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Thread: The Arlington | Discussion

  1. #1001

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    ^Other problem with recreating original building is it doesn't have retail CRU's. I'd much rather see active uses at grade.
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    There is a rendering out there, anyone happen to have it and able to share it with permission?
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    https://twitter.com/estolte/status/1159235783779336192

    Elise Stolte @estolte
    What are the most annoying long-term vacant properties you know? Mine is still the Arlington Apartments. Such a dump, such a prime location. So little respect for anyone around. Question - If you ran the city, is there anything you would do about it?
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    Very much agreed. The family that owns that land should be ashamed of themselves. Deplorable and selfish citizenship in every respect. There is no excuse for leaving it in the state it has been left. Sell it, develop it, or clean it the hell up.

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    They should be ashamed but obviously they are not so unfortunately this property will stay like that for a long long time.

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    Wasn't the Arlington one of the first apartment buildings or something like that in Edmonton? Its a shame such land sits in the state its currently in. I'd rather see an lmPark site there insstead of what's there now FFS.
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  7. #1007

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    Vacant lots should be taxed as if they had the maximum density allowed built on them.

  8. #1008

  9. #1009

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    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    Vacant lots should be taxed as if they had the maximum density allowed built on them.
    Agreed 100% This would solve issues like all the vacant lots behind BPs. Bunch of greedy land owners waiting for land values to rise due to improvements adjacent to them for decades, or hoping the city will buy them out for a 51 million dollar park.

  10. #1010

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    Torches and pitchforks, anyone?
    I am in no way entitled to your opinion...

  11. #1011

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    nah, how about just what kkozoriz proposes?

  12. #1012

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    Vacant lots should be taxed as if they had the maximum density allowed built on them.
    Agreed 100% This would solve issues like all the vacant lots behind BPs. Bunch of greedy land owners waiting for land values to rise due to improvements adjacent to them for decades, or hoping the city will buy them out for a 51 million dollar park.

    or a NHL arena...


    I agree and I have posted before on this thread and others, that cities like Houston was surrounded by surface parking lots because the tax rates were low on underdeveloped land and ripe for speculators adjacent to the city core. Much of the land was owned by huge corporations who could wait decades, the parking revenue offsetting the taxes, and then cash in on rezoned lands.



    The only way to combat it is to increase the tax rates that make the long term speculation uneconomical.
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    I think having a small park (like the Frank Oliver Park) might work.
    "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.

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    No park here please and thank you. McKay and the new central will serve it well, as will the micro park a block west on the former Il Portico.

    The developer's plan is for a 31 storey mixed use. Last I heard, CRUs on main, a suite hotel and life-lease above....mind you, that was over a year ago now.
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  15. #1015

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    Does anyone really believe the landowner is going to do anything with this property? Honestly? It's going to be an up-zone and flip, or just wait for other improvements to adjacent lands, and then flip.

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    Kota Contracting met with Councillor McKeen, the DBA, DECL to discuss a potential development.
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  17. #1017

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    That's nice. I met with someone too. Doesn't mean anything is going to happen. It's been in its horrible state now since 2006?


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    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    Vacant lots should be taxed as if they had the maximum density allowed built on them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    Vacant lots should be taxed as if they had the maximum density allowed built on them.
    Agreed 100% This would solve issues like all the vacant lots behind BPs. Bunch of greedy land owners waiting for land values to rise due to improvements adjacent to them for decades, or hoping the city will buy them out for a 51 million dollar park.
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    Vacant lots should be taxed as if they had the maximum density allowed built on them.
    Agreed 100% This would solve issues like all the vacant lots behind BPs. Bunch of greedy land owners waiting for land values to rise due to improvements adjacent to them for decades, or hoping the city will buy them out for a 51 million dollar park.

    or a NHL arena...


    I agree and I have posted before on this thread and others, that cities like Houston was surrounded by surface parking lots because the tax rates were low on underdeveloped land and ripe for speculators adjacent to the city core. Much of the land was owned by huge corporations who could wait decades, the parking revenue offsetting the taxes, and then cash in on rezoned lands.



    The only way to combat it is to increase the tax rates that make the long term speculation uneconomical.
    the three of you are starting to sound like moahunter...

    so let me pose the question once again - how would raising the taxes spur development when there is insufficient economic demand for the end product you envisage regardless of the density and higher taxes in the interim will only increase costs and make development more unlikely, not less?

    one of two things will happen if you raise the taxes - either they will get paid or they won't.

    if they get paid the status quo remains the same.

    if they don't get paid the status quo also remains the same other than at some point in time the city can foreclose.

    if the city forecloses, not only will no property taxes be paid - or even accrued - the city will now be responsible for maintenance and liability and the status quo remains the same.

    because surely you're not expecting the city to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to develop all of those sites are you?
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  19. #1019

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    Are you the guy in the video that Medwards posted???
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  20. #1020

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    obviously the idea needs a bit of work, but having unimproved lots sit like this for decades isn't the solution. Having the city buy them out to turn them into parks isn't my idea of best use of taxpayer money, so what do you propose? It's great the you want to poo-poo the idea, but please propose another solution? Because surely, you will agree that the status quo isn't ideal with these vacant lots on prime downtown real estate... And waiting for the 'right market' may never occur. Some of these lots (like the ones that are now becoming 'Central Park') have sat unimproved for decades. There used to be something there. It was torn down, and now we have parking lots right on Jasper Avenue. How embarrassing. The lots aren't even taken care off. Broken cement surfaces that were just carried over from when they were the subfloor from the previous buildings they were. Burnt down buildings that force the city to force the owner to do something, which in turn, does the absolute bare minimum. How long was the Arlington a hole in the ground and now its just fenced off? Sidewalks adjoined to these properties are neglected in the winter, and rarely cared for during the summer.... These empty spaces feel uninviting and can be unnerving at night. In our efforts to make downtown feel safe for everyone, doing something with these vacant lots will go along way to improving the safety feeling downtown...

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    Quote Originally Posted by IanO View Post
    No park here please and thank you. McKay and the new central will serve it well, as will the micro park a block west on the former Il Portico.

    The developer's plan is for a 31 storey mixed use. Last I heard, CRUs on main, a suite hotel and life-lease above....mind you, that was over a year ago now.
    Anything would be an improvement but kkozoriz has the right idea here. Brown sites like the Arlington ought to be taxed to put pressure on these s!!t head land owners that hold my city hostage for decades. They have no pride in my beautiful city. Thank God for this current city council that has at least has the balls to do something with these surface parking lots like Alex Decoteau Park. I'm an old guy (went for seconds at the last supper) I hope to God to see something happen with the BP lands on Jasper Ave/Arlington before I leave here. In other words tax these mother f------!
    Mom said I should not talk to cretins!

  22. #1022

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    ^^^In response in Red

    one of two things will happen if you raise the taxes - either they will get paid or they won't. It is not an either or argument

    if they get paid the status quo remains the same. The COE gains from increased revenue

    if they don't get paid the status quo also remains the same other than at some point in time the city can foreclose. Most land holding corporations will continue to pay the taxes to prevent the loss of the initial investment.

    if the city forecloses, not only will no property taxes be paid - or even accrued - the city will now be responsible for maintenance and liability and the status quo remains the same. The COE then can profit.

    because surely you're not expecting the city to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to develop all of those sites are you? The COE sells the property and the new owner either pays the higher taxes or develops the property. WIN! WIN!

    Allowing land to stagnate, only benefits the land speculator. It increases urban sprawl and often lowers the value of nearby developed properties, I believe that if the land sits idle for more than 2 years, the taxes should progressively increase that either encourages the land owner to develop the property or sell the property to avoid the increased costs of owning the property.

    kcantor, I am disappointed with your false dilemma argument, you know better than setting out a red herring.

    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 08-08-2019 at 11:32 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Are you the guy in the video that Medwards posted???
    no, i'm the "next door/across the street developer" that's actually doing something.

    but you already knew that (and knew that there is a difference between speculators and developers) while choosing to avoid answering the question entirely didn't you...
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  24. #1024

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    Read on, I did rebuke your false dilemma argument
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    obviously the idea needs a bit of work, but having unimproved lots sit like this for decades isn't the solution. Having the city buy them out to turn them into parks isn't my idea of best use of taxpayer money, so what do you propose? It's great the you want to poo-poo the idea, but please propose another solution? Because surely, you will agree that the status quo isn't ideal with these vacant lots on prime downtown real estate... And waiting for the 'right market' may never occur. Some of these lots (like the ones that are now becoming 'Central Park') have sat unimproved for decades. There used to be something there. It was torn down, and now we have parking lots right on Jasper Avenue. How embarrassing. The lots aren't even taken care off. Broken cement surfaces that were just carried over from when they were the subfloor from the previous buildings they were. Burnt down buildings that force the city to force the owner to do something, which in turn, does the absolute bare minimum. How long was the Arlington a hole in the ground and now its just fenced off? Sidewalks adjoined to these properties are neglected in the winter, and rarely cared for during the summer.... These empty spaces feel uninviting and can be unnerving at night. In our efforts to make downtown feel safe for everyone, doing something with these vacant lots will go along way to improving the safety feeling downtown...
    so what do i propose? the same thing i've proposed for a long time.

    the issue isn't whether the lots are developed or not, the issue - as you correctly identify - is the use and condition in which they exist until such time as development occurs.

    1. create a new zoning that is called - for lack of better description - public/private park.
    2. set a minimum standard for park development and access and maintenance for that zoning to be applied and maintained.
    3. provide an abatement of property taxes (not a surcharge) for those lots that obtain and maintain that zoning - maybe not a full abatement but one that would provide sufficient incentive to address the issue you correctly identified.

    several things will happen if this were to take place (and it would happen equally effectively for vacant lots and derelict buildings anywhere in the city, not just downtown).

    1. the immediately surrounding areas will be more attractive and more valuable, offsetting the reduction in property taxes from the abatements.
    2. those lots that are converted to park from parking will displace those using the parking. in turn, they will be forced to rent stall elsewhere driving up the cost of that parking (particularly where it is downtown and underground) which will cause two things to happen - the price of that parking will rise which will also increase values and property taxes as a result while some of those attracted by the cheap parking will convert to using transit (also a net plus for the city).
    3. the city should see a reduction in maintenance costs for cleaning streets adjacent to these parcels (most of which aren't actually paved) while neighbors should see a reduction in airborn dirt and dust.

    until such time as they do get developed - with the amenities provided by new development - these lots would effectively become interim amenity space for the communities they're located in.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  26. #1026

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    i can get onboard with that. i may have missed it if you previously posted it before

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    ^^^^^

    ^^^In response in Red IN CAPS

    one of two things will happen if you raise the taxes - either they will getpaid or they won't.
    It is not an either or argument
    YES, IT IS AN EITHER/OR ARGUMENT. YOU’RE SAYING HIGHER TAXES WILL MAGICALLYRESULT IN MORE/FASTER DEVELOPMENT.

    if they get paid the status quo remains the same.
    The COE gains from increased revenue
    WHICH ISN’T REALLY THE ISSUE IS IT. UNLESS YOU’RE TAKING THE POSITION THAT THECONDITION/USE OF THOSE LOTS IS REALLY JUST FINE AFTER ALL IF ONLY THEY PAYENOUGH IN TAXES?

    if they don't get paid the status quo also remains the same other than at somepoint in time the city can foreclose.
    Most land holding corporations will continue to pay the taxes toprevent the loss of the initial investment.
    SO – AS NOTED ABOVE – HOW DOES THAT CHANGE THE STATUS QUOOF THOSE PROBLEM PROPERTIES/LOTS?

    if the city forecloses, not only will no property taxes be paid - or evenaccrued - the city will now be responsible for maintenance and liability andthe status quo remains the same.
    The COE then can profit.
    HOW CAN THE CITY PROFIT IF THERE ARE NODEVELOPERS LOOKING TO DEVELOP THOSE PARCELS IN THE FIRST PLACE? OR ARE YOU SAYING THERE ARE DEVELOPERSPREPARED TO PURCHASE FROM THE CITY THAT SOMEHOW AREN’T PREPARED TO PURCHASETHEM FROM THE EXISTING OWNERS? OBVIOUSLYYOU’VE NEVER TRIED TO ACQUIRE A PROPERTY FROM THE CITY. ��

    because surely you're not expecting the city to spend hundreds of millions oftaxpayer dollars to develop all of those sites are you?
    The COE sells theproperty and the new owner either pays the higher taxes or develops theproperty. WIN! WIN!
    IF THE NEW OWNER DOESN’T DEVELOP BUT JUSTPAYS THE HIGHER TAXES WHILE THE ISSUE IS THE CONDITION AND USE OF THOSEPROPERTIES, HOW IS THAT A WIN? AND – PERMY PREVIOUS COMMENT – WHERE DO YOU THINK SOME MAGICAL DEVELOPER WILLMATERIALIZE FROM WHO IS PREPARED TO BUY FROM THE CITY BUT NOT THE CURRENTOWNER?

    Allowing land to stagnate,only benefits the land speculator. It increases urban sprawl and often lowersthe value of nearby developed properties, I believe that if the land sits idlefor more than 2 years, the taxes should progressively increase that eitherencourages the land owner to develop the property or sell the property to avoidthe increased costs of owning the property.
    IF THE OWNER IS NOTPREPARED OR ABLE TO DEVELOP WITH HIS CURRENT COST BASE (EITHER THROUGH LACK OFFUNDS OR THROUGH LACK OF DEMAND FOR THE END PRODUCT) HOW WILL SIMPLY INCREASINGHIS COST BASE MAKE DEVELOPMENT MORE ATTRACTIVE?

    kcantor, I am disappointed with your false dilemma argument, youknow better than setting out a red herring.
    I SET OUT NO RED HERRING. I SIMPLY POINTED OUT THAT YOURASSUMPTIONS REGARDING WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN IF TAXES WERE SIMPLY RAISED HIGH ENOUGHWERE WRONG WHEN YOU POSITED OTHERWISE. AND THEY’RE STILL WRONG.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Read on, I did rebuke your false dilemma argument
    you disagreed with my argument, you neither rebuked it or demonstrated it as false.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  29. #1029

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    obviously the idea needs a bit of work, but having unimproved lots sit like this for decades isn't the solution. Having the city buy them out to turn them into parks isn't my idea of best use of taxpayer money, so what do you propose? It's great the you want to poo-poo the idea, but please propose another solution? Because surely, you will agree that the status quo isn't ideal with these vacant lots on prime downtown real estate... And waiting for the 'right market' may never occur. Some of these lots (like the ones that are now becoming 'Central Park') have sat unimproved for decades. There used to be something there. It was torn down, and now we have parking lots right on Jasper Avenue. How embarrassing. The lots aren't even taken care off. Broken cement surfaces that were just carried over from when they were the subfloor from the previous buildings they were. Burnt down buildings that force the city to force the owner to do something, which in turn, does the absolute bare minimum. How long was the Arlington a hole in the ground and now its just fenced off? Sidewalks adjoined to these properties are neglected in the winter, and rarely cared for during the summer.... These empty spaces feel uninviting and can be unnerving at night. In our efforts to make downtown feel safe for everyone, doing something with these vacant lots will go along way to improving the safety feeling downtown...
    so what do i propose? the same thing i've proposed for a long time.

    the issue isn't whether the lots are developed or not, the issue - as you correctly identify - is the use and condition in which they exist until such time as development occurs.

    1. create a new zoning that is called - for lack of better description - public/private park.
    2. set a minimum standard for park development and access and maintenance for that zoning to be applied and maintained.
    3. provide an abatement of property taxes (not a surcharge) for those lots that obtain and maintain that zoning - maybe not a full abatement but one that would provide sufficient incentive to address the issue you correctly identified.

    several things will happen if this were to take place (and it would happen equally effectively for vacant lots and derelict buildings anywhere in the city, not just downtown).

    1. the immediately surrounding areas will be more attractive and more valuable, offsetting the reduction in property taxes from the abatements.
    2. those lots that are converted to park from parking will displace those using the parking. in turn, they will be forced to rent stall elsewhere driving up the cost of that parking (particularly where it is downtown and underground) which will cause two things to happen - the price of that parking will rise which will also increase values and property taxes as a result while some of those attracted by the cheap parking will convert to using transit (also a net plus for the city).
    3. the city should see a reduction in maintenance costs for cleaning streets adjacent to these parcels (most of which aren't actually paved) while neighbors should see a reduction in airborn dirt and dust.

    until such time as they do get developed - with the amenities provided by new development - these lots would effectively become interim amenity space for the communities they're located in.
    I could get on board with that. As for abatement, allow them to deduct normal maintenance (mowing, repair to lights, etc) from the taxes owing. You're found to be letting it go to seed, you lose you tax abatement for the year.

    You could even turn it into a public/private plaza for food trucks, etc.

    But simply letting them sit there as gravel parking lots, or whatever is unacceptable. Heck, put up a temporary building for office space for a non-profit group as an example. Count that the same as a public/private park. Of course, the non-profits would have to move when development looms but they do now anyway. Not many non-profits in AA or AAA space.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    But simply letting them sit there as gravel parking lots, or whatever is unacceptable. Heck, put up a temporary building for office space for a non-profit group as an example. Count that the same as a public/private park. Of course, the non-profits would have to move when development looms but they do now anyway. Not many non-profits in AA or AAA space.
    What is your idea for temporary office space that would make financial sense? A bunch of oilfield surplus ATCO shacks lego'd together? I do like the idea though.

    I still am trying to understand why Council has not put far more stringent standards on surface gravel lots in the downtown core, because I cannot fathom they're able to walk by lots like the one adjacent to Boston Pizza on 106th and think "Yep, this is fine". Is it a problem of grandfathering in through old zoning laws? Unwillingness to make downtown parking more expensive? Incompetence?
    I will beat the dead horse back to life.

  31. #1031

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    Perhaps a repurposed shipping container or two. Maybe designed in a way that it could later be moved to a new location. Maybe something like this if it could be designed to come apart.

    Treat it somewhat like a CRL. Taxes paid on the property would go towards construction and upkeep. Non-profits could get free rent but pay utilities.



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    I've many, many years left to live, but I think when I die, there'll still be nothing but a hole in the ground and sidewalks not shoveled there.

    See my sig for how this unholy mess leaves me feeling ...
    ... gobsmacked

  33. #1033

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    Shipping container apartment

    Imagine if we had this for the last 10 years as a stopgap measure until the permanent building was built.



    Homes built from containers like these in Le Havre, France, might be a short-term housing solution for low-income families

    https://coconuts.co/hongkong/news/sh...e-hongkongers/
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 08-08-2019 at 06:40 PM.
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  34. #1034

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    I won't use all caps as a form of yelling as you have done. My responses in purple

    It is not only vacant land but also surface parking lots, especially those that are unpaved, or boarded up houses and other derelict properties like the Arlington.

    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    ^^^^^

    ^^^In response in Red IN CAPS

    one of two things will happen if you raise the taxes - either they will getpaid or they won't.
    It is not an either or argument
    YES, IT IS AN EITHER/OR ARGUMENT. YOU’RE SAYING HIGHER TAXES WILL MAGICALLYRESULT IN MORE/FASTER DEVELOPMENT. That is not what I said. It may just result in more revenue for underutilized land. It may also may encourage land owners to decide not to wait to speculate on land values. It is very seldom that land speculators just stop paying their taxes and allow foreclosure because they lose all their investment. Speculators that have very little capital, are not likely to develop a property and instead will sell to another developer.

    if they get paid the status quo remains the same.
    The COE gains from increased revenue
    WHICH ISN’T REALLY THE ISSUE IS IT. UNLESS YOU’RE TAKING THE POSITION THAT THECONDITION/USE OF THOSE LOTS IS REALLY JUST FINE AFTER ALL IF ONLY THEY PAYENOUGH IN TAXES? Are you arguing that instead of getting $10,000/year in taxes for an empty lot that the COE is not gaining, if it gets $25,000/year for the same property?

    if they don't get paid the status quo also remains the same other than at somepoint in time the city can foreclose.
    Most land holding corporations will continue to pay the taxes to prevent the loss of the initial investment.
    SO – AS NOTED ABOVE – HOW DOES THAT CHANGE THE STATUS QUOOF THOSE PROBLEM PROPERTIES/LOTS? Ever hear of avoided costs?

    if the city forecloses, not only will no property taxes be paid - or evenaccrued - the city will now be responsible for maintenance and liability andthe status quo remains the same.
    The COE then can profit.
    HOW CAN THE CITY PROFIT IF THERE ARE NODEVELOPERS LOOKING TO DEVELOP THOSE PARCELS IN THE FIRST PLACE? OR ARE YOU SAYING THERE ARE DEVELOPERSPREPARED TO PURCHASE FROM THE CITY THAT SOMEHOW AREN’T PREPARED TO PURCHASETHEM FROM THE EXISTING OWNERS? OBVIOUSLYYOU’VE NEVER TRIED TO ACQUIRE A PROPERTY FROM THE CITY. �� Wrong, I have acquired brownfield industrial business property from the COE and built a factory/warehouse. If the COE forecloses on land, it is more motivated to sell the land to a developer than the original land speculator was.

    because surely you're not expecting the city to spend hundreds of millions oftaxpayer dollars to develop all of those sites are you?
    The COE sells the property and the new owner either pays the higher taxes or develops the property. WIN! WIN!
    IF THE NEW OWNER DOESN’T DEVELOP BUT JUSTPAYS THE HIGHER TAXES WHILE THE ISSUE IS THE CONDITION AND USE OF THOSEPROPERTIES, HOW IS THAT A WIN? AND – PERMY PREVIOUS COMMENT – WHERE DO YOU THINK SOME MAGICAL DEVELOPER WILLMATERIALIZE FROM WHO IS PREPARED TO BUY FROM THE CITY BUT NOT THE CURRENTOWNER? Higher tax revenue is not a good thing???

    Allowing land to stagnate,only benefits the land speculator. It increases urban sprawl and often lowersthe value of nearby developed properties, I believe that if the land sits idlefor more than 2 years, the taxes should progressively increase that eitherencourages the land owner to develop the property or sell the property to avoidthe increased costs of owning the property.
    IF THE OWNER IS NOTPREPARED OR ABLE TO DEVELOP WITH HIS CURRENT COST BASE (EITHER THROUGH LACK OFFUNDS OR THROUGH LACK OF DEMAND FOR THE END PRODUCT) HOW WILL SIMPLY INCREASINGHIS COST BASE MAKE DEVELOPMENT MORE ATTRACTIVE? Either **** or get off the pot....

    kcantor, I am disappointed with your false dilemma argument, youknow better than setting out a red herring.
    I SET OUT NO RED HERRING. I SIMPLY POINTED OUT THAT YOURASSUMPTIONS REGARDING WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN IF TAXES WERE SIMPLY RAISED HIGH ENOUGHWERE WRONG WHEN YOU POSITED OTHERWISE. AND THEY’RE STILL WRONG.
    Your assumption is that your assumptions are 100% correct. They are not.
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 08-08-2019 at 08:00 PM.
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    i did not use all caps "as a form of yelling", simply to differentiate between your multiple fonts and multiple colours and bolded text.

    the discussion was how to eliminate the problem of derelict sites and surface parking lots. you advocated a solution that would not successfully do that and now try to defend it by saying "but at least we would get higher taxes", blithely ignoring the fact that needing to raise higher taxes is not the issue.

    i offered a solution that would directly and immediately address the problem at hand.

    if my assumptions are not correct - and yours are - presumably you should have no issue providing at least one example of any municipal government that has been successful in accelerating new development activity simply by increasing property taxes.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  36. #1036

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    OK, if you don't like increases in taxes for underutilized land, how about incentives such as the wildly successful incentives that created railtown, on the west side of Downtown. Why not emulate that for of incentifying development?

    Here is what Houston did

    Making the Case forUrban Green Space inSoutheastern Downtown
    Urban Land Institute - Houston
    https://one.arch.tamu.edu/media/cms_...ULI_report.pdf
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    I don’t really have a problem with underutilized land as per the debates above. There should however, be better standards for the care and upkeep of these lots, perhaps minimum standards regarding how much greenspace per parking unit there is, minimum standards for artwork and decor, proper paving and maintenance of said blacktop, coupled with modest increases on the taxation of this land.

    The city is too cowboy on these matters in my opinion and part of it may be because of the vested real estate interests involved in municipal politics? I dunno.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    OK, if you don't like increases in taxes for underutilized land, how about incentives such as the wildly successful incentives that created railtown, on the west side of Downtown. Why not emulate that for of incentifying development?

    Here is what Houston did

    Making the Case forUrban Green Space inSoutheastern Downtown
    Urban Land Institute - Houston
    https://one.arch.tamu.edu/media/cms_...ULI_report.pdf
    soooo... let me get this straight.

    when asked for at least one example of any municipal government that has been successful in accelerating new development activity simply by increasing property taxes, you reference a successful local incentive program and a case study for an incentive program from houston.

    neither of which support your position and both of which are analogous to mine in that they incentivize a desired outcome.

    have i got that right?
    Last edited by kcantor; 08-08-2019 at 10:12 PM.
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  39. #1039

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    That was a report from Houston in 2013 on incentives to get underutilized land into better use. A decade earlier, Houston did increase the taxes on underutilized lands because it found that whenever the city increased taxes by a percentage, speculators paid only marginally more while developed lands paid a far higher net tax. For example if the taxes on a vacant lot were $10,000 and taxes went up 3%, the city only received $300 more. While on an apartment block on a piece of land of the same size might pay $200,000 in taxes, at 3% the city gains$6,000 more. Over time with equal tax increases, the spread of net returns for the city becomes greater and greater while the land becomes increasingly valuable. This is a disincentive to the speculator to sell quickly and instead sit on the land at marginal cost while waiting out the market for maximum returns. Houston took steps to increase taxes on underutilized lands and make land speculation less attractive.

    My only mistake was wrongly stating the 'only' way to combat it is to increase the tax rates that make the long term speculation uneconomical. I should have said that it was one option, and there are multiple ways to encourage development and discourage land speculation.

    You must admit that your either-or statement was a fallacy argument as well and your claim that I had NEVER acquired land from the COE was entirely false.

    In the book, 'The High Cost of Free Parking' it talks about not only increasing public parking rates but also increasing tax on undeveloped surface parking lots.
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 09-08-2019 at 06:25 AM.
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    ^

    sooo... your only mistake was being wrong in what you posted (and so vehemently attempted to defend).

    see? we actually can agree on some things after all.
    Last edited by kcantor; 09-08-2019 at 08:58 AM.
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  41. #1041

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    You assume (speculate) too much and of course, you cannot admit your wrongful assertions Your views appear to be biased that the land holder has inalienable rights and zero responsibility except to pay the least possible tax.

    I have read several articles about how property tax increases can discourage land speculation in print publications but that was years ago so I don't have sources to give to you as per your immediate demands. Meanwhile, a quick search on taxation of underutilized lands expound on the video that Medwards posted and I postedl some more sources for your edification. My search reminded me of the name of one of the founders of land reform (Henry George) and his belief that the holding of lands by rich and powerful property owners often prevented those lands from being used for the public good in either function and/or tax revenue.

    A competing view sees the property tax as a tax on capital that results in distortions in thehousing market and in local fiscal decisions (Zodrow, 2001). The property tax (based on the
    market value of land and improvements) discourages building and results in the underutilization
    of land. The amount of capital per unit of land is less than what is economically efficient. Both
    the benefit-based and capital tax approach have some validity. The property tax is not purely a
    benefits tax because homeowners who improve their houses will face higher taxes and will
    therefore be discouraged from doing so. At the same time, the benefits of local programs are
    reflected in local property values.3
    Another reason that the property tax is regarded as a good tax for local governments is that
    property is immovable – it is unable to shift location in response to the tax and it cannot be
    hidden. Even the owner of a vacant property is taxed under the property tax. These
    characteristics make it difficult to evade. Although a change in property tax may be capitalized
    into property values in a particular community, and in the long run tax differentials may affect
    where people locate, these effects are smaller than the distortions created by income and sales
    taxes at the local level. This characteristic of the property tax makes it somewhat easier to levy
    and collect than other taxes and thus provides the potential to raise significant revenues.

    The Property Tax … in Theory and Practice
    https://munkschool.utoronto.ca/imfg/...rwithlogos.pdf
    More, and confirming my previous post

    Fairness is not achieved when property assessments are merely increased by a common factor onan annual basis and the lack of regular revaluations undermines the confidence of taxpayers in
    the property tax system.
    https://munkschool.utoronto.ca/imfg/...rwithlogos.pdf

    Now here is a very good example that proves my point that increasing property taxes on vacant and underutilized land is a real disincentive to land speculators

    Land Value Tax
    A positive relationship of LVT and market efficiency is predicted by economic theory and has been observed in practice.[17] Fred Foldvary stated that the tax encourages landowners to develop vacant/underused land or to sell it. He claimed that because LVT deters speculative land holding, dilapidated inner city areas return to productive use, reducing the pressure to build on undeveloped sites and so reducing urban sprawl.[18] For example, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in the United States has taxed land at a rate six times that on improvements since 1975. This policy was credited by mayor Stephen R. Reed with reducing the number of vacant structures in downtown Harrisburg from around 4,200 in 1982 to fewer than 500.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_value_tax

    and

    Speculation
    The owner of a vacant lot in a thriving city must still pay a tax and would rationally perceive the property as a financial liability, encouraging him/her to put the land to use in order to cover the tax. LVT removes financial incentives to hold unused land solely for price appreciation, making more land available for productive uses. Land value tax creates an incentive to convert these sites to more intensive private uses or into public purposes.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_value_tax

    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    if my assumptions are not correct - and yours are - presumably you should have no issue providing at least one example of any municipal government that has been successful in accelerating new development activity simply by increasing property taxes.
    Here is one example


    It’s believed that the traditional property tax taxing both the land and the building the same discourages the land owners to invest in the development of the land or the construction on it. As the higher value of the buildings / improvements, the higher tax you will need to pay to keep them. You may just want to leave your old house as it is because you will be penalized by renovating / improving it (higher value, higher tax to pay). Likewise, such a property tax discourages vertical development and inevitably encourages urban sprawl. Land supply is limited, therefore the use of each unit of land should be maximized. With the two-tier tax rate policy, it is aiming for city revitalization by incentivizing urban renewal and curbing urban sprawl, specifically as the follows according to Reed[4]:

    The Purposes of the Policy

    • induce the highest and the best use of the land
    • reward the better use of the land
    • discourage land being left vacant or unused
    • encourage vertical and high rise development
    • discourage spread and preserve natural areas and open space areas such as parks, historic sites, etc.

    Historical Outcomes

    The effect of this tax policy has been noticeable since 1982 and it’s described by Reed, up to 2010[4]:

    • 4.8 billion worth of investments occurred
    • taxable properties went from $212 million to $1.6 billion
    • residential units sharply increased
    • vacant structures fell by 80%
    • crime rate dropped by 28%
    • thousands of new jobs were created
    https://blogs.ubc.ca/rosonluo/2013/0...cation-policy/



    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 09-08-2019 at 09:47 AM.
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  42. #1042

    Default

    Strong Towns: Property Tax vs. Land Value "Tax" (LVT)
    Published on Nov 18, 2015
    Chuck Marohn explains the difference between property tax and land value tax (georgism), why it makes sense, and the reason we do not use it more often.






    I highly doubt that the owners of the Arlington would have sat on their derelict property in a prime location if they had to pay a Land Value Tax.

    The Arlington before the fire, created more tax revenue, provided DT housing and benefited the public far more than after the fire.

    Allowing the owners to pay the lowest tax rate on underutilized land in the downtown core is the whole issue and a prime example of why a LVT is a good idea.
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 09-08-2019 at 10:09 AM.
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    ^ ^^

    you're doubling down again by conflating two things, overall property tax reform - which i have been supportive of in numerous threads - and some of the untoward consequences of the current system. the current system is a disincentive to additional and/or higher quality development because it is completely divorced from the level of services consumed and the cost of providing those services.

    in attempting to address that inequity and the consequences it imposes (and one in particular in this discussion) all of your examples (including those in your last two posts) involve introducing an element of fairness and of incentives into the property tax system.

    you, however, are continuing to equate disincentives with incentives in successfully achieving a particular income and as long as you continue to do so you will continue to be wrong (as your own examples continue to orobe)
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  44. #1044

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    No, I am not doubling down. My comments yesterday were done on my smart phone so I had limited ability to bolster my argument.

    Today I was able to give you an example of a successful tax reform that you don't even acknowledge. In fact you have provided zero sourced examples of how your suggestions have worked in other cities

    Since you indicate that you agree that we both support property tax reform that is a disincentive to land speculation and rewards those who develop or have developed their property, I do not see why you continue to split hairs and argue with me other than that you want beat the choir rather than edify them.

    Do you believe that Georgism has a workable economic theory?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    No, I am not doubling down. My comments yesterday were done on my smart phone so I had limited ability to bolster my argument.

    Today I was able to give you an example of a successful tax reform that you don't even acknowledge. In fact you have provided zero sourced examples of how your suggestions have worked in other cities

    Since you indicate that you agree that we both support property tax reform that is a disincentive to land speculation and rewards those who develop or have developed their property, I do not see why you continue to split hairs and argue with me other than that you want beat the choir rather than edify them.

    Do you believe that Georgism has a workable economic theory?
    yes, you are continuing to double down.

    the discussion was based on your assumption that you could achieve the development of otherwise vacant or underutilized properties simply by levying the disincentive of additional taxes on those properties.

    none of your examples - even today's - do that. your doubling down is in assuming or attributing all of the changes required to implement alternative tax systems as amounting to nothing more than additional taxes on vacant land. you conflate the incentive of not taxing development with the disincentive of levying additional taxes as if those are the same thing and you ignore the additional costs of providing more and higher service levels to those developed properties entirely. by your logic, the edmonton tower shouldn't be paying any more in property taxes than was paid when there was a staples store on the site while the owners of the heritage building where characters used to be should be paying just as much in property taxes as all of the residents in the fox tower combined.

    and, for what it's worth, i don't know that "land speculation" is really the issue that needs to be addressed and don't believe your projection of that on my positions or statements is any more accurate than some of other positions you have posited. the real issue here is the use and condition of the land until such time as it is more intensely developed. to illustrate that for you, this particular discussion is primarily about the arlington site albeit it has been extended to include gravel surface parking lots. so my question to you would be whether you think there would be the same concerns if the parcels under discussion were instead the publicly accessible although privately owned park spaces at the south east corners of jasper and 102 street or jasper and 100 street? melcor has owned one of those sites for decades and has tried - and continues to try - to develop it to its full potential for their own account. do you really think they've been "speculating" all this time simply because it remains undeveloped?

    the difference between my position and yours is far from "splitting hairs".

    is georgism a workable economic theory? in the context of this discussion i do not think so. georgism requires its implementation over an entire jurisdiction/tax system/regimen which needs to include income and other taxes as well as competitive jurisdictional entities within the overarching entity. it is not an option for a single municipal government within a larger overall regimen in isolation.
    Last edited by kcantor; 09-08-2019 at 01:06 PM.
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  46. #1046

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    All you provide is your opinion. I provided sourced studies and successful examples.

    OK kcantor, you win, collect your gold star at the door.


    I will repost Medwards excellent video link

    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    That's nice. I met with someone too. Doesn't mean anything is going to happen. It's been in its horrible state now since 2006?

    Arlington Apartments R.I.P.



    News coverage https://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=729345
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    All you provide is your opinion. I provided sourced studies and successful examples.

    ...
    all i provided was my opinion? in asking me what i believed, isn't that exactly what you asked me for?

    and, by the way, none of your "sourced studies and successful examples" actually support your position, leaving it to be nothing but your opinion. which you are entitled to continue to hold even though it's been - at least in my opinion - demonstrated as flawed.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  48. #1048

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    Your opinion is the only one that matters. Factual information I provided as per your demands simply does not matter to you.

    Give yourself a cookie.

    BTW

    How is that Arlington replacement coming along
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    the "arlington replacement" isn't the issue.

    the condition of the site in the interim is the issue.

    you made a proposal that, if implemented, would potentially (if not likely) take multiple years or even decades to actually change the condition of the site.

    i made a proposal that, if implemented, would potentially (if not likely) change the condition of the site virtually immediately.

    maybe we could let the neighbours vote on which proposal they would rather see implemented?
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  50. #1050

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    Your proposal is to create a new zoing. That takes a long time. Could be done quicker with a DC2

    Then the land owner plants some grass, big whoop and gets a tax break. Land sits for another 13 years.

    Or he says, I don't have money to make a park. I will leave it as is, and since I own the land, there is nothing you can do to force me to fix it up as long as I pay the minimal tax.

    Have another cookie kcantor


    Take a nap
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 09-08-2019 at 03:41 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Your proposal is to create a new zoing. That takes a long time. Could be done quicker with a DC2

    Then the land owner plants some grass, big whoop and gets a tax break. Land sits for another 13 years.

    Or he says, I don't have money to make a park. I will leave it as is, and since I own the land, there is nothing you can do to force me to fix it up as long as I pay the minimal tax.

    Have another cookie kcantor


    Take a nap
    yes, my proposal would require a new zoning, something which could be done in less time than a dc2 (which is also a new zoning) as there would be no vertical development to be dealt with, no sun shadows, no parking etc.

    furthermore, my proposal is totally within the purview of the city of edmonton.

    yours on the other hand would require the province to amend the municipal government to even allow the city to pursue it. any guesses as to how many decades that will take?
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  52. #1052

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    But what is the result. The land underutilized for another decade? Where is the buy in from the landholders if he does not want a DC2?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    But what is the result. The land underutilized for another decade? Where is the buy in from the landholders if he does not want a DC2?
    who said even a dc2 would be required for each individual parcel?

    there's no reason this couldn't be done with the existing zoning and administered similar to the city's façade improvement program. in terms of cost and timing, it would be even less expensive than administering the façade improvement project as every single one would only have to meet a single set of predetermined criteria.

    not only could the actual zoning for each parcel stay the same as it is now, this wouldn't preclude the ability of the landowner to change the zoning to accommodate future development when the time comes. in the interim, the city - and the public - get something like jasper and 102 or jasper and 100... or maybe even adding semi-permanent pads with power and water for food trucks or kiosks for additional animation (where the user would make their applications and secure their permits directly without even having to involve the landowner who could provide a blanket consent at the commencement of the program).

    as for your complaining that "the land would remain underutilized for another decade", (a) i'm not sure how you determined that and (b) you haven't proposed anything that could be implemented any quicker (if at all).
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  54. #1054

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    Still haven't answered what the buy-in is for land owner?

    A tax break when they already pay less for underutilized land?

    Isn't that compounding the problem?

    You are really calling the kettle black.

    You need a glass or warm milk and a long sleep to think of a better idea.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Still haven't answered what the buy-in is for land owner?

    A tax break when they already pay less for underutilized land?

    Isn't that compounding the problem?

    You are really calling the kettle black.

    You need a glass or warm milk and a long sleep to think of a better idea.
    yes, the buyin for the owner would likely be a reduction in taxes. the return would be (a) higher values and higher taxes from neighbouring properties and (b) the higher values from those neighbouring properties would increase the development potential of the vacant parcel and also return higher property taxes to the city and offset the abatement.

    if the site conditions are improved in the interim and development potential enhanced, isn't that the desired outcome?

    and if the outcome short, medium and longterm is the desired one, how is that describing the colour of a kettle?

    you need to move past your fixation on milk and cookies and good night's sleep for others and maybe partake of a wee dram or two to calm yourself down.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  56. #1056

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    Drinking an old fashioned bourbon thos evening after 2 hours of ballroom dancing classes.

    You want to reward an owner of a derelict property who shows no remorse on the condition of his property with tax incentives.

    Ok, got it, tax payer funded corporate welfare.

    Sounds like a Darrell Katz mini-me...
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    i guess it's pretty hard to see from where you are but if the arlington and the area around it could see the same kind if changes over the next 5 years as the arena crl saw in the last 5 years then i think most people would consider that to be a success.
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  58. #1058

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    Sooooo you have created an Arlington CRL?
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    i see the old fashioned bourbon last night didn't help with the clarity or understanding this morning.
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    Ah, Edmonton PRT, the master of the Gish Gallop: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gish_gallop

  61. #1061

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    Bullshi!T asymmetry principle...... describes PRT well.

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