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Bill Freehling is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Bill Freehling.

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Slavery Museum auction to be delayed 150 days

COMPLETE COVERAGE: View all related stories and images on the Fredericksburg baseball proposal

The Oct. 31 public auction that had been scheduled on the U.S. National Slavery Museum land in Celebrate Virginia South has been postponed for 150 days.

Fredericksburg Treasurer Jim Haney made that decision Tuesday after the Hagerstown Suns and Diamond Nation reached an agreement the day before with the slavery museum organization and its largest creditor, Pei Partnership Architects, to buy the 38-acre site overlooking Interstate 95.

The slavery museum organization owes the city about $450,000 in back taxes and attorney fees. The city will get the money it is owed when the slavery museum land is sold to the baseball investors.

The 150-day delay gives the baseball investors time to perform site-engineering work, finalize financing and take care of the other details needed to start construction on the minor league baseball stadium and amateur baseball complex.

Here is full text of a press release from Haney:

“The Treasurer’s Office finds itself in an unusual and unique position to advance a historic economic development deal for the City of Fredericksburg. My office is now in receipt of a signed contract between the National Slavery Museum, the property lien holder and the professional and amateur baseball partnership for purchase of the property and resolution of all debts to the City and liens that have encumbered the property for years.

The accompanying request for a delay of the pending sale to accommodate this exciting opportunity is in the best interests of the City and represents an income opportunity for the City above and beyond the recovery of debt owed.  I have therefore informed the three parties the public auction will be delayed by 150 days.”