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Fast: There are reasons to oppose building purchase


Thank you to the board and committee members for your volunteer efforts and this opportunity to speak against the purchase of the Thunderbird property. My message is simple and shared by many. We ask you to stop all efforts to purchase this property and focus on the important tasks ahead of you, particularly the long-range plan.

In my opinion, one of the major reasons Sun City has been such a success is the diligent and expert planning that was done before a single house was built. Del Webb had an army of experts and I encourage the board to hire an urban planning firm specializing in recreational planning to objectively comb through our data and advise the board and members regarding the process and policies we need to follow for a successful future. Nobody expects that you, as volunteers with differing backgrounds, would have that expertise. As a result of the tireless efforts of members of the long-range planning committee, we finally have a solid mission, vision and value statement and are ready to take the next step to develop a solid plan to fulfill it. Please, Plan wisely, spend wisely.

My reasons for requesting RCSC not to pursue the Thunderbird property have certainly been considered in your evaluation of the opportunity, but I will repeat them here so we can all see the monumental challenge this property poses.

  • A study of the utilization of RCSC indoor air-conditioned flat space indicated it was only being used between 30% and 40% of the time available. It does not make sense to buy more property when we are not using half of what we already have. We have a scheduling issue, not a capacity issue.
  • This building(s) is specifically designed as a hospital, not as a recreation center or an office building.
  • At $500 per square foot, this 49,000 square foot property could cost about $25 million to renovate.
  • The annual cost to operate this building could be over $1.2 million per year, which would increase the annual assessment by $30.
  • Abandoned buildings are notorious for not being maintained and it is public knowledge this one had major water damage in 2020 and has been unoccupied since 2016. It probably still has water damage.
  • The building is old. It was built in 1985.
  • The property would need to be rezoned.
  • The parking at the facility appears to be inadequate.
  • We do not have the staff to take on one more project.