Gilbert resident Jim Torgeson spoke out at the 2/10/11 Town Council meeting advising that he has discovered appraisals from 9/19/2007 through 2/5/2008 of what appears to be most of the Zinke land purchases. The land values range from $45k to $67k per acre! (Please recall that the Town Council back in 1/2009 approved spending $300k per acre.)
Mr. Torgeson had simply gone to the Town Clerk’s office asking for all communications relating to the Zinke properties. Among the 585 pages he was shown were several appraisals that had been done by Marc Barlow, which included the Zinke “south 80” (SW corner of Chandler Heights Rd and Greenfield) in addition to various rights of way and some of the land in the “north 62” (SW corner of Germann and Greenfield). Mr. Torgeson advised that these appraisals of $45k to $67k per acre were “indicative of the land values at the time.” He turned a copy of 6 appraisals over to Mayor Lewis.
The more we learn about the infamous Zinke land deal, the more disturbing the information. Also, where have these appraisals been hiding all this time? Why did it take a Gilbert resident to find them? How is it the Town paid $300k per acre for these properties?
To view Mr. Torgeson’s remarks, go to the Channel 11 video that is found on the Town of Gilbert Home Page. Move the cursor to 23:24. Here is the link: http://gilbert.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=4&clip_id=417
If you wish to see the 585-pages, you may contact the Town Clerk, Cathy Templeton, to arrange for an appointment. Her email address is: Cathy.Templeton@gilbertaz.gov
So far the Town has not placed these 585 pages on the Town’s website. I suggest you make this request by contacting Town Manager Collin DeWitt at: Collin.DeWitt@gilbertaz.gov
Anita Christy also spoke out about her ongoing concerns about the Zinke land purchases, noting a 2/6/2011 EV Tribune article titled “Rooted in AZ.” It’s a story of the Schnepf Farm owners who "could have sold their 300-acre farm for $40 million during the real estate boom." That’s an offer of $133k per acre during BOOM times. But Gilbert paid $300k per acre for 150 acres ($47 million) to Zinke after land values had collapsed. The Schnepfs land is only about 4 miles east of the Zinke Land.
Also, Gilbert acquired rights of way on the SEC of Chandler Heights and Val Vista as part of the Zinke deal. About ¼ mile south on Val Vista is a 100-acre parcel of land owned by Chandler, which is to be developed into Mesquite Groves Park. Chandler bought that property in 2001 for $56,580 per acre.
It’s virtually across the street from Gilbert’s proposed park.
Another Chandler park is about ½ mile west of the Zinke rights of way on Chandler Heights Rd. It is a 113-acre park called Veterans Oasis. Chandler paid $55k/ per acre for that.