June 18th, 2024

City moves to deter purchasers from flipping industrial land

By Tim Kalinowski on August 26, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDtkalinowski@lethbridgeherald.com

City council has moved to deter real estate speculators from buying City-owned industrial land with the intention of flipping it to sell for a higher value later.
Mayor Chris Spearman brought forward an official business resolution at Tuesday’s council meeting which would require purchasers of City-owned industrial land to draft a development plan and implement that plan within five years of purchase. The OBR also requires any company which purchases City-owned industrial land to give the City right of first refusal before they can resell it if the land has not been developed within the first five years. The seller must then also resell the land back to the City for the price paid at the time of initial purchase or current market value, whichever amount is less. And that the City’s right of repurchase will be in effect for up to 99 years after initial purchase if the land is not developed in that time.
The City of Lethbridge is currently the only developer of industrial land operating within the city, and thus the OBR was targeted to protect the City’s investment specifically in this area and not other City-owned developments in areas like commercial or residential real estate where there is more private market competition, explained Spearman.
“We want to make sure industrial land that is available for sale is sold to those that wish to develop it and provide employment,” stated Spearman. “And we want to make sure there is proactive development, and want to discourage speculation and profiting where the land is solely invested in by the City of Lethbridge.”
The resolution passed unanimously during Tuesday’s meeting.

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