State preparing to sell Tucson properties to help budgetPosted: Updated:
State property is about to hit the market-- again. Selling and then leasing government buildings helped the state rake in millions of dollars earlier this year. This time, several Tucson buildings are up for grabs.
Six government properties in Tucson will be put up for sale next week. The strategy where the state sells it's buildings and then leases them back was a huge success back in January, bringing in more than $700M. Money sorely needed in desperate times.
"Sure if it will bring in more money. It might be better for the economy," says resident Daniel Bell.
Some say the state has a good thing going. Others are skeptical of the way lawmakers will use the extra dough. The state office complex and it's neighboring parking garage in downtown Tucson are two properties about to hit the market, "It could possibly be a solution. I don't know what this building is used for. It's a pretty building but I don't know the use of the building but if the money can go to better usage then I would agree with them selling it. If not then I wouldn't agree with that."
The most expensive Tucson property for sale is the Arizona Schools for the Deaf and the Blind. It has an estimated replacement value of $40-million.
Then there's the department of public safety headquarters, the d-p-s crime lab, and two units at the state prison complex. All expected to bring in $300M.
The sale-lease strategy comes with strings attached. The total payback of the state's $700M sale-lease plan in January-- with interest-- will add up to more than $1B.
It's a deal that has some residents very worried. "The whole budget issue is unsettling to me and you know it's kind of scary where it's going. I think the state should be owning it's own property," says Bell.
News of the sale comes after the state borrowed $450M against proceeds from future state lottery revenues.