After languishing for more than a year in the midst of the housing crisis, the Sweetwater Community development in Hailey is now poised to have its bright and colorful townhouses go on the market.
At the request of Tennessee developer J. Kevin Adams, the Hailey City Council agreed Wednesday to defer about $250,000 in fees. The news came shortly before foreclosure proceedings would have begun on undeveloped portions of the 21-acre property.
City officials and Adams hope the units will sell quickly enough to hold off creditors who were poised to begin foreclosure proceedings on Nov. 30.
"If Sweetwater became bank-owned, it would create more problems," said Mayor Rick Davis after the council's special meeting. "It still might, but at least we tried."
Adams suspended operations in October 2008, owing the city about $180,000 for a traffic light on state Highway 75. Until Wednesday, he also was required to pay $71,000 in park fees before receiving final plat approval for 49 completed and 22 uncompleted units.
"This is making the best of a bad bargain," said Councilman Don Keirn, who voted to support the new development agreement.
He said foreclosure could create a "wasteland" in 20 years time on the property at the corner of Woodside and Countryside boulevards.
Blaine County Housing Authority Executive Administrator Kathy Grotto also signed off on the deal, which postpones the time frames for construction of affordable housing units.
The new deal also eliminates any future claims the developer might have made to recover $1.7 million worth of property he gave the city on River Street to develop affordable housing.
Councilman Fritz Haemmerle called for including incremental payments of the $250,000 in fees as part of the new deal, but he was overruled by the rest of the council.
"The banks are owed many millions of dollars," Haemmerle said. "It's hard to believe that $250,000 spread over time would break the deal."
Adams said he has lost tens of millions of dollars on the development since the housing crisis began.
Eventual plans call for construction of 421 units on the property.
Tony Evans: email@example.com