Friday, September 22, 2017

Davidson Depot project faces change in driver but not direction

Rumors of the demise of the Davidson Depot  project have been greatly exaggerated.

aShortChronicle was told by a reader that it was mentioned at Monday's "Commissioners Chat" at the Egg that the project has been canceled.  Turns out, that isn't entirely true - at least not at this point.

It is true that the Miller Valentine Group who initially brought the project to the Town is no longer involved in the effort to bring it to fruition, but the project as-is has been handed off to another firm - Holliday Fenoglio Fowler (HFF) - a major national commercial real estate financing firm with offices in Charlotte.

HFF describes itself as "One of the largest and most successful commercial real estate capital intermediaries serving the United States, United Kingdom and Ireland."

aShortChronicle spoke to Allan Lynch with HFF about the project on Friday.  Lynch says the project as planned to this point is still going forward, but the firm is looking for a developer that can handle the required remediation efforts in an economical way.  As one might imagine the costs around the required asbestos remediation on a large site are considerable.  That may be a nut that is too hard to crack, but HFF is used to tackling such challenges.

If the cost challenges for the current plan cannot be met, then other options would likely be pursued.  Lynch said an update would possibly be available late this year or early next.

As confirmation of this change in status, Christina Shaul with the Town of Davidson told aShortChronicle that the project page on the Town website would be updated soon.

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