December 12th, 2017

City ready to sell Ranchlands parcel

By Collin Gallant on December 6, 2017.

Medicine Hat News

The city is ready to sell more land in Ranchlands, and at a deep discount over its advertised rate, though officials say the reduction comes from a new appraisal that hadn’t yet been applied to the listing.

Council heard Monday night that the land department and a private developer in the city have come to terms on 261 Ranchlands Blvd. — a half-acre parcel designated for multi-family development.

Individual sales don’t come to council for approval unless the selling price varies more than 10 per cent from the listing price.

In this case the conditional sale price in $256,000, about 20 per cent less than the advertised rate of $320,000.

Development commissioner Stan Schwartzenberger told the News that two years ago the land department engaged a third-party appraiser to update pricing on its inventory.

“We check the prices in the market to determine if they’ve changed and are still realistic,” he said.

In this case, there was no formal price change on the Ranchlands Boulevard lot, but an offer “came in pretty close,” he said.

The developer, Lorne Taylor, says his bid takes into account his costs for servicing the bareland plot that sits above the future Ranchlands 3C phase.

The plan is to subdivide the land then build a trio of four-plexes and individual units will be sold as condominium units.

“If we’re gonna do it, we’ll be in the ground in June at the latest,” he said. “They’re basically townhouses that aren’t all joined. They’re bigger, fancy buildings.”

Sale conditions require development permits be in place by the end of March, 2018, and there is an 18-month buy-back clause for the city if development doesn’t proceed.

New multi-unit residential buildings would be in a townhouse-style, said Taylor, that will fit in to the neighborhood. They will mimic the style of several his firm is building further down the street.

Taylor’s company, Medicine Hat Feeding Co. (1969), is the legal purchaser. He said it is only connected to the stockyards of the same name due to the family connection. The “1969” iteration of the company serves as his residential development company.

For the city it’s the second site sale that’s gone to council in a month.

In November, the city’s department announced a conditional deal for long-vacant commercial parcel in the vicinity. If that $800,000 deal closes by a summer deadline, Calgary-based developer Genco plans to build a neighbourhood commercial building on the 4-acre site at 21 Ranchlands Blvd.

The land department has said it will entertain offers of bulk land sales to development companies for the next phase of Ranchlands, which could see land clearing in 2018.

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