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Re: Paso Robles Earthquake

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Pardon my naivete, but I thought that building departments were obligated to 
protect the public, not building owners.  I am unaware of any building owner 
that will not claim undue hardship when any proposed law is passed requiring 
improvements to their buildings.  (They also routinely protest property 
taxes, having retained a professional protester who will file protests each 
year automatically.)

I was unaware of how much return a commercial property owner gets on their 
investment until the building in which I have my office was sold about 5 
years ago.  The new owner likes to brag that she buys property for cash and 
paid $243,000 cash for the 6-unit, 7,500 sf strip office/retail center.  At 
that time, each unit was renting for about $700 a month, for an income of 
about $50,000 a year to the owner.  (And, each year since, rent has 
increased.)  This is more than a *20 percent per year* return on her 
investment, an extraordinary return for any investment.  Common area utility 
costs are prorated to the tenants as well as property tax increases.  Common 
area maintenance is kept to a minimum, i.e., she spends as little money as 
possible on the property.  This property is one of about a dozen that she 
owns in Tucson.

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona

Steven A. wrote:

. > True.
. > My earlier comments did not have these interests in mind.

. > Dennis Wish wrote:

. > > Steven,

. > > It is really a question of accessibility to financing to get the work
. > > done. The cost can be amortized and charged to the tenants, but this
. > > may result in the loss of occupants and the inability to restore use
. > > of the building if the leasable space is too high for the area. I'm
. > > not specifically speaking of Paso Robles, but of other areas where
. > > Cities own some of the buildings and are attempting to establish
. > > either Entitlement Zones (where the State of California provides tax
. > > breaks and money for new business to lease these buildings) or an
. > > Empowerment Zone (where the Federal Government offers the tax
. > > advantages in leasable space and in salary compensation).

. > > Until either the State or the Feds can insure use of the building and
. > > a growing economy in areas that are hard hit or low income, then the
. > > State can not demand implementation of a retrofit ordinance or demand
. > > that the work be done _ it becomes a hardship.

. > > Dennis

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