by Stand By Our Plan
What are Plum Creek’s real intentions for their 60,000 acres in Alachua County?
Should the Alachua County Commission grant their request to rezone their timberland to allow for urban development?
The friendly local people they’ve hired say they have a fifty-year plan, and they’re in it for the long haul.
Their boss says something different.
In an interview with financial analysts in Atlanta on April 28, Plum Creek CEO Rick Holley had the following to say about the company’s investment strategy.
“One of the key incentives for the company over the past several years has been the entitlement of our most valuable development properties. Through the pursuit of these entitlements, we change the very nature of these assets and create long term value for shareholders. We do not intend to pursue vertical development [construction], or invest a significant amount of capital into these properties. Rather, our strategy is to spend time and effort to move these properties up the value chain through entitlement and capture that value.”
The article goes on to describe the “plum” in their portfolio, their largest “development opportunity,” in Alachua County.
Translation: they plan to boost the market value of their land through land use and zoning changes, then carve it up and sell it off. Plum Creek will not build anything, or hire anyone, or create any jobs. As pieces of Plum Creek’s lands are each sold off to new owners over the next twenty years, those new owners would likely have their own development strategies, and would return, one by one, to the county commission to ask for changes. Changes only take three votes from any future county commission.
We have no idea what the future of this land might be; we can’t trust the “plan” that Plum Creek has put together to persuade the county commission to “entitle” their property.
We only know that once the first step is taken, it’s legally impossible to turn back.
The full article can be read at http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2014/04/30/plum-creek-timber-co-developing-2-000-acre-mega.html.
For a reality check on Plum Creek’s public relations campaign, get the facts at StandByOurPlan.org. You can also purchase yard signs, bumper stickers and more there.