Two Appraisals Used To Determine $1 Million LEDA Downtown Deal
LEDA President and CEO Gregg Gotreaux says the $1 million purchase price of the building at 314 Jefferson Street was determined with two separate appraisals. In a call with KPEL News, Gotreaux says the board and the seller, Eric Cloutier of Canuck Real Estate, agreed on the purchase price based on the reports by licensed appraisers.
Some local government watchdogs started asking questions Friday about the building in Downtown Lafayette which most-recently housed a nightclub. Earlier this week, the taxpayer-funded Lafayette Economic Development Authority confirmed the purchase of the building and property located at 314 Jefferson Street. Plans for the building have not been officially announced, but there is speculation that it could be a business development "incubator" facility.
The LEDA board-approved purchase price was $1 million paid to Canuck Real Estate, LLC. That figure is more than $300,000 higher than the most recent tax assessment. According to the Lafayette Parish Assessor website, the property had an assessed value of $673,690. See below.
It is not uncommon for assessed values and appraised values to differ, but an appraisal report for the property has not been made public. Current valuations by the parish assessor are based on sales around January 1, 2015 and property values Downtown have likely ticked-up since then. Government entities are generally required to use current appraisals before purchases are approved.
In a call Friday morning, LEDA Communication Manager Stacy Zawacki was unable to shed any light on the concerns to KPEL News. She deferred all questions about the sale to LEDA President and CEO Gregg Gothreaux who called shortly before 1pm today.
Zawacki did say a press conference would be held next Friday to detail LEDA's plan for the building.