This is the first Hamilton County Auditor’s valuation that made me scratch my head and pull out my calculator. My husband and I own a condominium right across the street in Park Place at Lytle and if there’s any real estate market I know well, it’s this one. Our 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo (1700 sf) is on the lowest residential floor. While I really enjoy our view of the Taft Museum driveway with all its fancy comings and goings, it came with a much lower price tag than the units with river views on the upper floors. Our unit is valued by the Hamilton County Auditor’s office for the same price we paid for it in the middle of the economic crisis in the Spring of 2010: $415,000 or a little over $244 a square foot.
Now let’s take a look at the numbers for the apartment building across the street owned by Western & Southern, the 550 building, described on their website as “The Definition of Luxury” with marble-faced wood-burning fireplaces, 24-hour concierge and maintenance service, Euro-style kitchens with upgraded appliance packages, on-site parking, and two balconies per unit. (Heck, I’m ready to move.)
Total finished square footage of the 25 unit property listed by the auditor is 62,653, including ground floor office space. originally designed for retail. It’s valued at $2,578,660 for the entire building on a half acre of prime downtown real estate overlooking beautiful Lytle Park – or $41.16 a square foot.
I know, I know. One property is rental and one is residential. But the auditor’s office says that the value of my property is 6 TIMES that of the apartment building across the street????????? Even Eagle Realty’s valuation used for internal corporate purposes is $6,500,000 (or so a reliable little birdie told me).
So I called Dusty Rhodes, the county Auditor to ask him for an explanation. He referred me to Susan Silver, chief of administration for the Auditor’s office who referred me to the man in charge of valuations who has worked for the Auditor’s office for 40 years, clearly an honest, caring man. He got out his calculator and responded with nervous laughter. “You can file a complaint with the Board of Revision,” he said when he couldn’t come up with any logical explanation.
Which is how we got into this mess in the first place. In 1995, the building was valued for $4,489,000 and when the owner filed a complaint they got no reduction. But on April 2, 2003, Western & Southern contested the value of all their properties on 4th St. with the Board of Revision, the value was reduced by over 37% and has never been raised again.
wtf? Hamilton County Board of Revision
BTW Western & Southern, if I can buy this building for the current value as stated by the Hamilton County Auditor’s office, consider this a firm offer.