Development dispute resolved after 30 years
6/18/2012 | Real Estate Blog
Development disputes throw off many a project time table, but delays don’t typically last as long as a recent one that was recently resolved. Last Thursday, Upper Merion Township supervisors voted unanimously to settle a dispute involving the former Valley Forge Golf Course. The property is apparently the last undeveloped tract of land in King of Prussia.
The deal, which amounted to $13 million, calls for the township to pay $1 million to the former property owner, who had apparently gone to court nearly 30 years ago to press its right to sell to a developer. On that occasion, the township refused to rezone the tract from agricultural to higher-density development zoning. The rest of the money is to be paid by the property develop. Half of the amount is set to go to the former owner and the rest to the township as prepayment for sewer capacity and development fees.
The dispute involved a number of sticky legal issues at both the state and federal level, and the recent settlement also put an end to a federal civil rights action that was set to go to trial in few weeks. Negotiations for the settlement began late last year and a decision reached on June 8.
One of the benefits of the deal, from the perspective of the Upper Merion Township Board of Supervisors, is that an excess of $300 million in taxes will paid over the next 25 years.
The project, which is expected to cost around $1 billion, will include a main street with retail stores, a variety of residential housing, office space, parking, a medical facility and a hotel or two.
Source: philly.com, “Upper Merion settles dispute over development of Valley Forge Golf Course,” Bonnie L. Cook, June 16, 2012