Dare commissioners select partner to develop housing project

Published 7:15 am Saturday, February 26, 2022

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On Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, Dare County’s Board of Commissioners selected Coastal Affordable Housing, LLC as its partner to use an allotted $35 million to build affordable housing in the county.

For the other competitor, the commissioners instructed board Chairman Robert L. Woodard and county manager Robert L. Outten to discuss with Woda Cooper Companies its interest in developing the Bowsertown project.

After brief discussion, commissioner Rob Ross said he probed hard at both organizations. “I struggled like crazy.”

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Ross made the motion and commissioner Jim Tobin offered a second. The vote was unanimous.

Coastal Affordable Housing, LLC was incorporated in North Carolina Nov. 9, 2021. It is a North Carolina-based business consortium, with its architect and contractor and others as principals in the project.

Principals include Aaron Thomas with general contractor Metcom; Robert Ferris, Richard Green and Eric Lindstrom with SfL+a Architects and Firstfloor; and J. Jordan Hennessey with Pamlico Management Group/EJE Dredging Service. Timmons Group will provide civil engineering. Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales will oversee leasing, property management and real estate. A Poyner Spruill attorney will negotiate the contract with Dare County and an attorney with McGuire Woods will handle developer financing.

On Wednesday, Outten said the next step is to negotiate a contract. He said he would be calling Marion Warren, who identified himself as Coastal Affordable Housing’s lawyer.

Among the items to be negotiated are to figure out the number of projects to be built; establish milestones; figure out indemnity; and make sure the Fred Mills group is on board to secure property management at the end of each project.

The actual amount of funding on the table is $35 million from the General Assembly and $8 million from Dare County, for a total of $43 million.

In a closed session, Coastal provided financial data to the board’s Capital Improvements Planning Committee and shared its plan to leverage dollars for more funding, reported Outten.

Regarding projects, Outten said that the ideal would be one project on Roanoke Island, one on Hatteras Island and three projects on the beach with one in the north, one in the middle and one in the south.

The Coastland Times reached out to a Woda representative for a statement.

“We are considering working with Dare County,” write Denis Blackburne, senior vice president-development with Woda Cooper Companies. “We have not yet received any information on the Bowsertown Road development from Dare County. We would need to review and understand the proposed development before moving forward. Dare County has an acute need for essential/workforce housing, and we believe we are uniquely positioned to be part of the solution. We would like to help as much as we can.”