By Josh Resnek
Many weeks have passed since the Davis
Companies allegedly pulled out of a multi-billion dollar development of the contaminated 95 acre Exxon Mobil site.
The Davis Companies had been prepared to mitigate the site, and then to build upon it a mountain of residential housing and commercial projects as well as new roads and wide open expanses plush with greenery and places to sit under the sun.
The idea was to take this 95 acre contaminated property and to turn night into day.
Davis Companies was ready to go. Their executives were all set to push the shovels into the land and to begin digging when the deal apparently fell apart.
Several people familiar with the project told the Leader Herald that Davis Companies had underestimated the cost of mitigating the environmental contamination of the property.
“They didn’t realize how deep the pollution had seeped below the giant oil storage tanks that dots the landscape of the property,” a source told the Leader Herald.
About the same time, the mayor announced at a public meeting with an off the cuff comment that the Davis Companies was stepping back in order to gain a better price from Exxon Mobil for the property.
Negotiating for a lower price is basic deal making pro forma in the big leagues, especially when powerhouses like Exxon Mobil and Davis Companies are involved.
Since that time, neither the city nor Davis Companies has owned up publicly as to what exactly is going on, if anything, with the sprawling property and for Davis Companies previous plans to develop it.
The Leader Herald has heard from Exxon associates who wish to remain unnamed that a Texas group may in fact be looking at the property.
However, Exxon Mobil is remaining mum.
The mayor does not answer Leader Herald queries.
Davis Companies has not been forthcoming about where the development project stands, if, in fact, it stands at all.
This is known: Exxon Mobil has said that Davis Companies did not follow through with its purchase and sale agreement.
Such a move might nominally end the possibility of such a development.
In this case, there is more to the quiet that has ensued that meets the eye.
Of some local concern is that the Exxon Mobil site is no longer being used, or taxed, as it was when the this industrial property was functioning.
For many years, it was one of the biggest taxpaying entities.
There is some question about what in total Exxon Mobil is paying, and what the tax bill will be when and if the property is sold.
The Leader Herald reached out to the Assessor’s Department for taxation information about the property but was referred to the mayor’s office.
The mayor’s office does communicate with the Leader Herald.