It's taken about two months, but we have finally received word that PanAm (yes, that's PanAm like the airline—the railways are notorious for being bought and sold), the owners of the railway corridor that runs around the McKnight neighborhood, will be sending us their valuation maps. On the maps they will indicate which parcels they still own and which parcels they have sold. This is useful to our project not only because we will know what we need to purchase, but it also shows that we have opened a dialogue with the landowners/railway. And while a purchase of the property won't happen this month, it's a step in the right direction. The next step is to present PanAm with an appraisal.
The valuation maps are decades old but still quite relevant. They show what used to line the track: bridges, sidings, stations, factory pull-offs, grades and curvature. Not only are these historical documents useful regarding land acquisition, but they save our effort allot of time and research. When the time comes to hire a surveyor, we will already have maps that indicate where everything was—saving the surveyor time, and us money. Not to mention, that if we know where an old factory pull-off was, an environmental assessor knows where to investigate for possible contamination before purchasing the property. Knowledge of contamination is important as a pre-construction detail and purchase-price negotiation point.