City Council approves land sale to McConnell Foundation

City Council approves land sale to McConnell Foundation

REDDING, Calif. - The Redding City Council approved a plan at its meeting Tuesday night for the McConnell Foundation to purchase more than 14 acres of land at Turtle Bay for $600,000.

It was a 3-2 vote, with Missy McArthur, Vice Mayor Francie Sullivan, and Mayor Rick Bosetti voting in favor. Gary Cadd and Patrick Jones voted against.

The approval now paves the way for Turtle Bay to build a new 4-star Sheraton Hotel on the property without paying a higher, prevailing wage to workers. The reason is the land will be owned by a private entity and not the city. It has been suggested however, that labor unions will file suit. 

KRCR News Channel 7 caught up with one citizen who opposed the land sale approval.

Gene Stone said, "I don't think they {The City of Redding} used the true appraisal value to make this deal."

The city used three separate and professional appraisers. FMV appraised the property at $75,000, Duff & Phelps' estimate was $175,000, and Shaw's value came in at $443,000.

Chuck Ryan owns Ryan Valuation Services. Ryan was asked to address the city council Tuesday night to explain the appraisal process and why the estimates were so low for waterfront property in Redding.

Ryan said the property still has an 88-year-lease, which significantly reduces the valuation.

"The question is, how much would you pay for a piece of property that you couldn't use for 88 years? That was the whole problem.  I don't think the community understood partial interest. We appraised, the city had a partial interest to sell and that's what they sold," said Ryan.

The appraisal expert also acknowledged the city is getting a bargain at $600,000.

"I didn't appraise the property but the value of that was very, very small. I'm suggesting, anything McConnell gave to the city was a gift," said Ryan.

A lawyer representing the McConnell Foundation also addressed the council and said the money can be used to fight any future legal battles that arise from the sale.

A group called REVOLT, Residents Entitled to Vote on Land Transaction, held a press conference in front of the City Council Chambers on Monday night and said they will immediately begin a ballot referendum process and put the issue before voters if council members approve the land sale.

The plan will be finalized in 30 days.

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