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Land Values

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REAL_ESTATE
January 26, 1986 | By Kenneth R. Harney, Special to The Inquirer
If you have wondered why the prices of new homes have continued to spiral upward, despite relatively low inflation in the national economy overall, look to one key factor: land values. A soon-to-be-released study of residential land prices in 30 metropolitan housing markets shows that the average value of undeveloped residential acreage has jumped at twice the pace of inflation the last 60 months. In some high-growth markets, land values for housing have risen by more than 200 percent since 1980, according to the Washington-based Urban Land Institute (ULI)
NEWS
September 27, 1992 | By Anne Tergesen, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Chris Probasco knows his land. He knows that the original deed on his 258- acre Chesterfield farm dates to the time of King George III; he knows how to maneuver his pickup over the rut-filled dirt roads that plunge through fields dense with soybean and potato crops; he knows how difficult it has been to farm during the last decade, and until this summer, he thought he knew his land's value. "The 1970s were fairly profitable for agriculture. When things got bad in the 1980s, we started to look to do other things.
NEWS
April 25, 2004 | By Cynthia Burton INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Looking at Chesterfield's rolling fields, folded around grain silos and farmhouses, it's hard to imagine that the community of 2,500 is on the cutting edge of the "smart growth" movement. After decades of wrestling with residents' wishes to remain a farming community while still guaranteeing farmers the highest possible land values, this Burlington County community is on the verge of striking a balance between the two. Officials are using the ultimate power tools: money and zoning.
BUSINESS
April 11, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, built for $2.4 billion, is worth $25 million to $73 million, according to estimates by Unite Here, a hospitality workers union that represents casino workers in Atlantic City and across the country. The union resorted to estimating Revel's value based on land values and on the value of hotel rooms, because the property is unlikely to be profitable for many years, making it impossible to use traditional metrics to estimate a sale price. Land values in recent Atlantic City casino sales ranged from $1.25 million to $2.71 million an acre.
NEWS
April 19, 2013 | BY MATT RUBEN
THE CITY administration has declared AVI "fair and accurate. " They say that the new property assessments are closer to the mark than the old ones, that it will take time to iron out the kinks, and that problems can be solved case-by-case, via the appeal process. These claims all rely on an underlying assertion: The Office of Property Assessment used sound methods to calculate the new assessments. This assertion is at best premature. It might turn out that OPA got it right, but there are valid, and troubling, reasons to worry.
NEWS
December 19, 1991 | By Edward Ohlbaum, Special to The Inquirer
Part of a proposed new zoning ordinance designed to curb development near Lake Galena has caught flak from owners of some of the affected tracts. The New Britain Township Board of Supervisors held a preliminary hearing Monday on a new zoning ordinance based on the township's comprehensive plan. Among the ordinance's key changes would be changing several agricultural parcels from a minimum permitted lot size of five acres to 10 acres, said John Cornell, code enforcement officer.
NEWS
April 2, 1989 | By Sergio R. Bustos, Inquirer Staff Writer
Chester County farmers sold more acres of land, at a higher average price per acre, than farmers in any other county in Pennsylvania from 1972 through 1986, according to preliminary findings of a study by Pennsylvania State University. Almost 41,000 acres in Chester County were sold, at an average price of $7,129 per acre, during the 15-year period, according to the study. Statewide, slightly less than 1 million acres were sold, at an average price of $2,836 per acre. Figures for 1987 and 1988 were unavailable.
NEWS
November 17, 2000 | By Erin Carroll, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
To keep builders at bay, the Montgomery County commissioners voted yesterday to spend $1.2 million to ensure that 414 acres of farmland in the northwestern section of the county stays farmland forever. The county money, along with $2.8 million in state funding, does not buy the farmland itself, but rather the development rights to the land. Farmers who voluntarily apply "agree never to allow development on their farmland; they keep it in farming, in perpetuity, forever," said Elizabeth Emlen, the county's farmland-preservation administrator.
NEWS
September 6, 1986 | By G. Edward Schuh
No one can doubt the seriousness of the crisis that has overtaken U.S. agriculture. Farm incomes have fallen, except as they have been propped up by domestic commodity programs. A large drop in land values has led to a wave of mortgage foreclosures and bankruptcies. Large surpluses of agricultural products such as wheat, corn, soybeans and cotton lie piled up in warehouses across the country. The non-farm part of rural America is in distress. And the costs of commodity programs are burgeoning.
NEWS
May 14, 1997 | By Karen E. Quinones Miller, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Some highly controversial land reappraisals in Montgomery County may have been overvalued because county employees told the company doing the countywide reassessment to raise the values for open-space properties, commissioners confirmed yesterday. "Bruce Nagel told us this last week during our meeting with them," said Commissioner Richard S. Buckman, referring to the president of Cole-Layer-Trumbel, the firm doing the reassessment. "I was shocked. . . . That was the first that we had heard about it. CLT officials were unavailable to comment last night.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
REAL_ESTATE
January 26, 2015 | By Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
Land values in Philadelphia's Francisville neighborhood are beginning to take off, and MJL Properties is capitalizing on that trend. Real estate developer Michael J. Loonstyn, wife Andrea and father William run the family business, MJL Properties, out of offices in Francisville that are on the ground floor of their newest apartment complex, at 831-849 N. 19th St. Francisville's boundaries run east-west from Corinthian Avenue to Broad Street and...
BUSINESS
April 11, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, built for $2.4 billion, is worth $25 million to $73 million, according to estimates by Unite Here, a hospitality workers union that represents casino workers in Atlantic City and across the country. The union resorted to estimating Revel's value based on land values and on the value of hotel rooms, because the property is unlikely to be profitable for many years, making it impossible to use traditional metrics to estimate a sale price. Land values in recent Atlantic City casino sales ranged from $1.25 million to $2.71 million an acre.
NEWS
April 19, 2013 | BY MATT RUBEN
THE CITY administration has declared AVI "fair and accurate. " They say that the new property assessments are closer to the mark than the old ones, that it will take time to iron out the kinks, and that problems can be solved case-by-case, via the appeal process. These claims all rely on an underlying assertion: The Office of Property Assessment used sound methods to calculate the new assessments. This assertion is at best premature. It might turn out that OPA got it right, but there are valid, and troubling, reasons to worry.
NEWS
March 27, 2013
TRYING TO USE my 37 years of experience in selling real estate in Northeast Philadelphia, I can't figure out how the Office of Property Assessments (OPA), after many years, developed a new valuation method that may be worse than the current system. The homepage on OPA's website shows two street signs crossing, one saying "FAIR" and the other "ACCURATE," with a caption stating: "IT'S ALL ABOUT FAIRNESS. " They should take this page down. I have studied hundreds of real-estate parcels and found out that the new assessments are neither fair nor accurate.
NEWS
February 8, 2013 | By Kathleen Tinney, Inquirer Staff Writer
For nearly 60 years, the small Gloucester County township of Woolwich has had a mayoral dynasty named Maccarone. The second of three generations to hold the office, Samuel J. Maccarone Sr. served as mayor and deputy mayor in the 1990s, the beginning of Woolwich's metamorphosis from a rural South Jersey outpost to one of the most rapidly developed communities in the state, from barely 2,000 residents to more than 10,000 today. On Saturday, Feb. 2, Mr. Maccarone died at Kennedy Hospital in Washington Township of a series of strokes.
NEWS
July 19, 2006 | By Edward Colimore INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The owner of the Ramblewood Golf Course and Country Club in Mount Laurel said yesterday that he would ask a state court to overturn a township zoning decision that blocks development of the property. John Goodwin said he wanted the township to buy the land - based on its development value for housing - and lease it back to him to operate as a golf course. But at a heavily attended meeting Monday, the five-member Township Council voted unanimously to rezone the golf course from a residential zone to an outdoor recreation and conservation zone.
NEWS
May 19, 2004 | By Benjamin Hayllar
For much of the last century, Pittsburgh and McKeesport used the land value tax, which taxes land at a much greater rate than the structures on it. Now Philadelphia is considering a land value tax as part of its proposed tax reform package. Supporters of the process believe it will spur development because it would make holding onto vacant land too expensive to leave it undeveloped. But the real story is in the neighborhoods and how houses would be taxed. I was former Mayor Ed Rendell's director of finance, and I also held that position in Pittsburgh, so I can point to some aspects of the land value tax that Philadelphia's elected officials should consider.
NEWS
April 25, 2004 | By Cynthia Burton INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Looking at Chesterfield's rolling fields, folded around grain silos and farmhouses, it's hard to imagine that the community of 2,500 is on the cutting edge of the "smart growth" movement. After decades of wrestling with residents' wishes to remain a farming community while still guaranteeing farmers the highest possible land values, this Burlington County community is on the verge of striking a balance between the two. Officials are using the ultimate power tools: money and zoning.
NEWS
June 12, 2003 | By Kaitlin Gurney INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
"Are you concerned about protecting the market value of your land?" So began a mysterious flyer sent to residents of one of Gloucester County's last rural townships, warning farmers that local officials were about to change zoning rules and reduce the potential sale price of their land. The flyer is more scare tactic than fact, South Harrison's mayor says. Residents says the missive, full of builder lingo, is just one more sign that South Harrison is the next hot spot for sprawl.
NEWS
July 16, 2002 | By Jacob Quinn Sanders INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Using an argument that appraisal experts say is raised about a dozen times a year nationwide, township officials have condemned more than 11 acres for a new road without compensating the landowner. Their reason: They say the road makes the adjoining property owned by Robert V. Nicoletti much more valuable. "It's complicated to explain, but it's a fact," said Ross Weiss, the township's attorney. "We don't owe Mr. Nicoletti a thing. " Nicoletti's response: "Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks this is crazy.
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