PE IDA Extends Time

Published 4:30 pm Thursday, November 4, 2010

PRINCE EDWARD – County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) members met Monday and agreed to extend the closing date of sale on property for a planned hotel, conference and training centers.

“The original sales agreement that we entered into back in July of 2009 required a closing…the purchase of the land-when you do the math it turns out to be January 17 of 2011, so it's coming up in another couple of months,” detailed Robert Fowler, of Prince Edward Development, which is heading up Granite Falls project plans. “We still have some outstanding contingencies, one of which is demonstration that the relocation of (Route) 628 is actually gonna occur. We're in the process of doing that, but…we're now in the mode of dealing with VDOT and that's taking some time.”

He also noted that they're working on financing and that, while they have some “pieces” of it together and have some grants finally committed, “we still have a few more to go and so we need a little bit more time.”

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The extension sought, and that approved by the IDA, moves the closing deadline from January 17 to December 31 of 2011.

“That should give us plenty of time to finalize our financing, finalize the grants, get the various approvals,” Fowler said.

Plans have been in the works for a 176-room facility that would be located south of Farmville and the County's school complex on about 95 acres owned by the County. Supervisors previously approved a contingency real estate contract with Prince Edward Development outlining that the county would sell the property if certain criteria were met.

The IDA is facilitating the sale and working through a list of those contingencies.

“I'm certainly hoping that it's not gonna go to December 31 of 2011. We're actually anticipating closing probably in March or April of next year, but just to be safe we're just asking for an extension to the end of the year,” Fowler said.

The IDA, in separate action, also approved changes in the economic development agreement.

Progress Detailed

Fowler presented a list of accomplishments since entering into the contract. Among the specifics he highlighted:

*Test borings and geo tech survey of the project site has been completed (and come back positively).

*Completed wetlands survey and delineation has been completed.

*Executed letter agreements with Crestline and Marriott.

*County has created the Granite Falls Community Development Authority to finance some of the infrastructure.

*Completed demand survey for regional training center.

*Completed architectural design development drawings.

*Completed site plan, including grading, entrance drive, erosion and sediment control, utilities, water, sanitary sewer and storm water management.

*Completed 25 percent plans for State Rt. 628 realignment.

*Completed appraisal of Rt. 628 right-of-way costs.

*Hotel plans have been submitted to Marriott for comments.

*County has secured $25,000 planning grant for the department of housing and community development to help in the block grant application.

*Received $8 million preliminary loan proposal for USDA B&I guaranteed loan.

*Executed $1 million revenue sharing grant from VDOT for the Rt. 628 project.

*Secured $1.645 million Tobacco Commission grants.

*Received $1.51 million bank loan proposal for USDA guaranteed loan.

*Received $16.75 million recovery zone facility bond allocation from the Governor.

*Identified community development entity for New Market Tax Credit financing that they're going to do for the hotel.

*CDE that they've identified applied for a New Market Tax Credit Allocation for project.

*Identified purchaser for project's new Market Tax Credits.

*Submitted site plans to County for their approval and are currently being reviewed.

*And expect to have a guaranteed maximum price by the first week of December.

More To Do

Fowler also detailed several remaining tasks that included:

*Complete placement of property in the County's Enterprise Zone.

*Negotiate intersection contribution agreement with VDOT.

*Complete design of Rt. 628 and right-of-way acquisition.

*Bid construction of Rt. 628.

*Apply for environmental permits (which can be done when the county approves the site plan).

*Complete hotel design (design development is the last phase before construction drawings).

*Bid construction of hotel and conference center.

*Finalize New Market Tax Credit hotel loan.

*Execute contracts with Crestline and Marriott.

*Execute special and food and beverage tax agreement with Granite Falls CDA.

*And apply for Community Development Block Grant and USDA distance learning and telemedicine grants.