Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Buckingham Village 3 Sale and Resale to Be Studied

The county has put together a working group of staff and citizens “to investigate, analyze and provide recommendations on an overall affordable housing strategy and development proposal on this Buckingham parcel [Village 3],” County Manager Ron Carlee wrote in county documents. The county and Paradigm Development Co., which owns the property with investors, agreed in June to a sales price of $32 million for the property.

“We haven’t spent that money. That’s a sales price that we’ve agreed to,” said David Cristeal, in the county’s Housing Division. “The county has not allocated $32 million.” The county has about two years to close the sale.

A complication to this process is that the county cannot buy the buildings, but instead will buy the land beneath the buiding, and then in someway, transfer ownership of the buildings to another developer. (Similarly, the county actually leases the building that county offices are in, yet owns the land beneath the building.)

“What we can do is…we can own the ground and lease the structures,” Mr. Cristeal said.

[The details of parts of this are still being worked out, and they are rather complex, but I’ll get them in August and report to all of you then. For "the skinny" on a lot of this, click that link and then scroll down. --ST]

The intent of the purchase is to rent, resell, or combine rentals and sales of the units at affordable prices to people of low- or moderate-incomes, county staff and others said previously. Village 3 sits on the north side of N. Pershing Drive between N. George Mason Drive, N. Thomas Street and N. 4th Street.

“The objective of the working group is to explore and analyze potential affordable housing and creating financing possibilities for the property, and document the program requirements in a Request for Proposal that the County will issue in late 2007,” wrote Kathleen McSweeney, a co-chair of the working group in an email.

The group will look at the structure of the purchase, which might include a developer as well as state and county programs including tax benefits. The process of creating the request for proposal will be looking at all those factors: sales vs. rental, which programs to include and others.

Of the first meeting which included a powerpoint presentation, on Monday July 16, Mr. Cristeal said, “It went well.”

The group will meet every other Monday into November. Scheduled meetings are 7:00 p.m. at Culpepper Gardens.

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