Damn, Dustin, you won the bet. More later....
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We dont know enough to do anything but speculate. But sometimes its fun to speculate .
The fact that the Glovers are exploring the possible sale of their property is a far cry from an announcement that their property is to be sold. Potential sellers often put out such feelers to gauge interest, but it means nothing until an offer is made, and even then, in cases where the development potential of the property is key to a buyers offer (as might be the case here), theres a good chance that the deal will crater.
Absent some extraordinary provision in the lease(s), any buyer of the property would take it subject to such lease(s).
Assuming Richards observation on the historic designation of the Castle is correct, that would present a potential problem for a developer who might want to tear down the Castle building in connection with a change in use of the property. Alas, unless such historic designation relates directly to the Castle qua the Castle, thered be nothing to keep the new owner from changing the use of the building, even if the building had to be preserved. Also, there are different levels of historic importance and protection.
Some have suggested that an investment vehicle be created to purchase the property, presumably with one goal being to preserve the Castle as it is. Thats certainly a feasible idea, but there are many roadblocks to this approach. The first is financial. No savvy investor wants to pour money into something that wont make money. The second is securities laws. For the type of investment vehicle some are discussing, the interests being sold would have to be registered in compliance with state and federal securities laws. That takes time and money. Now, it is possible to create an investment fund which is exempt from securities laws, but that would mean, among other things, that the folks who bought interests in such fund would have to be accredited investors. Id venture that more than 95% of us here would not qualify. So that brings us back to the first problem: if those of us who are most sympathetic to the Castles plight would be excluded from investing in a securities-exempt fund, then the fund would have to find accredited investor laymen to invest and those guys didnt make their money by giving it away or accepting low returns on their investments.
There is a work-around, which is commonly used by smart investors here. If the new owners instead purchase the corporation that owns the property, then the property does not technically change hands. The taxes stay the same."
First off, we dont know the type of entity that owns the property (corporation, trust, limited partnership, limited liability company, etc.). In any case, Im afraid the reassessment loophole Dustin has suggested does not exist. Basically, if more than 50% of the total control or ownership interest is transferred, a reassessment will be triggered. Put another way, to avoid a reassessment of the property, the Glovers would have to maintain control and sell less than 50% of their interest in the property (or in the entity that owns the property, depending on how title is held).
Its been fun speculating!