In what has to rank as one of the least-surprising developments of the year, guess which piece of downtown land that was valued at $7.5 million as recently as last week has suddenly evidenced an incredible increase in value? That’s right: The DMN reports that the valuation for the piece of land tapped by Mayor Leppert for the downtown taxpayer-subsidized convention center hotel has been adjusted ($36.5 million now) to more nearly approximate the value the city has offered for the piece ($41 million).

The move comes after councilmen Angela Hunt and Mitchell Rasansky complained rather loudly that either the city was overpaying for the land or DCAD needed to reassess its value, along with that of the other vacant parcels of land downtown. Now that this piece has been reassesed, we’re likely to receive a bonanza of new tax dollars from this and other downtown property, which may actually be a viable by-product of the convention center hotel discussion.

Again, I believe we need a convention center hotel. I’m just not sure that the way Leppert is going about getting it done is in the best interests of those of us who are taxpayers. At least the process has opened up some during the past few weeks, so perhaps we’ll have a better picture of the overall plan soon.

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