Friday, December 03, 2010

How A Billionaire Stays A Billionaire

Earlier this week, the Post had a story about how our poor, beleaguered, under-appreciated owner was being dicked over for about $5 million by Fairfax County... or someone.

Short version... they took some of his Tysons land via eminent domain, paying him half a Dunn for the land. They later decided the estimate was too high, since the real estate market collapsed, and asked for an Austin Kearns back. He sued. He lost. Case closed. Aww. So sad.

But what caught my eye was the part at the bottom.

The $19 million that the developer will keep, however, could figure in the zoning approvals it has negotiated in Tysons Corner. With the second easternmost station set to open on the doorstep of Tysons Galleria in 2013, Lerner Enterprises has been moving to capitalize, planning six more office buildings, two condominium towers and a hotel.

But in receiving zoning approvals in 2003, Lerner Enterprises agreed that in exchange for density increases it would provide the land needed for Metro construction and would, "make such dedication or conveyance without monetary consideration."

I haven't seen a clear explanation of this anywhere, but if you piece it together, it might look like this: (and if someone's seen a better explanation, I'm all ears...)

Lerner agrees to give up a sliver of his land for free ("without monetary consideration") way back in '03 because of some zoning changes that would make him a bazillion more dollars with the rest of his land. So somewhere along the way, after getting those zoning changes and planning "six more ofice buildings, two condominium towers and a hotel" he decides he wants to double dip at the trough, getting the cash he said he didn't need initially, thanks to the eminent domain process.

So he gets the cake. Eats it. Enslaves the baker. Steals all the wheat from the third-world country. Taxes all the millers. Punches babies. And suckles profits from the Washington Nationals.

I really feel terrible for all the bad-mouthing of Jeff Smulyan I did now. :(


  • I thought you were in the land of apathy now. Why do you even give a shit about this? It's not like your snark here is worth reading or anything. It's replacement level snark at best. Go back to sleep already.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/03/2010 11:52 PM  

  • This is why the bloggers/posters who are defending the team for not wanting to spend too much money on an aging player in Dunn crack me up. Screw the Lerners already. They could sign Lee, Crawford AND Dunn and have a team actually worth watching next year.

    Never thought I would say this but I am beginning to develop an appreciation George Steinbrenner. At least he spent his damn money on making his team better. Why the heck do you want to own a sports franchise if you don't care about winning? :(

    By Anonymous bdrube, at 12/04/2010 12:47 PM  

  • Obama should throw out the first pitch next year wearing a brand new Dunn white sox jersey.

    By Blogger Rob B, at 12/04/2010 1:15 PM  

  • Rob B- you are SWEET! :)

    By Anonymous bdrube, at 12/04/2010 5:40 PM  

  • yeah well if they're gonna stick it in might as well twist it and break it off too....

    By Blogger Rob B, at 12/05/2010 1:48 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Rob B, at 12/05/2010 1:51 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Rob B, at 12/05/2010 10:00 PM  

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