Montgomery County has agreed to sell the old Blacksburg High School Property to developers David Hagan and Larry Shelor (HS Development, L.L.C.) for $3 million.
The duo that also owns the Shelor Motor Mile dealership in Christiansburg will also be responsible for the cost of demolition (estimated at $1.5 million by the county), which means the county’s full asking price for the property would be met.
The county announced plans for a public hearing (scheduled for April 10) on the sale of the property, which will give citizens the chance to express their support or opposition for the project before the Board of Supervisors vote on the deal.
Chairman Chris Tuck has said that the board’s main concern throughout the selling process has been to get the school system as much money for future capital projects as it possibly could.
“I’m happy for our schools,” he said in a phone interview Friday. “This deal will net the schools around $2 million.”
Tuck said that the county had received numerous offers for the property since advertising its sale to the public in early January, including a few offers from the Town of Blacksburg that the county deemed too low.
According to the county’s news release, 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.
However, Thursday evening, Blacksburg Mayor Ron Rordam sent a letter to Tuck increasing the town’s offer to $2.3 million, plus covering the estimated $1.5 million for removing the old school.
Tuck said that he received the letter in an email after business hours and wasn’t sure whether all of the supervisors had seen the offer, so he could not speak on their behalf.
“Personally, I could not forsee myself accepting that offer,” he said. “That would still mean $700,000 to the schools.”
Rordam said that the town only found out about the deal shortly before it became public.
“We are of course disappointed,” he said in an email. “It has been our position all along that this property should either be reserved for a future school site or serve as open space and recreation for the citizens of Montgomery County.”
In the letter, Rordam also noted that the town was committed to funding the schools as well, because, if Blacksburg’s offer were accepted, the town would have to raise property taxes to pay for it.
Hagan would not give the specifics about any plans for the property, which is currently zoned for residential use, but did say that they have bought two former schools from the county (Elliston and of the Radford Exit 109), with a portion of those properties going towards public use.
“Most of the properties we bought from the county we worked hand in hand to do what was best for the community,” Hagan said.
That sentiment was something Tuck agreed with.
“David Hagan and Larry Shelor have given a lot back to this community,” Tuck said. “Their Growing the Future program has raised millions of dollars for communities in the NRV.”
Hagan said that more concrete plans would emerge after the six-month “due diligence period” that would be awarded if the board approves the sale.
The property had not been used as a school since 2010 when the roof of the gymnasium collapsed following a snowstorm.
Tuck said he encourages citizens to contact the county with questions and thoughts, as well as attend the public hearing (7:15 p.m. April 10 at the Montgomery County Government center, 755 Roanoke St., Christiansburg.)