere to get the rest of the scoop.

What had my interest piqued, was the headlines regarding 43 North Iowa’s purchase of the old Globe Gazette building which is located just across the street from Cerro Gordo County Courthouse. Just as I was digging a little further for information, my dear friend sent me a message about it, so I picked up the phone and called her, just to have her give me a short version of what that article contained, and by the way, 43 North Iowa, Affordables and North Iowa Vocational Center is one in same non-profit entity.

First of all, the investor who purchased it from the Globe Gazette about a year and a half ago, paid $300K for it, lock stock and barrel, so it’ll be interesting to see what type of premium the non-profit agreed to pay this time around. Irregardless of the price paid, I simply can’t get my brain wrapped around the idea of taking a commercial building like the Globe Gazette, and turning it into housing, and only because of the major expense there’d be with the tear-out, re-designing and subsequent build-out of high-density residential units. I would’ve thought it would be more economical to just go out and buy a piece of land and build new. I don’t even want to think about how many millions of dollars will be spent to make that happen.

Now we come to the location of that building. Ok, it’s on the edge of our Historic Downtown, located on a busy highway, and across the street from a courthouse which is busy five days a week. Then we come to outdoor privacy which there is nearly none because what little open area that’s left on that site, is mostly taken up by two parking lots, and the only “green” area, is facing the highway. Then we have the multi-family conversions which are across the alley west of the building, which are begging to be either fully-restored, or returned to the earth.

After the heated debate I had with my dear friend, I hung up the phone and then began thinking about that building which is currently assessed at $555K, will be one more non-profit building that’ll soon be removed from our tax roles, which gives all of us cause to bristle, because whether we want to admit it or not, whatever taxable property that goes off our City’s tax roles, all the rest of us who’re fully taxable, will be making up the difference with our City’s and County’s yearly budgets. Yes, it makes a person wanna go out and spit three times over.

Now don’t get me wrong, because I’m completely all for helping those in need, but if I were the one who was making the calls on what should and shouldn’t be done to help such people, I’d be looking for every possible way to save on our tax-payers’ dollars going into such expansions. After having received three phone calls at my office today from various people who wanted to share their opinions on that purchase, I’d say all four of us were in full agreement. All I can say, is it’s gonna be very interesting to see how much they paid for it, and in the end, how much additional money went into getting it converted into high-density housing units.

It seems not a month goes by where there’s yet one more bit of jaw-dropping news hits the headlines. The question one of my callers asked, was in regards to that IEDA grant that was given to help fund the River City Renaissance project, and if I’m not mistaken, there was supposed to be a drop-dead time frame where if the project wasn’t completed, those monies would go back to the State and be used for other State projects. Knowing how long David Rachie’s been dilly-dallying around for years with his follies, why has IEDA not pulled the plug on their funding? What gives?

For the first time in many months, I darkened the doors of Habitat for Humanity, and only because I was on a desperate search for one set of mid-century cabinet hinges I was needing for my soon to be finished project. After searching endlessly online for a set, I decided to go over to Habitat, and wouldn’t you know, after digging thru at least ten boxes of cabinet hardware, I found the set I was looking for, and what was the most surprising, there being only two of them in all those boxes. Now that was a find, because I dreaded having to change out all those other hinges, just to make sure they were all matching.

I paid the manager a compliment by saying, “I’m glad to see you’re getting your store more organized, so hopefully this summer, I’ll be gifting some things for you to sell.” I do appreciate having that store in our City, because it helps to fill a gap where a person can go to pick up various used items on the cheap, instead of having to pay double or triple for the same thing online. One surprising thing I found out today, was nearly all their vintage door hardware gets sold soon after it arrives, which makes me wonder if someone is buying it, and re-selling it online, because those vintage door components are pricy when you go online, along with the amount of shipping you have to pay.

There were several inquiries on listings today, and it looks like I’ll be setting up showings for the middle of this month. Sounds like there’s another couple looking to re-locate to our area, but this time around, they’ll be looking strictly at the acreages.

Tonight’s One-liner is: The urge to save humanity, is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.

Joe Chodur

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