By: Ann Jones Guider, Douglas County Commissioner Dist. 4
Reported by: Laurie Searle
On March 8, 2018, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners (BOC) was given an update on the Foxhall project. There was speculation that the Foxhall developers were coming back to the BOC to ask for additional county involvement. However, that was not appear to be the case at this meeting.
Harrison Merrill, Jr., went over where they were in the overall project pointing out the following:
• They have transitioned the “event venue” into a resort
• In 2016 – 2017 - Several Cottages/Villas, the swimming pool and the Tennis Courts were completed
• The Paddock Restaurant opened in 2017
• Several 2 and 3 bedroom villas are to open soon along with 14 Luxury Suites
• The Clubhouse is scheduled to open in September 2018
• There will be 250 rooms from the cottages/villas upon their completion
• The Hotel (200 rooms), Conference Center, and Spa are scheduled to start construction in 2019
The most significant change was the announcement that NO EB-5 funds (Immigrant investors’ program) will be used; Foxhall is seeking other private investors instead. (ed. Note: this means that the projects are NOT funded yet, and may not happen). They have brought The Allen Morris Company (www.allenmorris.com) and The Stormont Hospitality Group (www.stormonthospitality.com) on board to help bring the project to fruition.
They pointed out that the infrastructure, including the roads into Foxhall and the sewer line from St. Andrews to Foxhall, is a very crucial component of the project. Part of the $40 million bonds through the Douglas County Development Authority includes the funding for this infrastructure. However, I believe these bonds should not be processed until Foxhall has secured all the private sector funds needed to complete the project, as recommended in the Financial Analysis; HOWEVER, it appears the Development Authority was given discretion in making this decision in the Intergovernmental Agreement.
Although Foxhall will make annual PILOT payments (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) for the duration of the 30-year tax abatement period, those funds will NOT go into the coffers of the County or the School system but will be diverted through a trust to pay off the bond debt. This is the main reason I did not support this project 2 years ago. The Hotel, Conference Center, Spa, cottages/villas and 95 acres are under the tax abatement. They will, however, produce some sales tax that will go to the County and cities
For more information see:
http://www.annjonesguider.comBy: Ann Jones Guider, Douglas County Commissioner Dist. 4
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