Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Theater buys 215 Main St.

At the December 16 City Council meeting the sole bid for 215 Main Street was opened, and the purchase of 215 Main Street was awarded to the operating group of Classic Cinemas for its bid of $178,400. This will allow its desired expansion of the Woodstock movie theater.

During the open comment period one resident voiced concern about the sale of the property to the theater group, saying that acceptance of the bid was "tacit approval" of the theater’s expansion plans. He commented further that three-quarters of the block would be owned by one business entity and, if they went out of business in ten years, Woodstock would have a large white elephant right downtown.

This man, and others who spoke last night, are to be commended for their interest and concerns about the security and future of our City and for their willingness to approach the City Council and speak up.

City Council member RB Thompson asked about the assessed valuation of the property that was to be sold and whether staff had compared the bid with amount of the bid.

The one-word answer, “Yes”, was totally inadequate for the audience but apparently satisfied RB, because he did not ask the further and obvious question as to just what the assessed valuation was. So we were left wondering whether the bid was somewhat close to Fair Market Value (which might not be anywhere close to the appraised value) or above or below Fair Market Value and by what amount.

The property is not found on the McHenry County Treasurer’s rolls, probably because it is owned by the City of Woodstock and not taxable. As soon as the assessed valuation (and any other valuation) is found, I’ll report it below.

Watch for a Comment below or a future article about the value of the property.

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