The Metro Land Commission Deal

THE METRO LAND COMMISSION DEAL Real estate brokerage firm McDade Smith Gould Johnston Mason + Co. is slated to earn as much as $7 million in consulting fees and commissions from land transactions related to the construction of 5 new rail lines, the West University Examiner‘s Michael Reed reports. Last year’s hiring of Kristen M. McDade as associate vice president of real estate services means 2 out of Metro’s 7 real estate division employees are also McDade Smith brokers. The 3-year deal approved by the outgoing Metro board last December outlines that payments are to be made “even though the land to be used has already been predetermined by the route and could be taken through eminent domain, if need be,” Reed explains: “As stated in the contract, ‘Consultant (McDade Smith) shall receive commissions on every transaction closed by Metro, including but not limited to all right of way acquisitions, calculated on the basis of 6 percent of the “sales price.”’ Metro, however, receives a credit of rebate equal to 40 percent of that payment, according to the contract. Since, legally, a buyer — in this case, Metro — cannot force a seller to pay commissions to a broker, Metro’s true price for land acquisition for five lines, including the University route, would likely be bumped up by $6.25 million in buyer paid commissions as well.” [West University Examiner]

10 Comment

  • Smell? What smell?

  • The continued corruption of METRO leaks out. The board should be a voter based board just like city council and not setup as a some quasi-government entity that has no real accountability.

  • Just a little conflict-of-interest. No big deal. It’s Houston. Where our politicians all wear “for sale” signs around their necks.

    Reminds me of the Houston Renaissance board member who took commissions from all the “transactions” including one that wasn’t even in Fourth Ward. The AG’s Office loved that one. Commissions which apparently became “consulting fees” after someone pointed out that his broker’s license had been revoked.

  • People need to wake up and realize that METRO is not a transportation group but a publicly funded land development operation.

    Their focus on rail is not because it’s a solution for transit, but because they get condemnation and eminent domain powers for a radius at each stop. Which means they can tear down anything in the radius and sell it to developers.

    It’s nice that a big developer sits near the top of METRO also.

  • So nothing was put out to bid ? An inside deal approved by former Metro people who are now employees of the brokerage who will earn 6% ( does any borker get that today ? )

    The tax payer wins again.

  • All eyes turn to the new mayor and her new Metro board…

  • A post is missing. Why is a post missing?

  • Okay. I am peeved. All I can remember is someone else was engaging in some hanky-panky.

  • And I thought small town politics stank.

  • Houston is a small town. It just has 2.5 million or so people. Has anyone ever noticed how some of the department heads rarely leave? Always there. Mayor after mayor after mayor…