Part of the Developer’s side

Evan Goodenow has an article in today’s News-Sentinel which sheds a bit more light on the Renaissance Pointe decision announced over the weekend.  There’s always two sides to every story and the side we hadn’t heard until now is mentioned in this article. Here are some excerpts from the article:

[…] “Unless there is harmony between the developer and the neighborhood, the city is not in alignment with doing something to the neighborhood,” said Heather R. Presley, housing and neighborhood services deputy director.

“We plan with neighborhoods, not for them.”

[…] Hines, who was part of a group of church and neighborhood association leaders who signed a letter asking the state not to provide tax credits, said [Henry] Hall recently canceled a community meeting on the project.

“The developer did not seem to have the best interests of the neighborhood in mind,” Hines said. “It was very difficult to give us hard facts and numbers.”

Hall counters that he was planning a community meeting in April and discussed specifics of the project privately with Hines. Hall said there are specific state guidelines he would have had to follow.

Properties would have had to be sold to a nonprofit entity for the balance of the remaining debt, with the nonprofit group then selling the property to the homeowner. Hall said the properties could not be sold for mortgage payments that exceed rent payments, and there were fixed payments for taxes and utilities.

“There’s no wiggle room. There’s no decision-making on our part that says, ‘Hey, we can screw the consumer,'” Hall said. “That information was shared with Mr. Hines and he knows that. If he chooses to ignore it, that’s on him.”

[…] Both Hines and Presley predict the homes will eventually sell. Hines urged caution and patience.

“I’m in no rush to run out and try to find a homebuyer just for the sake of putting a house on the market at any cost,” Hines said. “In the long term, the project will succeed.”

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