For most of us, the Peary Court purchase never did pass the smell test. The property was sold by the Navy for $35 million two years ago. Now the City of Key West was anxious to buy it for $55 million? Hmmm…
There were multiple versions of the pro forma. The “media-friendly” version was trotted out for the public. That version implied that Peary Court rents would range from $1,500 to $2,400. The more recent pro forma, designed to secure bank financing, was kept out of the public eye. According to that document, all units would rent for $2,400. Hmmm….
Now the Blue Paper is tracing through the steps that lead up to the referendum. Many city officials who initially dismissed the proposal, wound up supporting it. There is little information available about why exactly they changed their minds. In an attempt to answer that question, the Blue Paper has discovered some possible Sunshine Law violations.
According to the Blue Paper, there might have been a saner course of action available all along.
While several City Commissioners were publicly pushing for the purchase of Peary Court,The Blue Paper received a tip advising that a party, not named, had offered to purchase Peary Court and deed restrict it “affordable” in exchange for increased density. [Essentially what the City was proposing to do.] We were told that party had even sent a letter to the City and that we should request a copy. This was about 2 weeks prior to the referendum but when we asked for a copy, the City Clerk said no such letter existed in the City’s files.
Interesting, very interesting.