Biscuit Run Development Update

by staff on October 29, 2010

It appears that the saga of Biscuit Run is far from completed.  Biscuit Run is the name of a 1200 acre parcel south of Charlottesville VA which was once slated to become a subdivision in one of the largest zoning approvals ever conducted in Charlottesville’s Albemarle County.  To oversimplify… after its 2007 approval, the approved project stalled in the economic climate and it was ‘sold’ to the state of Virginia for use as a park.  The details are fascinating and are well-recounted in the article linked below by The Hook newspaper in Charlottesville.

Here’s the link to today’s story in The Hook, an excellent recap of the nuances involved in the development of Biscuit Run.

Various entities are beginning to question whether there was sufficient transparency to the public during these negotiations.  One issue mentioned in the article is that tax credits from public funds might be central to completing the bargain-price sale to the state, resulting in public collateral for private loans.  Other unfolding questions mentioned are…. why did the Virginia Department of Transportation become involved in the appraisal of  Biscuit Run, an appraisal which cited a $12 million value for Biscuit Run and paved the way for $5 million from VDOT towards a park development.  It was also revealed that 36 acres inside the park boundaries remain privately owned and carry the possibility of 100 homes being built inside the park.

The story brings up some fascinating points on how real estate works in Virginia.  You might want your Realtor to explain such things as “proffers”  or VA tax credits to you.  In our opinion, Biscuit Run is a classic case of how government and real estate development continually entertwine.

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