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Celebrate Virginia property auctioned

MORE: Read more Stafford County news

About 227 acres in Stafford’s Celebrate Virginia North development went to two high bidders at an auction on Wednesday. But the sales may not stand up.

Delancey Street Financial purchased the majority, about 172 acres, of the land. They bought six of the eight auctioned parcels for $634,510.

FFC Properties LLC, a real estate company based in Loudoun County, purchased the remaining two parcels for $8,560.

Delancey Street Financial is based in New York and makes real estate investments, according to Yosef Salazar, the attorney representing the bidder at the auction. Salazar didn’t know what Delancey’s plans may be for the property.

Brian Fowler with FFC Properties also said that he wasn’t sure of his plans for the property. First, Fowler said, the sale has to be confirmed.

The sales are not final until a Circuit Court judge confirms them, and Fowler doubted that the confirmation would go through.

“They were really cheap prices. They’re not going to let somebody buy it at these prices,” Fowler said.

The largest parcel consisting of about 111 acres sold to Delancey Street Financial for $406,600, which was the highest price paid for any of the parcels. Another two parcels that were packaged together and consisted of about 7.5 acres sold to Delancey at the next-highest price, $214,000. Most of the remaining parcels sold at prices between $1,000 and $2,000.

The parcels run between the developed retail area along U.S. 17 and the Cannon Ridge Golf Club.

The auction came after Silver Cos. failed to pay assessments and real estate tax payments owed to Celebrate Virginia North’s bondholders and to Stafford County. Those payments are more than two years delinquent.

Several undeveloped parcels in Fredericksburg’s Celebrate Virginia South development in Fredericksburg are also in the tax-sale process. The Silver Cos. is developing both of the Celebrate Virginia projects.

FFC Properties is not one of Celebrate Virginia North bondholders. Delancey Street Financial did not return requests for comment about their status as potential bondholders.

To finance the roads, sidewalks, utilities and other infrastructure at Celebrate Virginia North and South, $56 million in Community Development bonds were sold in 2003 and 2006.

A semiannual special assessment paid by most of the properties in Celebrate Virginia helps pay the debt and the taxes owed to Stafford and Fredericksburg.

With the economic downturn, there has been a lack of revenue from land sales and leases at the two Celebrate Virginia developments, resulting in the tax delinquencies.

Silver Cos. did save one small parcel from auction by paying the delinquent taxes. According to county staff, that parcel was an acre or less.

Vanessa Remmers: 540/735-1975

vremmers@freelancestar.com

 

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