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Celebrate Va. hits hard times page 4
The Silver Cos. and its investment partners owe about $5 million in back taxes and special assessment payments.

Date published: 4/22/2011

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Johnson received the special-use permit for the first phase and will be before the Fredericksburg Planning Commission on May 11 for a public hearing on the second phase. The City Council would then have to approve the permit.

Time is of the essence, due to the looming Sept. 1 bond payment.

In addition, Silver is talking to a financial institution about a branch on about two acres near the Bill Buttram Photography site on Fall Hill Avenue. Honaker wouldn’t name the institution, but Silver has been in talks with Navy Federal Credit Union, according to a disclosure statement filed by MuniCap last month. Additional retail centers have been proposed.

Kalahari Resorts is still pursuing financing for its massive water park resort and conference center on 59 acres at Celebrate Virginia South, though financing isn’t likely to come through this year, according to MuniCap disclosures.

Honaker said Kalahari’s arrival would reduce the assessment burden of Silver and its partners by at least a third, and Silver officials have said other users would follow Kalahari.

Funds from upcoming sales would not be distributed to Celebrate Virginia South’s investors until expenses—including late tax payments and assessments—are covered and the reserve fund is restored to required levels, Honaker said.

He thinks that can be done if the Haven and financial-institution deals work.

Honaker also points out that the reserve funds are in place for precisely this kind of situation—a global financial crisis that has crushed the real estate business.

NORTH SIDE DOING BETTER

Celebrate Virginia North’s finances are in better shape, due in part to the developer having had additional pre-recession years to attract residential, golf, retail and office users to the Stafford side. Those include residential neighborhoods developed by Ryland Homes and Del Webb, the Cannon Ridge Golf Club and a Giant Food-anchored retail center.

There are sufficient reserves to make the Sept. 1 roughly $943,000 bond payment even if no special assessments were paid, and all taxes and assessments have been covered through 2009.

Stafford’s local government is also drawing from a larger overall real-estate tax base compared with the city, making the Celebrate Virginia development there important but less so than on the Fredericksburg side.


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