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Councilman wants to revisit land deal

By Staff | Dec 6, 2011

Councilmember Kevin McGrail wants to re-examine a previous council decision that gave developer Dan Creighton what he called a sweetheart deal at one of the city’s most heavily traveled intersections.

The city entered into an agreement with Creighton, McGrail said, that allows the developer to hold on to the land on the southwest corner of Santa Barbara Boulevard and Veterans Parkway for only $10,000, that would revert back to Creighton if the land is never developed.

The renewal of that agreement is up for a vote next Monday.

“The city of Cape Coral has land banked that land for zero tax dollars added to the residents,” McGrail said.

Creighton said previously a Winn-Dixie grocery store was going to anchor a new plaza on the property, which is deed restricted.

The non-restricted, appraised value of the land is $1.9 million, according to city Property Broker Dawn Andrews.

Contracted to Creighton, the land was sold for $252,000, according to Andrews. The contract also called for Creighton to demolish an old fire station that sits on the corner, along with paying $230,000 in CIAC fees.

Council member Chris Chulakes-Leetz said it was prudent to stay the course with Creighton.

“We have an opportunity to see development, or we have an opportunity to see a nice empty field for many years,” he said.

In other action, city council could decide to piggy back a search for a new city manager being conducted by Medieara Beach, Florida, using the same search firm to locate candidates for the city’s next top executive.

Interim City Manager Steve Pohlman brought the proposal to council on Monday for their consideration. He said he just wanted to provide options moving forward with the search.