Mayor Lisa C. Merkel may have the honor of inking the closing deal with Comstock Herndon Venture, LC on the Historic Herndon District project before her term ends on Dec. 31 of this year.
Mayor Lisa C. Merkel may have the honor of inking the closing deal with Comstock Herndon Venture, LC on the Historic Herndon District project before her term ends on Dec. 31 of this year. During its Nov. 10 Work Session, the Herndon Town Council is considering an amendment to the Comprehensive Agreement dated Nov. 1, 2017, between the Town of Herndon and Comstock Herndon Venture, LC. The amendment would establish the closing date on the 4.675-acre property of Town owned land on or before Dec. 15, 2020. A little over three years ago, the Town and Comstock Herndon Venture LC entered into a public-private agreement for the redevelopment of the land into a vibrant mixed-use town center project with an Arts Center and associated parking.
According to the Staff Report available on the town website, the amendment, “Adjusts the outside satisfaction date by which Comstock must have the project under construction to Dec. 31, 2021; Extends certain rights of Comstock to pause the commencement of construction due to market conditions and other matters, including delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic; Increases the Parent guarantee by an additional 5 million to 10 million to cover the Arts Center and the Parking; Provides for licenses to the Town to allow the continued use of the property owned by Comstock for Arts Space and Public shared parking.”
THE REPORT cited recent construction delays for the project were related to significant problems created by conditions in the Metropolitan construction market. Covid-19 caused substantial increases in material costs. Production facilities reduced output or shutdown as a result of governmental Covid-19 workforce restrictions. That caused supply to constrict at the same time demand held steady.
Fiscal investment and development incentives were reported at approximately $16 million with the town anticipating the capital return to be over $16.6 million.
The staff report named William H. Ashton II, Town Manager and Lesa J. Yeatts, Town Attorney, as contacts. Staff recommended that the Mayor and Town Council approve the resolution as proposed. Council will continue reviewing Thur. Nov. 12 and hold a public hearing on Nov. 17 according to published legal notice.
LISA MERKEL, Mayor of the Town of Herndon, said in an email on Sunday, Nov. 8, "For more than three decades, the town has worked to make the right downtown development happen at the right time. That time has now arrived, and I am pleased to finally be able to publicly share the details of this long-awaited, well-negotiated comprehensive agreement between the Town of Herndon and Comstock Ventures. I hear from residents nearly every day who are anxious for financial details and certainty of a timeline. Tuesday night, we are able to provide that via the comprehensive agreement - a closing date on the property of Dec. 15, 2020, and a construction start date no later than December 2021."
She added, "Complicated and delayed at times by appeals, COVID19, and economic impacts, I am confident that after three years of negotiation, the Council is bringing forward a plan that provides the vitality, structured parking, arts and amenities Herndon has longed for in downtown - and at a good value for our taxpayers."
Ashton, Yeatts and a town spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment by press time.