Settlement reached on Carriage City

The Redevelopment Agency last night approved a settlement with Carriage City Properties (CCP) that will allow the developer to continue to rent unsold units at the 16-story condo/hotel.

CCP has sold about 57 units and began marketing vacant units for rent as early as last fall. Five are occupied by tenants and the city has issued 76 temporary Certificates of Occupancy in all at the 222-unit complex.

The two sides have been in discussions since the Agency declared CCP in default of its redevelopment agreement two months ago.

Here’s a summary of the settlement:
* CCP will execute a note and mortgage to secure the outstanding $2,285,250 in development fees and purchase price payments. The agency will get 10 percent of rent from each rented unit, which will be deducted from the $13,850 development fee until the unit is sold, at which time CCP will pay the balance. There are 165 remaining units.

* Infrastructure improvements, namely the East Milton Avenue and Irving Street realignment, cost approximately $1 million, of which CCP was liable for $368,562. The agency accepted CCP’s offer of $150,000, to be released immediately.

* Professional fees of $19,913 and water connection fees of $71,981 owed by CCP will be paid no later than April 1, 2010.

* Construction permit violations totaling $168,000 will be waived upon abatement of all issues identified by the city’s construction official.

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5/17 UPDATED: Between the intersection improvements and construction penalties waived upon correction, CCP got about 15 percent knocked off what it owed in total. City Administrator and Redevelopment Director Peter Pelissier described that as “small to the potential of a bankrupt redeveloper,” adding that the site pays almost $1 million in property taxes. Meanwhile, construction penalties usually are waived if violations are corrected as a matter of business, with the point to get conformance and have the building safe for occupancy.

Many builders, renters and retailers are trying to renegotiate contracts to stay solvent, he said. “This is no different. The RRA and the city need to work together with redevelopers and sometimes although not popular with the critics public improvements not private improvements have to be paid for by the taxpayer to receive acceptable returns.” While CCP has taken a lot of heat for not adhering to the redeveloper’s agreement, Pelissier said, they did complete construction.