There are better ways to use Brush Creek for housing

To the Editor: I recently returned from a visit to Santa Fe, New Mexico and was struck by the difference between the way the New Mexico Land Commission handles land development and how our own officials are handling the proposed Brush Creek development. The State Land Office traded land it owned for a 2.7-acre parcel in downtown Santa Fe owned by the Cochiti Pueblo Tribe. The land had a 1950s-era motel on the site. The winning bidder, the Green Tree Group, made the highest and best offer which provides for: $300,000 annual base rent; $100,000 bid bonus; 5 percent of the annual gross revenues projected to be over $10,000,000 during the 20-year lease; and the developer will have the option to renew for two additional 20-year terms. This is to be contrasted with the proposal to sell outright the 13.3-acre parcel for $100,000. The local scuttlebutt is that the parcel has a fair market value of between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000. Instead of the developer paying a bid bonus our officials purportedly have agreed to buy the parcel back for $200,000 (Editor’s note—That might be adjusted to $125,000) if Gatesco backs out of the project. It is quite obvious that our elected officials are way over their collective heads and have no idea what they are doing. Clay Berger