Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Failed Biscuit Run Development May Open As State Park in 2014

Update, below 

Will Goldsmith has the cover article at c-ville, and takes the reader through everything that had to happen in order for Hunter Craig and Forest Lodge LLC to get their Commonwealth of Virginia bailout of $9.8M cash for the 1,200 acre Biscuit Run parcel  in December 2009. The cash price was 78% less than what the developers paid in 2005--$46.2M--which was the largest price ever paid for land in Albemarle County.  The failed 3,100 unit housing development was the largest ever approved in the County.

Additionally, Craig and other investors, including Coran Capshaw and Boyd Tinsley, received tax credits.   The number may be as high as $30M.  This would only be possible by successfully claiming the land was worth nearly $90M--during the largest economic and housing downturn since the Great Depression.  As local RE sales continue to languish at 1990's levels, Craig seems like, as did previous BR owners David and Elizabeth Breeden in 2005, the savviest seller in town.

In the preface to the article, Goldsmith says:
As far as I can tell, the story of Biscuit Run isn’t a story of illegal corruption. It is about something far more prosaic, and possibly more disturbing—how influential people align their interests and justify their actions by saying they did it for you and me.
Read the whole article.

UPDATE PM

The Hook also has a cover story on Biscuit Run and the $ trail.

RealCentralVA has a long post, with lots of links.

The Hook mentions the nearly $90M appraisal needed to generate $30M in tax credits.  This info, in rumor format, has been making its way around C'ville since last Winter.  It appeared in the comments section of this blog in February.  Eventually, the number will get itself known.  

One $ bit neither The Hook or c-ville mentioned: the "rumor" that it was necessary for Hunter Craig/Forest Lodge LLC to pay, before the Commonwealth deal could go through, Charlottesville Habitat for Humanity their $1M proffer for the connector road for the Southwood Mobile Home project.

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