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H-SC Now Owner Of Property Near Manor

PRINCE EDWARD-Hamden-Sydney College Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer, Norm Krueger, was among a small contingent standing on the courthouse steps last Thursday morning. It would only take a brief time for the lone bidder at the trustee's sale, but the College (under H-SC Poplar Hill LLC)-which once owned some 300 acres in several parcels south of Farmville near the sprawling 18-hole golf course-was an owner again.

The property had been sold as part of a Money Deed of Trust to Herberton Poplar Hill Residential II, LLLP in 2007.

“We anticipated no alternative bids,” Krueger said Monday. “But we were prepared for the alternative bids should they have occurred.”

The College, specifically, bid $2 million, then $3 million for the property, much of which surrounds the existing golf course.

Krueger would explain that it is his understanding of Virginia case law that the courts feel that for a bid to be uncontestable it has to be for at least 50 percent of the value of the property. If it were contested, he also cited, that could have been a point of contention.

The $2 million bid was too low for the value of that property. Even with the $3 million bid there was no money involved (Krueger noted that Hampden-Sydney owned the note).

“It's acceptable to us (the price)…The value of the land is worth more than that, obviously, but…that would set the value of the land at six million and that's…on the low side of what it's worth,” Krueger said.

The property essentially, he also explained, is the same that they owned and sold, in essence. It does not include the Manor House or the golf course, but does include cottages and Maxine's Restaurant. (Three are reportedly completed, the College plans to complete the work on the other two.)

In the short-term, they are expected to keep operating as they are.

The restaurant, Krueger cited, is a “huge success” and the occupancy rate of the cottages “is very strong on those” and that they intend to keep the occupancy rate strong.

On the long-term, he said, they'll have to wait and see, noting that it just happened.

“That'll be discussed in the coming weeks with our trustees,” Krueger said, of what they will do with the property. “It'll probably be … discussed … between now and the first of the year before we come up with a long-term plan…,”

The vision (that it be residential development) stays the same, he said.

They will look to a developer to develop their property, he said.