Tucson trying to sell properties

The City of Tucson has hired an appraiser to determine how much the old Volvo car dealership in worth on Broadway and Euclid.

The city bought it went Volvo moved closer to the AutoMall on the northwest edge of the city.

The city paid $2 million in 2007 near the top of the real estate cycle.

Whether it will fetch that much now is uncertain but the city would like to sell because it's looking for ways to patch the holes in its budget.

The city started this week $27 million in the hole but by trimming nearly 100 employees, mostly by not filling empty positions and getting rid of some administrators and management, the deficit is just over $2.

Still, the sale of property looks attractive and in some cases it may be.

The city sold the corner of Grant and Campbell recently for $2 million.

But there's a difference between property along the Grant Road widening project and the one proposed for Broadway.

Grant's project has been designed and construction has started.

Not so on Broadway.

When it was first proposed, the Broadway widening would take the road from four lanes to six, with bike paths and bus pullouts at a cost of $71million.

Now some are questioning not only the wisdom of spending that kind of money but whether Broadway needs to be widened to six lanes.

It would take out many businesses and historical buildings.

So, there's no agreement on how Broadway should be realigned let alone the path it would take.

That's why there's an issue about the sale of the old Volvo property.

"If we unload the property we'll probably unload it for nickels on the dollar," Ward VI Council Member Steve Kozachik says. "Nobody is going to offer top dollar until they know what we're going to do with the property."

The same can be said for what is known as the Panda property just to the East of Volvo.

City workers were busy demolishing the structure on the property this week.

It too, owned by the city, will be valued and sold.

Kozachik doesn't think it's a good idea at this time.

"We should not let anyone build a major development on either of those sites until that realignment is set," he says,

He believes that if a developer builds on those sites before the realignment is agreed upon, it's sitting the city "up to having to pay mega dollars to demolish that building and relocate it somewhere else."