Farmington DDA Approves Purchase of The Orchard Phase II Property
The vacant lot will be marketed with the hopes of finding a developer to complete Phase II of the housing project.
Farmington Downtown Development Authority (DDA) members voted Monday to authorize the purchase of vacant land located behind The Orchard condominiums at Slocum and Farmington Road.
With a $90,000 price agreed upon, director Annette Knowles said, the property purchase could be publicly discussed.
Originally proposed by Farmington Development Group, the 16-unit, two-story brownstone complex with underground parking was planned in two phases. Phase I, which faces Farmington Road, opened in 2005 and sold out in 2008. Phase II never got off the ground.
The DDA will actively market the property to find a private developer who will complete the project as it was initially approved, Knowles said. Funds for the purchase will come from a previously approved capital bond issue, or from proceeds from the sale of the property, she said.
DDA president Bob Rock pointed out that a "couple hundred thousand dollars of infrastructure" is in place on the property, so "it doesn't make sense for it to be just a park."
After the meeting, Knowles said underground utility lines were installed when Phase I was built. "There is an agreement with the planned unit development (zoning) that it is residential," she said.
"We actually have been meeting with developers over the last few months to reintroduce them to Farmington," she said. "There may be interest on their end."
DDA board member Chuck Frost was somewhat reluctant about the purchase, but not because he doesn't support the project. He noted that the last time the DDA proposed buying the property, city council members vetoed it during a closed meeting.
"We've received word that won't happen this time," Knowles said.