Thumbs Down

Thumbs down to Grand Valley State University for spending ...
Feb 25, 2014


... $18.9 million of taxpayers’ money to buy 83 properties on 11 acres near its Grand Rapids campus. One purchase was for $520,000 for an old house on one-tenth of an acre. State records set the value of it at $80,000.

See the Tribune Opinion page for your daily dose of our Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down!



Former Grandhavenite

I think GVSU is working a very long-term strategic angle here, rather than thinking this will somehow pay off in the near-term. It may actually be quite savvy on the part of the GVSU Board of Control to pick up these properties while they have the chance. I don't know the specifics of that $520,000 purchase that's only assessed at $80,000 but I'd guess that its value comes not from the intrinsic value of an old house sitting on a tenth of an acre, but from the fact that it's in the middle of where GVSU would like to build out the campus, and even one small lot in the wrong place can throw a wrench into the whole project. I believe it took many years for GVSU to piece together the land for the current downtown campus and negotiate with the hold-outs.

Even if they don't build in this new area for 20 years I think future GVSU administrations will be glad they bought 'low' which is probably how this price will be viewed decades from now. The value of that $520,000 lot isn't going to go down as the visible campus development edges closer to it. Taxpayers get more of a return on investment from education than from any other type of public expenditure so I don't feel like we're getting ripped off here.

Barry Soetoro

Easy for you to say when you don't pay any taxes.

Former Grandhavenite

Hey tell that to the IRS if you could please because they don't seem to be in the loop on that one! And yeah, I know only a small part of GVSU funding comes at the federal level but I sure had the pleasure of paying a lot of taxes in Michigan over a lot of years, including chipping in a decent amount of sales tax revenue last time I was in MI.

Barry Soetoro

You should buy stuff over the internet from sites that don't collect sales tax.

Real estate maven

I've got a nice bridge I'll sell you FGH.....,,..

Say no to new taxes

What's the big deal? They'll just raise tution 6% to cover the cost.

Mystic Michael

FGH actually raises a compelling point - namely that public expenditures which may seem excessive or wasteful to the uninformed or the uninterested, can in the bigger picture or the longer term, turn out to have been very savvy, cost-effective investments.

It is a point that demonstrates significant insight into the public planning & budgeting process, and therefore deserves a thoughtful, substantive response. What it doesn't deserve is the usual thoughtless, kneejerk snark, delivered by a bunch of narrow-minded nimrods.


I'll bet some GVSU insiders were the owners of that property....can you say "Clintons and Whitewater"...oh wait, sorry...Bill and Hilary didn't get convicted on anything, unlike the cast of characters around them. They must own some of the same non-stick material Obama uses.


They made simlar deals when buying properties for the M231 By-Pass, paid more way more than the property was worth in a good market and now they are on a shoestring...


Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on Create a new account today to get started.