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City fails to buy KBLX land for park

By John Geluardi Daily Planet Staff
Monday February 26, 2001

The city’s effort to resurrect a deal to purchase 4.5 acres from KBLX Radio as an addition to Aquatic Park stalled when the station’s management said it wasn’t interested. 

“They just aren’t interested,” said Cliff Marchetti of the Department of Parks and Waterfront. “But they said if they change their minds, they’d let us know.” 

In December, the City Council directed the Department of Parks and Waterfront to research available funding sources and seek out the owners of the radio station — Inner City Broadcasting — to see if they were still interested in possibly selling the property. 

The site is adjacent to the south end of Aquatic Park and is bounded by the Ashby Avenue on-ramp, Bay Street and Interstate 80. The property is largely undeveloped and consists of lagoon and grassy uplands. 

According to the Parks and Waterfront Draft Master Plan, the site is an excellent candidate for habitat restoration. The plan, which has not been finalized, also suggests the city purchase the land as an addition to Aquatic Park.  

The city was considering buying the property in 1996. At that time the property was appraised at $467,000, according to an informational report prepared by Parks and Waterfront for the City Council. 

But the deal was contingent on a grant from the State Environmental Enhancement Mitigation Program. The grant was not awarded and the proposed transaction collapsed.  

According to the report, “The owner determined that it was not in the best interest of the station to sell the property at this time and took the property off the market.”