David Hagan and Larry Shelor (HS Development, L.L.C) have teamed up with Jeanne Stosser on the development of the old Blacksburg High School property according to both parties.
Hagan and Shelor officially closed the deal with Montgomery County to purchase the 36-acre lot on April 24, following a 4-3 vote by the board of supervisors approving the $3 million sale.
Stosser and Hagan said that the partnership would be mutually beneficial due to Stosser’s long history of development in the area.
“Together we have the best opportunity to do what’s best for Blacksburg,” Hagan said.
The developers have six months, which began April 25, to decide what exactly that may be. Hagan has mentioned the idea of senior housing on multiple occasions, and has also said that working with the town to provide some sort of public space is among his top priorities.
Hagan said that besides the need for affordable senior living, another perk would be that it wouldn’t have any impact on the school district, which many citizens have said is a big concern because Harding Elementary is already nearly full.
The area is currently zoned for single-family residential housing, but Hagan does not see that as an option unless they cannot come to an agreement with the town.
He said that a very preliminary plan for the site does not currently use any portion of the old school, but Stosser said Wednesday that that could easily change.
“We are looking at all kinds of options. It is way to early to take anything off of the table,” she said.
Stosser said that she believes that the building is most likely still very usable, but is still waiting on engineering reports before moving forward. She said that she has a variety of ideas for what the property could be, including using parts of the old building to form a vocational school for the area or also incorporate it into the senior living idea if that is the route that is chosen.
“Using that building could save millions in building costs and demolition,” she said.
Stosser is currently involved in another major project, as she owns a majority of the old Blacksburg Middle School property on Main Street, with an option to buy the rest, but she said the two deals are not currently connected, and no plans to do so are in the works.
According to the deal between HS Development and the county, after the six-month due diligence period, 1$ million is due to the county or they could forfeit their right to the property, something Hagan said has virtually a zero percent chance of happening.
HS Development made an offer to the county for $2.175 million on Jan. 5, plus the cost of demolition. Over the next few months, the county considered other offers, but ultimately no deals were made. On March 3, the board responded to HS Development’s initial offer with a counter offer including the following parameters:
• An as is sales price of $3,000,000.
• To accept the counter offer, HS Development, L.L.C., must provide a $25,000 non-refundable deposit to the County.
• The County would allow HS Development, L.L.C., six months to perform due diligence to determine whether HS Development, L.L.C., wants to move forward with the purchase.
• If HS Development, L.L.C., decides to move forward with the purchase, $1 million ($975,000 plus the $25,000 non-refundable deposit) is due at closing; an additional $1 million would be due at 24 months from the execution of a Real Estate Purchase Agreement; and an additional $1 million dollars would be due 36 months from execution of the Real Estate Purchase Agreement.
• As security, HS Development, L.L.C., would agree to provide the County at closing a Deed of Trust in the amount of $2 million on the former BHS property until such time that the entire $3 million purchase price is paid in full to the County.
Two days later, HS Development, L.L.C., accepted the terms of the Board’s counter offer and provided a $25,000 non-refundable deposit to the County.
At the time that an agreement was made, Blacksburg’s highest offer was $2.75 million, which included the town’s portion of demolition costs. The town and county had been negotiating for some time but were never able to agree on the property’s value.
Supervisor April DeMotts (District G) said that she was disappointed that a deal with Blacksburg was unable to happen, but that she wants to help do what ever she can to help facilitate negotiations between the developers and town.
“I want what is best for Blacksburg and my district and I’ll do whatever I can to make sure that happens,” she said.
DeMotts has said that she would like to see a portion of the land go towards public use.
The old high school has not been used since the gymnasium roof collapsed following a snowstorm in 2010.