Western Buys More Houses

General Campus News, Updates, Discussion
User avatar
ST_Lawson
Site Admin
Posts: 4420
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:15 pm
Location: Macomb, IL
Contact:

Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:27 am

Personally, I feel like any time property becomes available to buy near or adjacent to campus, and it's at all feasible to buy it, it's probably a good idea to do so, even if it just stays as green space for a while. You never really know what'll happen in the future and if it's purchased by someone else, it might be a long time before it comes back on the market again.

We're not in a position now, but if the university ever does need to expand into those areas, it could be much more cost-prohibitive to do so down the road if we're trying to buy it from private ownership. Also, if the Foundation has a fund specifically set aside for things like acquiring property/increasing the university's "value", then it's not really coming out of the general operational fund.

I know we're not the same type of institution (or have the same level of funding), but just thinking about Monmouth College...my dad grew up very close to their campus, and every time he's near there he comments on how much land around the college is now under ownership/control of the college (in large part because his childhood home and neighbor's home just got torn down for their new Pi Beta Phi house. You can see their campus map here: http://ou.monmouthcollege.edu/about/loc ... s-map.aspx

Western isn't as aggressive as Monmouth College is in acquiring property, but even if it costs a bit of money, I think land adjacent to campus is worth investing in.
Scott Lawson - Board Admin
Western Illinois University Alum/Fan/Employee
Member of the Marching Leathernecks - 1996-2000
LocalFan
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:19 pm

Wed Jul 13, 2016 10:55 am

The purchase of these three houses results in a loss of about $7,000 in property tax revenue in Macomb. I certainly don't mind those houses being torn down since they were rather humble looking, but there is a cost to the local residents as we will all have to help cover that decrease in the taxable property base.
User avatar
ST_Lawson
Site Admin
Posts: 4420
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:15 pm
Location: Macomb, IL
Contact:

Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:15 am

LocalFan wrote:The purchase of these three houses results in a loss of about $7,000 in property tax revenue in Macomb. I certainly don't mind those houses being torn down since they were rather humble looking, but there is a cost to the local residents as we will all have to help cover that decrease in the taxable property base.
The last few years had not been kind to those locations. They were essentially "unlivable" anyway. I believe the old fraternity house on the corner had actually been condemned for the last year. They'd had a fire on the back side that damaged some of the building and around that time the fraternity chapter folded, and the owner of the property never really fixed it. It still had charred areas on the backside when they tore it down (over a year after the actual fire). That was this one: https://goo.gl/maps/AKakx3GSkNK2 (trust me, it looked WAY worse in the last year than it looks in the google streetview image).

The other two were these houses: https://goo.gl/maps/AbK4DQuXqfr
The blue one on the left looks like it'd been practically abandoned even at that point. It only went downhill from there.
The yellowish one on the right was the only one that looked at all "livable", at least from the outside, but I don't know how the inside was.

So, yes, technically the owners would have been taxed on the property value, but it wouldn't have been much, and the city probably would have had to buy them and tear them down anyway as an "eyesore" (they've been doing that some around town with really worn-down houses).
Scott Lawson - Board Admin
Western Illinois University Alum/Fan/Employee
Member of the Marching Leathernecks - 1996-2000
wiu712
Posts: 3426
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:05 pm

Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:50 am

If the university was interested in buying property adjacent to the campus, this would certainly be the time to do it.

The declining enrollment has resulted in a lower demand for the "student rentals". There might be a lot of "Motivated Sellers" right now.
User avatar
RedNeck
Posts: 591
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:09 pm
Location: East Peoria

Wed Jul 13, 2016 3:36 pm

I applaud the decision to demolish these blighted houses (hovels). Like Scott says, sometimes one has to act when one gets the opportunity as the opportunity may not present itself in the future. Also gives University flexibility for future development.
Post Reply