it is heartening to learn that the News-Press believes that a good-faith
effort should be made to find an equitable purchase price, as was the
case in the Jan. 3 editorial "In search of a magic bullet."
However, we take exception to at least two of the statements made in
those articles and would like to put those statements -- and the purchase
price for Oakmont -- into perspective.
In the Jan. 1 article, Oakmont developer John Gregg makes what is
possibly the most ludicrous argument in the long litany of Oakmont spin
when he states that lots in the Oakmont area are selling for $300,000,
and 'If you take $8 million and divide it by 572 (lots), that's roughly
$14,000 a lot." According to Mr. Gregg, "That kind of puts it in
This would only put things into perspective if Mr. Gregg had 572 lots
already graded, with streets in, and utilities connected on the Oakmont
property. But he does not. At this point, Mr. Gregg has raw land. In
fact, he does not have an entitlement for any lots on the property. And
whether he will in the future remains to be seen. His statement puts
nothing in perspective. It is a classic case of apples and oranges.
However, it would appear that the News-Press has bought in to the
argument. In their editorial two days later, they state that "if the goal
simply is a reasonable profit on their (the Greggs') decades-old
investment in a big parcel of land, the magic number might not be so far
away ... (but) it's a lot more than $8 million, to be sure."
Oakmont View V consists of 238 acres of beautiful hillside land on the
north slope of the Verdugo Mountains in Glendale. If the property could
be purchased, as is, for $8 million, it would result in a per-acre price
Let's compare that to some other beautiful hillside properties that
have been recently purchased and see how the $8 million compares.
* On Feb. 24, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that the 107-acre
parcel known as Liberty Canyon was sold to the Santa Monica Mountains
Conservancy for $3.2 million. The property, in Agoura Hills, will serve