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Developers take pass on upsetting $1.2M bid for mills

With no one challenging The Community Builders’ upset bid of $1.24 million, the Washington, D.C.-based affordable-housing developer is now poised to take ownership of two historic NoDa mills that are to be developed into a residential project.

Charlotte’s Neighborhood and Business Services staff will bring TCB’s high bid offer to the City Council for approval April 25, said Peter Zeiler, Charlotte’s transit station area development coordinator. The purchase and sales agreement requires closing the sale 30 days after council approval.

That would bring to an end a bidding war between TCB and three other companies that started in early February, when TCB put in an initial high bid less than half of its final offer. Each winning upset bid kicked off a 10-day period during which the competing companies could make a counteroffer.

During the three-month bidding war, Merrifield Patrick Vermillion submitted two upset bids, but TCB made the biggest counteroffer.

To be considered, upset bids have to be at least 10 percent more than the previous winning bid, said Zeiler. When the last deadline arrived today, none of the other competing companies upped the ante to the required $1.36 million.

Rob Fossi, TCB’s vice president and regional director for the mid-Atlantic, said the company’s plans including building work force housing within the two mills designed for middle-income families. Fossi said his company plans to develop the site in partnership with neighborhood and city officials.

The two massive, vacant brick buildings in NoDa were built in the late 1800s during the heyday of the textile industry. After the mills shut down in the early to mid-1970s, they were converted to affordable housing in the early 1990s, but the project went bankrupt in 2006, Zeiler said. Another effort to turn the mills into a mixed-use development including low-income housing fizzled in 2008.

Sam Boykin can be reached at sam.boykin@mecktimes.com.

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