Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Arcade...fingers crossed for a deal.

The fascinating tale of the Arcade is like a Midwestern version of Roman Polanski’s Chinatown, sans incest and murders, but with the same themes of big money, hidden influence, high corruption, greed, and urban development.

The latest news is the ongoing negotiations between Tony Staub, head of Brownfield Charities (current owner), and Bob Shiffler, local investor.

Sales History & Valuation

One of the questions is valuation. The Arcade is supposedly valued at $2.3M. Is that too high? What would the building be worth on the open market?

Last two sales of the Arcade (not including the friendly foreclosure of 1984):

Robert Shapiro sells the Arcade to the redevelopment partnership for $1,000,000.

3rd National/Society Bank (sole stockholder in the holding company. that “owns” the Arcade) sells the holding company (thus the Arcade) to Danis for $100,000 (but deducts some things so the actual price paid is between $30K and $40K).

Inflating the prices to 2006 (using this inflation calculator)

1976 to 2006: $ 1,000,000 ---->$3,619,708
1990 to 2006: $ 100,000------>$ 156,814

Based on the records at the Auditors website, the present valuation is:

$1,485,510 (Land)
$ 829,980 (Improvements)
$2,315,590 (total)
…seems a bit high on the improvements side? Maybe there is some salvage value, but $830K?

One has to wonder how the county comes up with valuations on this property.

The Last Sale

It does appear the assessed valuation is approaching to the inflated 1976 sales price What’s interesting is that the Arcade is probably not worth that much on the open market, due to the difficulties in selling it in the 1980s, when it was in better condition than it is now.

The $100,000 sales price was based on an open market offer from a California developer, which was the last publicaly announced purchase offer.

The owners of the Arcade at the time, Aetna Insurance, 3rd National/Society Bank, and Gem Savings, didn’t quibble with the price, but with the developer, as there was disagreement between Aetna and 3rd National as to keeping the Arcade in local ownership (or that was the public reason; one can always suspect hidden agendas).

Aetna wanted to sell to the Californian, who was qualified via Coldwell-Banker’s commercial property division (Aetna’s agent).

3rd National /Society Bank subsequently bought out Aetna (who had the largest stake, 40%) and Gem Savings, and then made the offer to Danis (or Danis was inquiring about the building around the same time).


So the property could barely be sold when it was in good condition, somewhat occupied, and actively being shopped by its owners. Was Danis actively trying the market the building while he owned it?

Danis did try to give it away on one occasion.

But what outside developer enquiries that did occur fell through, perhaps because Danis was asking too much, and one time certainly due to City meddling (from Mike Turner and Bootsie Neal). The asking price during these failed deals have not been made public, or I'm not aware of them.

Fingers Crossed for a Deal

What’s happening now is the best chance for the Arcade, if Staub and Schiffler can reach agreement on a price. It would be win for all concerned, and certainly for the larger Dayton community if a deal was reached.

One thing for sure, Staub and his charity won’t get a red cent for the building if it’s sold for bankruptcy, which is guaranteed if a deal isn’t reached. Everyone will lose, and we may end up with another parking lot.

The Arcade is approaching either its end-game or a new beginning, so lets all keep our finger crossed that a deal can be reached.

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