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Celebrate Va. South land headed for tax sale?
In 2005, hopes were high for Celebrate Virginia South. The Fredericksburg Expo Center, (right) was going up, and other projects were foreseen. Much of the land remains undeveloped and could be headed for tax sale.
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Date published: 7/1/2012
Payments owed to bondholders on 14 separate undeveloped parcels totaling about 207 acres in the Silver Cos. development next to Central Park are now more than two years delinquent, meaning Fredericksburg's treasurer's office can today start the process of selling the properties to recoup the money.
The tax sale process takes some time, so it would likely be at least a year before the properties would be actually sold at auction. The owners could stave off the sale at any time during that process by paying the delinquencies.
The current home of the Celebrate Virginia Live concert series is included in the parcels, but any possible tax sale would not affect this year's concerts because of the way the deal was structured with the series' promoter. The venue might have to relocate next year if the matter is not resolved before then, however. Some of the delinquent land is part of the long-delayed Kalahari hotel-water park project.
The 38-acre property where the U.S. National Slavery Museum was supposed to be developed could also be heading to a separate tax sale, meaning the fate of most of the remaining undeveloped portions of Celebrate Virginia South is in question.
The 14 affected properties are all owned by entities of the Silver Cos., but the limited liability companies also include many investors unrelated to the developer and its owners. That has complicated the process of staying current with payments, as some of the LLC members have more financial resources than others, yet all bear the same financial burden. The money for the payments comes from project revenue such as land sales or leases, which have been hard to come by of late.
The 14 parcels are part of a Community Development Authority that comprises most of Celebrate Virginia South, including the parts that have already been developed. The CDA issued $25 million in bonds in 2006 to pay for the development's infrastructure, such as its roads and sidewalks.