Now I know a lot of you are thinking, (based on comments) this article will be in support of those comments. Well, it is and it isn't.
To be fair, my article pointed out how the building was purchased for $155,000.00 and that is true. However, what wasn't mentioned was the millions of dollars that went into remodeling the building. Yet we did link to an article explaining much more. Their investment number into that building to renovate is somewhere around $2,000,000.00.
You could argue that the replacement value, (if you were to construct new at that location) is easily worth $4.4 million. However, that is not the case here and quite frankly shouldn't even be considered in this equation.
Heck, there's 60,000 sq. ft. of space in that building and there's probably $150,000.00 worth of carpeting alone. There's a lot to factor in. However, in the end, (as my article suggested yesterday) this is not about Gillis/Gilkerson making off like bandits. The argument I had and still have is this is yet another property taken off the tax roll from Salisbury University and PRMC. If you look back over the past 20 years, (which no one is willing to do in the MSM) and calculate the MILLIONS of dollars that have been removed from the tax roll, YOU the taxpayer ultimately have to come up with that funding to replace the lost tax revenue both in the City and the County.
All that being said, Gillis/Gilkerson broke no rules or laws. They had NOTHING to do with the appraisal and in fact were surprised at the numbers. They have traveled the United States visiting different DOWNTOWN'S and notice a college presence in striving communities elsewhere and felt this gift would be a positive start in similar successes. This is their building, their vision and their gift/decision. You/We cannot blame them for anything here.
As for their children, love them or hate them, THEY ARE THE FUTURE OF SALISBURY, like it or not. You may not agree with them on issues but as I have stated in the past, they are sticking their necks out and investing into Downtown. It's so easy for many of you to go on the attack saying stuff like they got it all from their parents. Well, I happen to know these guys and it was THEIR vision they brought to their parents in search of WISDOM, can you blame them? THEY are investing their earned savings into projects they believe in, not their parents money. THEY have worked extremely hard to promote Downtown and my hat is tipped to them. Could they have moved out of Salisbury to other striving communities and had a much better chance at much bigger returns on their investments, absolutely. Instead, they stuck it out here in Salisbury and are making their own mark through an incredibly strong group of friends and supporters.
Gone are the days of us old folks trying to revitalize Downtown. The lack of support from former leaders threw a wrench into it and those who invested in the past sold out and moved on, me included.
So while it's easy to criticize, ANONYMOUSLY, unless YOU have the time, the money and the will, don't hate others who have a proven track record. I know I'd love to have Gillis/Gilkerson not only as consultants but as partners in my investment ventures as well, young or old. Their GIFT is just a small part of what they have done to revitalize and move the Downtown forward.