Donation fuels one city goal; agreement may drive another

Tyler Burkhart with the contractor Croell digs and readies the ground for a new sidewalk along the extension of S. Windriver Drive on Nov. 9. Pavement of the road was completed during the previous weekend, he said.

It’s a plan which seems promising for the City of Douglas: Receive a donation of land in Meadow Acres Subdivisions 1 & 2 from Art Paterson/Douglas Holdings LLC that’d been sitting for awhile and it appeared no one else wanted.

As part of the donation, the city agreed to put in infrastructure on S. Pearson Drive in front of Paterson’s river-side lots (which Paterson retained prior to donating some plots to the city); then opening up S. Windriver and S. Pearson between Yellowstone Highway and W. Richards Street in front of the middle school, a long-awaited shortcut for school bus drivers and others wishing to access that side of town.

That access has been a city goal for many years, but until the donation, there hadn’t been a clear path forward on getting it done.

One city goal was met.

Goal number two was next.

The city was looking to alleviate a housing shortfall that, studies concluded, would only worsen if more new big-scale properties were not developed.

Within the next few weeks, goal number two may be a reality. The city is poised to partner with Sheridan-based TLC Developments LLC to build homes – in a $10 deal which will be reviewed and possibly passed by city council at the end of this month.

THE DEAL

The deal with Paterson happened a little more than a year ago.

Paterson donated 19 acres, about 90 lots, in the Meadow Acres and Meadow Acres No. 2 subdivisions (then valued at $569,154) to the city. In exchange, the city has until October 2021 to finish S. Pearson and the associated infrastructure – including what runs in front of the riverside lots Paterson kept, a move criticized by K&R Construction owner and councilman-elect Ron McNare, who has often pointed out the benefits to Paterson having the city put in costly streets and infrastructure to the detriment of other potential developers.

With that donated land in hand, the city wanted to develop it but isn’t a developer. So officials put out the call for Requests for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) in December. In March, Tom Civin, owner of TLC Developments, offered the only response.

The city and Civin entered into an exclusive right to negotiate in May. Now, the agreement is ready to be signed, should it be approved by city council Nov. 23.

In the terms of the agreement, the city will convey the property to Civin for $10 (the appraised value of the land is now $834,412), and Civin will build homes on the lots.

He would be required to complete the closing of building phases through escrow; build all homes up to city code; have inspections done; conform to all zoning requirements; provide off-street parking as required; put in all infrastructure in the subdivisions’ streets, including Bluebird Drive, Swallow Street, Meadown Lane and Pearson Road; and provide all water and sewer lines as needed.

Additionally, TLC Developments would agree to provide acceptable collateral not less than 110% of the city engineer’s estimate of the cost of complete installation and construction of all public improvements within the subdivision.

Civin confirmed this summer that he plans to build numerous multifamily, residential housing units between S. Pearson Street and S. Windriver.

Should either TLC Developments or the city want out of the partnership, they can do so with 60-day notice.

If progress isn’t made on the property development, the city retains the right to buy back the property with any improvements made on it for fair market value.

It may be a win-win for the city, should everything go as planned, officials said.

S. WINDRIVER OPEN

Connecting S. Windriver Driver to W. Richards was one of the city’s top priorities, at least for 15 years or so, according to City Administrator Jonathan Teichert.

Today, S. Windriver is finished, for the most part, and open for the public to use as of Nov. 9.

“The final layer was put down on Saturday, and it’s open to public access for now. There will need to be a street pan put in off of Meadow Lane, and it will be closed for 10 days, but other than that, it’s open,” City Streets/Alleys/Sanitation Supervisor Steve Martinez explained.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.