Friday, January 16, 2009

A Good Time to Buy ROW

Seems as if we have a golden opportunity to take advantage of the financial crisis. One way is the lowered value of property. Virginia Beach, perhaps looking to extend light rail from Norfolk, is setting aside $10 million as half of a $20 million payment to buy Norfolk Southern ROW for the line. Just a short time ago, it was worth about $50 million.

Negotiations have stalled before because the city and railroad company officials couldn't agree on price. The city also has considered condemning the land. Norfolk Southern appraisal last year valued the right of way at $50 million, said Robin Chapman, a company spokesman.

"That was done at the height of real estate values, and property values have declined since then," Chapman said. "We are nevertheless insistent on getting fair market value for it." He wouldn't say how much the company would take.

1 comment:

jon said...

it would also be great if the stimulus allowed for tax incentives for investment in private infrastructure i.e. for the freight railroads to expand (and utilities). this would benefit rail passengers too. something like this should get bipartisann support and greatly improve the railroad system while creating jobs and i would imagine there would be much less red tape and faster construction start times than govt projects. of course govt projects are also needed too.

i agree, RoW preservation is key and is money well spent. even if they buy up more than needed for future rail they can always be used for trails or utility lines or even some future transportation mode that doesnt even exist now.