Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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More on the Vakos deal

County officials are confident they made the best deal for a new government office at Courthouse Village.

 Today I spoke with several different people about the 7-0 vote and the other offers, including one from the owner of the Capital One building that the county currently occupies. First, let it be known, that neither of those buildings is full and they’ve had empty space for quite some time.  Also, keep in mind that the county, even in its most-busiest times, never used more than 43,000 square feet at Capital One.

The county’s campus master plan has always shown that it is a goal to bring community services and social services back to the courthouse area. That benefits the residents, who can all go to basically one place for services and it benefits overall management. Those are basic points told to me. But there is more.

The county does have full intention of purchasing the entire Vakos building and they will have five years to do it once they move in. You can read the lease agreement here. Here is the comprehensive agreement. Here is the option to buy agreement.


Community services gets free rent for a year. The state pays 40 percent of social services rent.

I was assured by several county officials that the intention IS to retain leases from other businesses on the first floor to offset the costs of any purchase. They will be bound to the lease agreements that Vakos signs, and that could be many years before the county could ever have the chance of using all 56,000 square feet, something they’ve never had to do with those two departments.

VACorrespondent uses a "0" for lease revenue if the county bought the building. That’s inaccurate.  At some point, the county could decide to use the entire building, but it’s not in the near future. The county will not need all 56,000 square feet in 2010. That’s not accurate either. 


Also, note that the county is already in the landlord business. It owns a little strip of space at the rest stop exit, where the Civil War Life Museum is. This is not new territory for the county.

 No other company offered a free lease for a year.  The county cannot afford to buy any building at this time, so the five-year option is a benefit, they said.

Although the PPEA process is not as open as a typical bid project, and I do not have access to what the other companies offered, I have been assured that this was the best deal. Is that good enough? Maybe not. I can try to FOIA the other proposals and do my own analysis, but it sounds like a fishing expedition to me.

Post tags:


  • vacorrespondent

    Section 6 D page 3

  • vacorrespondent

    But for the sake of discusson. I’ll add FIRST FLOOR 18,700 SF at $15 psf of “theortical” tenants to the CH bldg. The leases at Cap One Bldgs are “real tenants”. So to make the analysis apple to apple.. need to add 18,700 of “theortical” leases to the other two bldgs.

    CH Bldg
    SF – 56,000
    Purchase Price-$11,200,000
    Price /SF – $200
    36,000 available for County
    Rental Rate $15 or $540,000
    Furniture Included – yes
    Annual Income from actual other tenants – $0
    Annual income from “theoretical” tenants – $280,000
    Interest Payment to own bldg.@ 3.3% – $369,000
    Annual Net Cost to own bldg. NEGATIVE- $89,000 (negative means money to county)

    Cap one 1 Bldg
    SF – 127,000
    Purchase Price-$16,000,000
    Price /SF – $125.98
    36,000 available for County
    Rental Rate $16 or $576,000
    Furniture Included – yes
    Annual Income from other tenants – $500,000
    Annual income from “theoretical” tenants – $280,000
    Interest Payment to own bldg.@ 3.3% – $528,000
    Annual Net Cost to own bldg. NEGATIVE – $252,000 (negative means money to county)

    Cap one 2 Bldg
    SF – 154,000
    Purchase Price-$17,500,000
    Price /SF – $113.64
    36,000 available for County
    Rental Rate $16 or $576,000
    Furniture Included – possible
    Annual Income from other tenants – $1,000,000
    Annual income from “theoretical” tenants – $280,000
    Interest Payment to own bldg.@ 3.3% – $577,500
    Annual Net Cost to own bldg. NEGATIVE – $702,500 (negative means money to county)

  • MAVRICKinc

    Since Dan has called around and has been assured by our elected officials that everything is OK with the VAKOS deal, I really have only one question to ask. Did Dan get any of these assurances IN WRITING, or do we have to return to his conversations with whoever he was talking to and ask a couple more questions of our own.

    Sounds fair to me.

    I’m enamored with how Spotsylvania County BOS conducted business on the Harrison Road Connector project, year after year, and just barely cut their way out of their wet paper bag.

    I still continue to wonder why our BOS had in their possession of the VRE Master Agreement, but decided not to show it to anyone for their own and independent review.

    The issue of transparence in Government has to be better than throwing FOIA request at their feet
    and all we get back is assurances.

    Has anyone or any Spotsylvania County Citizen been supplied a copy of the new proposal from VRE and their Master Agreement for signing by our 7 member Board of Supervisors? Has any part of this Master Agreement been changed? Last I heard, nothing about this Master Agreement has been changed and remains just as one sided as it ever has been.

    Cosner, Tricord, Silver, Mary Lee Carter, Supv. Skinner and Connors desperately need this rail road to run through Lee’s Hill District. With it comes an additional population and high density housing that is proposed to be built out in 5-10 years the likes of 10,000 or more new homes.
    What is it about HB-3202 or the assignmet of Urban Development Areas throught out the county? Maybe you should take a closer look at what you get from an “assurance.”

    I tried it once and look what we got back for our money. We used to call it home but now it’s just another house that was constructed on top of a failing drainfield and sewer drain pipe. Not to worry though, because we decided to put most or all the of puzzle pieces together, and guess who was standing on the other side of this “assurance”? Spotsylvania County Code Compliance, County Attorney, Ron Maupin Esq.,BOS, Thomas Y. Welsh, Tom Sagun, DPOR and many other high flying leaders of this community. The list is long and accounts for most or all the chieftans that are found in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and this little estate, plantation we call Spotsylvania.

    Next time I hope Dan gets his assurances in writing.

  • lgross

    that was one of your better posts MAV.

    the next step is to share with us how you would go
    about getting rid of some of these problems.

  • MAVRICKinc

    Larry: At this time we think you should share your ideas on how to best bring about change in Spotsylvania County. So, instead of playing the messenger, why don’t you get with your sponsors and come up with a game plan.

    We’ve confirmed in more ways than one that the process is FLAWED, and still is. It needs immediate attention, but maybe you didn’t the message. What are you going to do about it, other than accept flawed “business as usual” practices and protocols?

    You are once again reminded, I did my homework, and there’s going to be a lot more, whether anyone cares to listen or keep their finger on their “delete button.” makes absolutely no difference to us. Since we don’t have an agenda, and not of any political persuasion, we’ll continue to graze on both sides of the fence. When the stinch gets too bad, we’ll cross over the line, look back to see who and what created this diarrhea of the mouth and to what end THEY intend to fertilized THEIR version of change, new growth or evan an original thought.

    I understand the many layers of the lie, but prefer to see what part of the lie makes for common sense decision making. I fail to see where we’re any closer to the truth, what ever that is, but I’ll take a bowl of soup of the day, an see what additional ingredients might be needed to make it more pallitable to my sense of taste, not necessarily yours.

    SIDEBAR: I sent Dan and a few others a copy of my September 12, 2005 appeal presentaion (26 pages…exhibits not posted) to the Lee’s Hill Community Association, and suggested Dan send you and Gramps a copy through his electronic mail. Did either one of you get a copy?

    In case you didn’t notice the BOS still has its doors closed.

  • lgross

    Mav – who is “us”? who has joined you in your quest?

    I’ve already offered you my vision – multiple times.

    we have an elected government. If you don’t like the folks in charge – you work to replace them with folks
    who pledge to do better. It’s a crappy system but it’s better than most.

    you make your campaign about the things you think were done wrong and you support people who will
    pledge to improve the areas that need it.

    you support campaign finance disclosure so that all voters will know where the candidates are getting
    their money and expose any bad guy conduct that might be at hand.

    you support reports and studies that compare our government to other governments – to see where we
    are good and to see where we could improve. These reports are available at the Virginia Auditor of Public
    Accounts – here:

    but you cannot accomplish any of this by making a career of doing little more than throwing mud and
    howling at the moon.

    Most everyone wants a better county and a better government. There is always room for improvement
    but that does not mean that the folks who are currently in charge are evildoers intent on destroying the
    county either.

    I dare say that the majority if not all of the BOS – are attempting to do right for the county and that may
    well mean that they have a different philosophy than you about growth, finances, and VRE.

    That does not make them evil or even wrong and dialog that treads close to leaving such an impression –
    is not productive or useful IMHO.

    and Mav.. the guys that supported your free speech rights – you should thank them – not diss them.