Wednesday, October 29, 2008

IMD Asks For another Extension For Walgreens

At Thursday’s Roanoke City Council meeting IMD lnvestment Group, LLC asked for their fourth extension for completing and opening the Walgreens drug store. The requested extension of April 30, 2009, would not only allow for the building’s completion but give Walgreens time to hire workers and stock the store.
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The performance agreement of November 18, 2004, gave IMD $9 million of tax credits over 15 years.
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Councilman Court Rosen said after reading the details of the events that he did not agree with the length of the extension and the developer’s claim of events out of their control. Rosen wanted to see incentive penalties and a Walgreens opening by the first of the year. He said the city has performed its side of the agreement and the developer has not. He said it was costing the City $600,000 a year saying, “The city was being overly generous.”
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Council member Anita Price asked what were the other circumstances of past extensions. Rosen answered that the first delay was due to the developer not knowing the requirements for permitting in a wetlands area which delayed the project for a year. Rosen said, “The developer should have known [this] going in – given where the property was situated.” He said that a subsequent delay was the result of a wall blowing down in a February storm. Rosen said “the block masons were onsite and that it only delayed them a week or two.” He said that a six-month delay was excessive.
IMD has met other requirements of its first phase that includes an Ukrop’s grocery store with 58,000 square feet. IMD has spent in excess of $3 million on infrastructure.
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Council member Gwen Mason asked the City manager, Darlene Burcham, if she recommended the extension.
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Burcham recommended the extension saying that given the status of the construction [close to completion] and the understanding that Walgreen’s corporate policy does not allow acceptance of new stores between the months of November and January. Burcham believed that the store would be open short of the six-month extension requested.
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Rosen responded, “That there has to be consequences.” He said being in the business, he knows there are deadlines that have to be met and that there is not always the luxury of continued extensions.
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Burcham said she believed that with Council’s discussion the developer is getting a clear message. Legally the obligations of the City would be no longer necessary if the deadline is not met. City Attorney, William Hackworth said that if the extension is granted and the developer does not perform that it would result in a breach of contract.
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The Director of Finance, Ann Shawver, said she has been in discussion with the City Manager and though the project is a great economic development benefit for Roanoke she thought that a certain “remuneration” adjustment would be appropriate.
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Rosen made the motion to table and have City Administration and the Attorney come back with not only an extension but also a remuneration adjustment in the event of a delay beyond the next deadline.
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Mr. Bland Painter, III, of IMD wanted to speak to Council; however, Mayor Bowers advised him that he would not be permitted to speak on a motion to table. The vote was 5-1 with Mayor Bowers voting no.
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When contacted by phone Mr. Painter said that there were circumstances beyond his control and that tabling the extension will give him time to work it out with the City. When asked if the delay was due to permitting issues or economic conditions relating to the “credit crunch”, Mr. Painter said that he had no comment on that but indicated that it did relate to one of these issues.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Finance

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The Roanoke Free Press

April 16th, 2009 at 11:59 PM    


[…] company, IMD. The original agreement was executed on November 18, 2004.  Read the recount of the October 23, 2008 Council meeting HERE followed by a very complicated discussion to extend the deadline for the Walgreens store opening […]

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