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City to sell Navarro Del Norte for $1.4 million

By BY MELISSA CROWE - MCROWE@VICAD.COM
Feb. 17, 2013 at 10:04 p.m.
Updated Feb. 17, 2013 at 8:18 p.m.


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The city of Victoria plans to move its public works facility from North Navarro Street to make room for economic development.

Victoria City Council is expected to vote Tuesday whether to approve a $1.4 million contract with Randolph Wile, a trustee for a Houston developer, for about six acres of property at 8505 N. Navarro St., known as Navarro Del Norte.

In a letter to the city from Wile, who founded the investment firm Wile Interests Inc., the buyer has experience developing commercial real estate in Victoria. The buyer's latest project was the purchase and development of the shopping center north of Target, which includes Buffalo Wild Wings and CherryBerry frozen yogurt.

The developer was the only bidder on the property.

Wile wrote that the intention for the site is to develop it for retail and restaurants.

Public Works Director Lynn Short said the revenue from the sale will be used to offset relocating the city facility near the new wastewater treatment plant off Southwest Ben Jordan Street.

The city negotiated a deal in the contract to lease the property from the buyer for up to six months while the new facility is in design, Short said.

According to information from the city, the property was appraised at $1.1 million Aug. 21.

City Attorney Thomas Gwosdz has handled the negotiation but was unavailable Friday for comment.

The city acquired Navarro Del Norte in 2000, Short said. However, he was unsure of the purchase price.

It currently is home to the personnel, equipment and materials for utilities, traffic control and streets, Short said.

"For a number of years, we've been thinking we could operate more efficiently by moving our resources closer to our work and closer together," Short said.

The discussions occurred as early as November 2009 during city council meetings.

He said the city recognizes that better uses exist for the property.

"That land has more potential for economic development than it is currently being used for," he said. "It's an area prone to development."

Wile did not return phone messages seeking comment.

Councilman Paul Polasek said it will be good to put the Navarro property back on the tax rolls.

"When it was originally purchased, I think it seemed like a good idea and a good location for that facility, but after a while, there were some problems with it because it's next to a residential area," he said.

He said the market will take care of whatever develops at the site.

"It'll be good to be back on the tax rolls as long as they're good neighbors to the residential area around there," Polasek said.

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