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Skipper

Letter to the Editor: Save the Sub-Hub

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Let’s get one thing straight — college towns have certain flavors all their own. The traditions, the landscapes and features of the campus, the people and even the school colors make

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Nobody who has graduated in the last 10 years really cares much about Sub Hub. It's done and over with.

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Thank you. I’ve never been there, doesn’t mean I don’t care about small business but are we really going to hold up an entire block of development for some damn sandwiches? No one is trying to save the bookstore or that Chinese restaurant by the way. 

Edited by Salsa_Verde
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22 hours ago, El Paso Eagle said:

Why is this here??

 

Welcome Skipper-bot. 

Edited by UNTLifer
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14 hours ago, meangreenlax said:

Nobody who has graduated in the last 10 years really cares much about Sub Hub. It's done and over with.

Not true, I graduated in 2013 and go to sub hub at least once weekly depending on work schedule.  I hope they give them the ability to open up shop somewhere close again.  It is always packed during lunch rush. 

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I thought I saw on this site that they did have a location on campus. Please correct me if I’m wrong. In one semester they will forget about it. 

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Can't they just find a new location (after getting a hefty sum of cash from the univeristy - i assume)?? They don't have to be gone if they get good enough business...  I am trying to have to understand why relocating isn't an option.

Also, I am really against emminent domain.  I think it sucks and I am a huge proponent of property and individuals rights.  

But I still struggle to understand how this will be the end of New York Subway when they simply need to find a new place. 

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25 minutes ago, Travis said:

Can't they just find a new location (after getting a hefty sum of cash from the univeristy - i assume)?? They don't have to be gone if they get good enough business...  I am trying to have to understand why relocating isn't an option.

Also, I am really against emminent domain.  I think it sucks and I am a huge proponent of property and individuals rights.  

But I still struggle to understand how this will be the end of New York Subway when they simply need to find a new place. 

That's the issue for me. I don't think Sub Hub should have to leave just because UNT wants the land for some future project. I understand why eminent domain is needed in some cases, but kicking out a bunch of businesses that have been serving the Denton and UNT communities for decades is not one of them. 

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The book store and the car wash want to sell their property but the NYSH and the restaurant next door on the southside do not want to sell. Someone said the land across the street is owned by a private developer?   If it is owned by private developer better take it now why the land is cleared.  Why wait until they developed it and have to tear it down when UNT wants it.  I sure NYSH will come back to life in a new location.  For the people who say students go there when I go there are students, UNT staff and others there and the business is doing well.  Maybe in the new location, they can have a drive up window. Not a fan of eminent domain, what if it was your business?

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When they were there the property was privately owned.  It has since been purchased by the University.  If you recall, in addition to the Texas Pickup, there was a bar and a men's clothing store called the Oxford Shop. 

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2 hours ago, Travis said:

But I still struggle to understand how this will be the end of New York Subway when they simply need to find a new place. 

Frankly, there aren't a ton of available retail sites on the edge of campus. You could buy one of the single family homes in the area and tear it down if the zoning is right but all those owners are renting their houses until the university uses eminent domain on them as well, hopefully for a decent pay day.

NY Subhub's business is built around foot traffic and no other place in the city has as much as campus.  Fry Street rent would probably be too high.  In fact, I bet it is owned without any debt at this point, so finding a place to rent in town adds significant overhead to the business, especially if it was near Fry Street.  I think even if they relocated to Bonnie Brae, you still wouldn't get the same foot traffic that you get on the south side of campus.

I don't like when imminent domain is used this way.  I hope the owner gets an independent appraisal, because what the county has it assessed at is probably significantly below what it is worth.  

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I mean they were aware of the plan set out in 2013 that said the University was going to eventually want that land. It is now 2019, and they are acting like this was unforeseeable and there is no solution in the world. So it's either poor business strategy or posturing. Take the check and move to a new site nearby there will be plenty of options including literally right across the street.

I am glad that campus will ultimately have reasonable looking things that make a true entrance.

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18 minutes ago, xyresic said:

Take the check and move to a new site nearby there will be plenty of options including literally right across the street.

Problem is right across the street, the owner will have to pay rent, which would add significant overhead to the business. And maybe the owner can absorb that extra overhead, I don't have any idea how much the business makes. But if they can't, buildings to buy for use as a restaurant and sites to build a new one on are pretty limited around campus.  Not sure what the zoning allows either.

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This leaves out a key point, that if they chose to rent a spot they will have the cash from the sale of the building to help offset this new expense or to even purchase a new location.

Other things to consider are that the new spot could be bigger/nicer and allow for them to do more business and service more customers. They could also potentially have a drive thru or a better way to quickly serve students and the walk up crowd etc.

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19 hours ago, meangreenlax said:

Nobody who has graduated in the last 10 years really cares much about Sub Hub. It's done and over with.

Not true. Graduated in 2017 and love Sub Hub. Still eat there often, those guys are the best.

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Sorry for the long post.  A lot of people are against eminent domain and I hope to shed some light on the process.

Eminent Domain is based on "for the public good".  It is the question that must be proven in court.  Below are two examples:

In this picture the homeowner would not sell and they built the freeway around it with no easement for the owner to get to the property. The highest and best use for this property was and is the freeway.  Eminent Domain should have been used.  (This was in
China a country with no eminent domain laws.  The term for these are Nail Houses)

One of the most famous "nail houses" was a building in Chongqing, western China. The homeowner hung a banner and the national flag in protest and refused to sell to a developer who went ahead with construction around the site in 2007.

In the below photo the builder wanted to build a 3 story mixed use facility by buying out the 1920's home.  Edith Macefield the homeowner would not sell.  Highest and best use is the mixed use building but it was not for the public good it was for private good, no eminent domain was nor could be used. (the builder attempted to use the "public good" argument after she refused $1,000,000 for this $90,000 home and lost.)

image.jpeg.8d5c135694510fb6c8c0c472a87393de.jpeg

The question as whether to use eminent domain for these parcels is what is highest and best use for this property?   Then if the highest and best use if for the public good. 

So if you ask the question which is the highest and best use for the property? A sub shop or an academic building of a major university?  In my opinion University is the highest use for the property.

Next question is the public university for the "public good" the answer is yes.

Next is compensation - according to the Denton Central Appraisal District the Appraised and Assessed Value is $260,000.  This will be the starting point for the negotiations begin.  Sub Hub will claim business loss as part of the condemnation case. 

In Texas there are 3 steps.

1)Negotiation between UNT and NY Sub Hub - A "bona fide" offer must me made to the landowner along with a certified appraisal, both in writing

2)Special Commissioners' hearing - Three commissioners will be selected to determine the property value and damages. (Damages are not granted in the 5th amendment and are too speculative to calculate. (Kimball Laundry Co v. United States, 1949) But in Texas we will try to access damages to keep the landowner whole.

3)Appeal through a civil condemnation suit.  If either party disagrees with the Commissioners' decision - both parties are responsible for their own attorneys' fees.

Most times the process doesn't even get to the commissioners hearings as the condemnor usually makes a fair market price offer plus damages.

If I recall correctly the Texas Pickup caught fire and burned to the ground on the morning of the commissioners' hearing.  There was speculation that is was not a grease fire but nothing was ever proven (some claimed insurance fraud and some claimed university interference) and the University purchased the land at fair market value and built traditions hall.

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26 minutes ago, ipd054 said:

Next is compensation - according to the Denton Central Appraisal District the Appraised and Assessed Value is $260,000.  This will be the starting point for the negotiations begin.  Sub Hub will claim business loss as part of the condemnation case.

At first I didn't think that was a very high assessment but I overestimated the parcel size.  That works out to approximately $24 per land square foot.  That doesn't sound absurdly high or low for land generally in the periphery of a major university.  Whether that is appropriate for that specific piece of land, I do not know.

Your discussion of eminent domain is spot on, though I think there could be some argument about highest and best use (though as you say it will most likely get settled prior to the commissioner hearing). Did Westdale ever say what they were going to do with Carriage Square across the street? That could have an impact on highest and best use, assuming they don't sell it to the university. 

Valued individually as a 2,000 SF building or a 10,000 SF parcel of land it certainly isn't highest and best use as a university facility, though I understand you are looking at it from the perspective of all the land that the university plans to take, not just of the individual subhub parcel.

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From my understanding the Carriage Square complex is to be a partnership development.  Looks like some mixed use apartments from this drawing. (think what they did with the tomato on Fry Street or South Lake town Center) This will be a great spot for restaurants and pubs for pre and post game events for all athletic and academic events.  My guess is the University is buying the land to complete the block and will be partnering with Westdale to do a land lease for the development for the Sac and Save/sub hub site with the agreement that the Carriage Square property completes the "town square"

image.png.0b0be976b99fbada01a701610fc2156f.png

image.png.16560415fdcbaaeb9e01b6f6861416fe.png

This sketch shows the new entry way that UNT wants to create.  (the yellow is Carriage Square)image.png.42bd19d9e5a4e46999c9d21db8ce7c8b.png

image.png

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18 hours ago, ipd054 said:

From my understanding the Carriage Square complex is to be a partnership development.  Looks like some mixed use apartments from this drawing. (think what they did with the tomato on Fry Street or South Lake town Center) This will be a great spot for restaurants and pubs for pre and post game events for all athletic and academic events.  My guess is the University is buying the land to complete the block and will be partnering with Westdale to do a land lease for the development for the Sac and Save/sub hub site with the agreement that the Carriage Square property completes the "town square"

image.png.0b0be976b99fbada01a701610fc2156f.png

image.png.16560415fdcbaaeb9e01b6f6861416fe.png

This sketch shows the new entry way that UNT wants to create.  (the yellow is Carriage Square)image.png.42bd19d9e5a4e46999c9d21db8ce7c8b.png

image.png

Original intent six years ago, yes. But Smatresk publicly has called for and won deviations from the plan since then (its formulation preceded his tenure).

Any plans for the Carriage Square lot that UNT has will not come to fruition, as they/we ceded the opportunity and CPC folks are very quick to remind anyone they can that they’re not party to that property. However, the earasing of Carriage Square likely changed the calculus for the west side of the street. It is my strong bet that CPC and the board decided to make moves while the band aid was already ripped off across the street.

Edited by Christopher Walker
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17 hours ago, ipd054 said:

In the below photo the builder wanted to build a 3 story mixed use facility by buying out the 1920's home.  Edith Macefield the homeowner would not sell. 

That's the story that inspired the animated movie "Up", isn't it?

14 hours ago, ipd054 said:

From my understanding the Carriage Square complex is to be a partnership development.  ...  My guess is the University is buying the land to complete the block and will be partnering with Westdale to do a land lease for the development for the Sac and Save/sub hub site with the agreement that the Carriage Square property completes the "town square"

 

7 hours ago, Christopher Walker said:

Original intent six years ago, yes. But Smatresk publicly has called for and won deviations from the plan since then (its formulation preceded his tenure). 

Well, I HOPE there's still a plan like that.  There is a need for retail space to serve the University Community.  Ever been to a campus which is isolated from the community?  I grew up near Stony Brook University.  I prefer Denton, hands down.

 

18 hours ago, peanuts104 said:

...buildings to buy for use as a restaurant and sites to build a new one on are pretty limited around campus.  Not sure what the zoning allows either.

I've sent my idea about moving the NY Sub-Way building to the owners, anyway.

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