Settlement discussions with Carriage City

City officials are in discussions with Carriage City Properties to resolve their dispute over payments related to Sky View at Carriage City Plaza. The Redevelopment Agency claims almost a half-million dollars is owed by Carriage City while the developer has threatened bankruptcy.

Declared in default of their agreements last month by the Parking Authority and Redevelopment Agency, Carriage City Properties had about 30 days, until April 8, to rectify the situation or they could be taken to court. Redevelopment Agency attorney Frank Regan said after Tuesday’s City Council meeting that any litigation is essentially on hold as they discuss a resolution.

According to written correspondence between the two sides, the Redevelopment Agency is claiming Carriage City Properties has not paid fees of about $458,000 related to at least 11 condo sales ($74,250), reimbursement for professional costs ($15,351), and a “reasonable contribution” toward the cost of intersection improvements at East Milton Avenue and Irving Street ($368,562).

Carriage City has paid the agency $323,000 to date but has not received closing-related fees since December. Payments on the 11 units ($74,250) would push them over the deferred $331,194 threshold set last summer and revert to the full $11,750 fee per unit owed the agency upon each closing. About 58 units have closed and appeared in tax records while the agency claims that fees have been paid for only 47 units.

According to that same letter, Carriage City has expressed concerns about the Redevelopment Agency’s financial ability, requested the agency’s audits for the past three years, and has “repeatedly stated in meetings with city and agency officials that it cannot meet its financial obligations and may lose the hotel flag and have to file for bankruptcy,” Regan wrote.

Representatives of Carriage City Properties/Silcon have not returned my email messages in months, but in this report last week its president of real estate suggested an unspecified change in the redevelopment agreement proposed by the city last year. He also claimed city officials turned down an offer to meet late last month to resolve the situation and that they have more in escrow than what the city claims it’s owed, according to the report.