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From the text of the lawsuit, page nine: The City demanded, received, and accepted a non discrimination statement from CoL that has been in effect since Jan 2004.


" 34. Neither the City nor anyone else has alleged that Cradle of Liberty has ever violated the Non Discrimination Statement, or that Cradle of Liberty has in any way violated the agreement reached in January 2004."


The City loses because it is violating it's own agreement reached earlier in this dispute. They later held a park commission meeting to vote to suspend CoL'c lease without telling CoL of the meeting. Then one councilman, without notice to the other members of the council or CoL, introduced a resolution approving the eviction of CoL. (Gay activist groups were notified and invited to the meeting.) Not very Trustworthy...


The City loses under 'Equal protection under the Law'. Other groups with similar membership policies and similar lease arrangements are not being evicted.


The City loses under 'Unjust enrichment' by stealing from the scouts the property that the scouts have paid to construct, renovate ($1.5 million in 1994), and maintain ($60,000 annualy). The proposed rent to City asks ($200,000) is twice the most expensive office space in Philadelphia...


If BSA membership policies are okay with the Supreme Court, why should the City be allowed to ride over BSA's contitutionally guaranteed rights to satisfy some activist group?

They are only trying to do this because the Scouts are iconic of a culture they despise.


Where's the agrument?




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The original agreement said either party can end the agreement by giving one year's notice. The city did so. They also decided they couldn't legally continue with the agreement because it violated their own laws.


Like the similar lawsuit over free berths in Berkeley that were withdrawn, the court said that the BSA has a right to their membership requirements, but that doesn't mean cities are required to give the BSA special rates. Berkeley offered the berths to the BSA at the same rates as the general public, and that was good enough for the courts. Philly is offering the building at the same rate they'd lease it to anyone else.

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"The proposed rent the City asks ($200,000) is twice the most expensive office space in Philadelphia..."


Wrong. The building (according to the Wall Street Journal) is 8,928 sq. ft. At $200,000 per year, that breaks down to a rate of $22.32/sq. ft.


The most expensive office space in Philadelphia are Class AAA (New Construction) buildings. The per square foot rate for Class AAA is $32 to $40. So right away we can see that the statement is not correct.


The next step are Class A buildings with market rents at $22-$30/sq. ft. Most Class A buildings are multi-tenant buildings with amenities which may include deli's, health club facilities, atm machines, security, etc.


Given the size and that it's a single occupant building, the office building the BSA is in in likely to be classed a Class B Office Building. Market rents in Class B buildings in Philadelphia are running $18 to $22/sq. ft. At $22.32/sq. ft., the market rent being asked is slightly higher than market range average(though keep in mind that the amount was determined by market rents at the time this started - and the above market rents are from January 2009.) yet still not an unreasonable market rent for a Class B building. The $18-22/sq.ft. is an average range - there will always be buildings that are outliers of the range. Keep in mind too, that there could be an added affect of a ground lease - the BSA's original lease is a ground lease. The building, once it was built, becomes part of the land, and is now owned by the City, regardless of who built it. That's the way Leases and Property works. It's the same thing in your home - you put mini-blinds up in your house, they immediately become part of the real property - and remain with the property when sold.


So - one "myth" (giving the BSA the benefit of the doubt, but if that figure came from their legal brief, then their lawyers are a bunch of lying scuzzbuckets), that the market rent would be twice the most expensive office rents has been busted as being untrue.


Makes me wonder how many of the other statements made in the BSA's brief are factual.

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Calico; It seems to me that a truer measurement or comparison might be to average what similar, you say type B space, is going for in the immediate environs of the building. I am led to understand that this is an older, and less desirable section of town; if so, then the per square foot costs would likely be substantially lower. But, I could be mistaken on this. Perhaps you can clarify that for us.


Whatever the case, the city has basically taken the building because they can. When it was built and given to the city, it was a different time. Today, no one would be likely to enter into such an arrangement under the terms of that time, as they would recognize that they would need to protect themselves more securely. In some respects there are very similar conditions with the camp on Mission Bay. 42 youth organizations and the city "asked" the scouts to build the Fiesta Island. They did, at their own expense; now we have the law suit that is basically trying to take the camp away, even though it was built with the blessing of the city and the other groups, and is open to anyone.


This continued ego-centric, sometimes amoral attitude is counterproductive in most cases. And it rarely serves the best interests of the general populous, often causes far more damage to positive programs that benefit large portions of the community. Of course this really does not matter to those who push the issues, as they "are ego-centric".


JMO; armor on.

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Ed, the only lawsuit in the cradle of liberty situation is the BSA's lawsuit against the city. So how's that an attack AGAINST the BSA?


I meant in general. The Balboa Park case where the plaintiffs have no standing & all rest!

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Having a Park Commission meeting to vote to evict BSA and a City Council meeting to approve that eviction, without even having BSA present to explain their side of the issue would seem to be a pretty hostile act. Can we call that an attack?


The lawsuit is merely a defense against that attack.


Any untruths in the BSA suit can be challenged in court, and the matter adjudicated much more fairly that at sneaky meetings designed to circumvent public scrutiny.

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If the building is in an older, less desirable area, then the lease rates in that area are likely to be in the $18 part of the range rather than the $22. The average lease amounts take in leases for the entire city, not just the prime areas. It may be possible to find some offices going for $10/sq. ft. but those will be rare outliers and shouldn't be used as a comparison.


It's somewhat inaccurate to say the BSA gave the building to the city. Under the terms of a ground lease, which is what the BSA has, any structure built on the land automatically becomes part of the real property and is owned by the landlord. It's probably a bit more accurate to say the BSA built a building for the city.


You're right though, it's highly unlikely anyone would do something like this these days. Ground leases these days are most likely going to be for cropland, not for development. An owner of undeveloped land who wants to improve it will likely want to develop it him/herself - there's money to be made on the development side. If it were to happen now, the city - if they agreed to be landlord, would likely build a build-to-suit building and would want to control some aspects of the building and build-out to retain residual value. As an example of that, they may agree to build your bathrooms in a specific spot in the building, but will limit the tenant to a choice of pre-approved finishes and fixtures so landlord isn't ripping out an ok bathroom built on the cheap to put in a new bathroom because he can't re-lease up the space unless he does so. That's the residual value of the building.


Before we get lost on the whole "but the Scout's built it - it's unfair to them" angle that I sense this is going, let's also not forget that the money the Scout's spent to build the building has already been amortized out to "zero". Let's also keep in mind that the BSA did not have to pay property taxes on the land and improvements throughout this period which has more than made up for the money they spent in maintenance and improvements over the years. Many councils now are leasing buildings, and paying the property taxes - they may be tax exempt but their landlords aren't, and can't claim an exemption because a tenant is exempt.


JoeBob - sure, it can be characterized as an attack. I can see that point. On the other hand, I can understand it from the other side. My understanding is this all started after the CoL Council told the city it did not discriminate, put together a new discrimination statement that was overturned by National, and then topped it off by revoking the membership of an 18 year old that came out (likely at National's insistence) which may have been interpreted as an attack against the City's values and rules by the BSA. Was it unfair for them to do this at meetings where the BSA wasn't invited? Perhaps - but then again, there apparently is no requirement that they had to inform the BSA of their plans in the first place. I think the courtesy would have been nice though.


The more I think about this, the more it looks as if its a battle between the City of Philadelphia and the Boy Scouts of America, with the Cradle of Liberty Council caught in the middle - it's quite obvious the CoL Council wanted to do the right thing by Philadelphia, and Philadephia seemed willing to ignore National's policies provided CoL's policies complied with city code. Perhaps this should be the strong argument and rallying point for local option.




(This message has been edited by CalicoPenn)

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You are correct the COL is caught in the middle. Someone who follows the issue more closely than I can confirm, or elaborate, severaly years ago I believe the COL, the Minuteman Council, and several others in MA, NJ and NY asked National for essentially a local option rule for their councils, (primarily to avoid the loss of some fundining sources), but their requests were denied.



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