GADOT has posted a public notice that it intends to acquire a half acre (0.483) of land along the east side of Highway 17 for roadway widening and drainage easements. The two parcels directly affected (03-00580, 03-00579) contain 3.5 acres of mostly vacant land. Which is why the official appraisal of value is just $75,600 for the land.
(We could say Highway Commercial zoning is worth twenty five thousand dollars, compared to just five hundred for a conserved acre of marsh).
So what is our Department of Transportation proposing to shell out for that half acre? Double what it is appraised at would be generous, especially since the owners‘ driveway access is guaranteed. But no, the sum the GADOT has deposited with the Clerk of the Court is a whopping $141,700.
That is where our gas tax dollars go. Into the pockets os speculators. Perhaps the fact that PrimeSouth Bank lent the new owners, Sapelo Equipment, LLC to buy the vacant land for $200,000 in 2017 had something to do with it. Artificially inflating values prior to sale is an old trick. Back in the ‘80s the Savings and Loan Industry got penalized for it.