Waterloo council postpones All-In Grocers mortgage release, citing not enough info | Political News

Waterloo council postpones All-In Grocers mortgage release, citing not enough info | Political News
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WATERLOO – The city council wants more information before voting on a motion to release mortgages on land for a downtown grocery store project.

Chancellor Dave Posen asked to delay a decision that would have modified a development agreement between the city and Central Property Holdings LLC, which is developing the All-In Grocers store and related complex on Franklin Street.

The agreement, according to the amendment, would have “revoked (Central Property Holdings’) obligation to provide a mortgage as security.”

Motion to defer 5-2 was approved. Chancellors Jerome Amos and Nia Wilder, whose wards house the proposed project or are next to them, voted against the postponement.

Noel Anderson, the city’s director of planning and community development, said the mortgage to be released is part of the initial plot of land the city helped purchase from neighboring CVS.

Anderson said the city provided about half of the money for the land at the time, which Buzyn noted amounted to $400,000 out of a total purchase price of $750,000.

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Buzyn questioned whether All-In’s financing was “pending on our release of this mortgage,” which Anderson notes is accurate.

“Why wasn’t this brought up to this council during the funded part of this?” asked Busin. “Because it kind of puts us in[the position of]the eleventh hour… We have to pass this on until its funding becomes available.”

Buzyn also asked if the city had a developer “performance bond” of $2 million specified in the agreement. Neither Anderson nor Michael Widener taught CFO on the impromptu.

“I’m not comfortable voting on this if I didn’t know we had these items, that we’d be protected” in the event of a default, Buzyn said.

Anderson said the language in the development agreement addresses the following: If the project does not go ahead, the city will take back title to the land and the developer will not get the promised rebates. He also noted that it is in the city’s best interest to help, not harm, development.

“The city isn’t just another financial agent out there,” Anderson said. “We are there to make sure the project and the site is ultimately successful.”

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Rodney Anderson, the developer behind the project, said after the meeting that he was “not at all concerned” about the delay. But he disagreed with Boesen’s argument about the need for a performance guarantee, saying that it was only necessary if the mortgage was raised, not “subjugating” the mortgage, which he said was the more accurate language of what was happening.

“Basically, we don’t need a performance guarantee,” said Rodney Anderson. “No performance guarantee is required if you have a dependency.”

A call to Noel Anderson regarding this dispute was not immediately answered on Wednesday afternoon.

Residents Forest Delavo and David Dreyer also shared, saying that both initially supported the grocery store but now have doubts about their success.

“I want to see this building built, but I don’t think we have to keep extending and keep changing and adjusting,” Dreyer said.


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