A very interesting letter showed up in my mailbox on Monday. The Village at Winona, which runs the shops just down the street, and owns the land just behind our house, is offering to sell the latter, and would I be interested in a slice?
Would I be interested?
Is a kitten interested in dangling string?
Does a dog want a piece of bacon?
The odd bit about this deal is that it's all or nothing — all nine surrounding property owners have to buy all 12 lots. At the price mentioned — and, since I don't have to by a minivan — I can afford one; by default, the one connecting to the back of my property. The Volkers registered their positive interest, too. I'm eager — and anxious — to find out what the rest of my neighbors decide. (To spur us on to the correct decision, the letter included an oblique mention of an apartment block as the alternative.)
Odder yet is the fact that this isn't the first time the surrounding owners have had a chance to own this property. I asked how the property came to be owned by The Village, and Brent told me the history:
The McKee Courts area was originally the location of rocque and tennis courts and was owned by the Winona Assembly. (Hence the street names “Court” and “Tennis”). The Assembly removed the courts and built a 48 room single story motel, McKee Courts, on the property in the 1950’s. Grace Schools assumed all assets and liabilities of the Assembly in 1968 of which McKee was one. The motel was used as men’s dormitory space until The Village acquired all of the old Assembly property from Grace which included McKee. At that time we asked all adjacent property owners to share in the cost of demolishing the structure and we would give them the land in a plan similar to the one currently proposed. All owners, except one, refused to participate so The Village removed the structure, graded, seeded, etc. which leads us to today.
It's a bit discouraging that all but one refused the plan back then. Hopefully, the neighbors that live here now will see the value in having the land. Personally? I can't wait. A garden, a hammock, a wading pool...