Tallahassee Reports has learned that a company affiliated with Adam Corey reaped a 129% return over a three-and-half year period on the sale of a piece of vacant property the company purchased from the City of Tallahassee.
The property. located on the corner of St. Michael Street and Gaines Street, was purchased by a Corey affiliated company for $225,000 on January 31, 2014 and sold for $515,000 on June 2, 2017. The sale price indicates a 129% return over 3.5 years or approximately 36.8% per year.
At the time of the purchase, Corey was a city vendor through his Edison Restaurant venture and was the campaign treasurer for City Commissioner Andrew Gillum, who was running for mayor of Tallahassee.
Adam Corey is a central player in the ongoing federal investigation of city hall.
But get this – the city commission never voted to sell the property to the Corey affiliated company.
So how did it happen?
The paper trail uncovered by Tallahassee Reports shows the actions Corey took to hide his affiliation with the property deal. TR’s research also shows how actions by City of Tallahassee officials -including former Mayor John Marks – ultimately resulted in Corey obtaining a financial interest in the deal.
On November 26, 2013, the city commission approved the purchase of the vacant lot for $225,000 to a company named Taking Schatz, LLC.
Staff told the city commission that Taking Schatz, LLC was the only bidder that responded to an advertisement placed in the Tallahassee Democrat.
Previously, the city staff indicated that there was “significant interest” in the property, and therefore, a request for bids was released in August of 2013.
In the end, only one bidder responded.
A review of the city commission meeting shows that the purchase was unanimously approved by Mayor John Marks, and City Commissioners Ziffer, Miller, Maddox, and Gillum. There was no discussion or public testimony.
State records show that the Taking Schatz, LLC was created in January 2013 by Adam Corey. However, in May 2013 Corey was removed as Manager and Edward Schatz was added.
So the vote on November 26, 2013 did not involve a Corey related business.
However, after the November 26, 2013 vote to sell the property to Taking Schatz,LLC, the City of Tallahassee actually sold the property to a different company.
The deed below – dated February 3, 2014 – shows that the City of Tallahassee sold the property to a company called Gaines 800, LLC.
Unlike the Taking Schatz LLC, records show that Gaines 800 LLC was indeed affiliated with Adam Corey. The Gaines 800, LLC was created in October 15, 2013 and the Manager was listed as the Schatz-Corey Holdings, LLC. The Schatz-Corey Holdings, LLC was also created on October 15, 2013.
The deed was executed by Mayor John Marks.
Further evidence of Corey’s affiliation with the property deal was found in emails uncovered by Tallahassee Reports.
The email chain below shows that City of Tallahassee employees – Mark Beaudoin and Robert Culverhouse – were included in emails addressing the property purchase that involved Edward Schatz and Adam Corey before the sale date of January 31, 2014.
On January 8th, 2014, Edward Schatz sent an email to City of Tallahassee employee Robert Culverhouse that said, “Danny Manausa who is handling our closing and will review the documents….”
Copied on the email were Mark Beaudoin, a city employee, and Adam Corey.
Five days later Manausa sends an email to Robert Culverhouse about the deeds.
Again, copied on the email were Mark Beaudoin, a city employee, and Adam Corey.
It appears that city staff were well aware that Adam Corey was involved with the deal.
But why did the staff execute the purchase of the property to a different company than was approved by the city commission vote on November 26, 2013?
Did someone tell city staff to move forward with the transaction despite the change in company?
Tallahassee Reports will continue to seek answers to these questions.
Property records show that on June 2, 2017, Gaines 800 LLC sold the property purchased in 2014 for $515,000. Records also show the property was vacant in 2014 and in 2017.