Free Lance-Star reporter Chelyen Davis covers Virginia government.
Slavery museum re-files reorganization plan
As directed last week by a judge, the bankrupt U.S. National Slavery museum has re-filed its latest proposal to reorganize and continue operations.
Museum attorney Sandra Robinson had filed an amended reorganization plan two weeks ago that added in a new proposal—for the museum to sell part of its 38 acres at Celebrate Virginia in Fredericksburg to help pay off its debts and reduce its tax liability.
In a hearing last week in bankruptcy court in Richmond, Judge Douglas O. Tice set a new hearing date for August and told Robinson to re-file her plan.
She has now done so, and it’s substantially the same as the previous plan. The only apparent change is that creditor Pei Partnership Architects—owed about $5 million—now might support the plan.
Milton Johns, the attorney for Pei, had objected to the museum’s proposal to sell part of the land, because the way Robinson had originally worded it seemed to suggest that Pei would give up its lien on the land.
The re-filed plan seems to adjust the wording to satisfy Pei.
“Pei Partnership has reached a compromise with the Museum for the treatment and
payment of its claim,” Robinson said in this week’s new filing.
She added that the city of Fredericksburg—owed nearly $300,000 in unpaid real estate taxes—has not made such a compromise. However, Robinson wrote, she “does not foresee that the city of Fredericksburg will object to the Debtor’s proposal to partition of its parcel,” given that the city had proposed auctioning the whole 38 acres last year so that it could be repaid.
It was the city’s move to auction the land that prompted the museum to declare bankruptcy.
The city has made motions to push the museum from reorganization into liquidation, because of doubts that the museum can raise enough money from donations to repay its creditors and stay afloat.
Robinson wrote that the museum is already receiving new donations and still predicts it could raise $900,000 in its first year of resuming operations.