Settlement Reached Between Developer, Property Owner of 8 Acres at Shadowline

Published Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 1:47 pm
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This work truck was on site of the Shadowline property on Monday. Photos by Jesse Wood

Editor’s Note: On Tuesday, the High Country Press published a story about recent activity at the Shadowline Square development in Boone. After publishing that story, High Country Press learned of a related civil suit in Watauga County Superior Court that occurred over the summer. 

By Jesse Wood

In May, the now-former developer of Shadowline Square, a proposed redevelopment of the old lingerie plant property on 7.9 acres in Boone, filed a civil suit against the property owner, Shadowline Properties LLC, which is managed by Vernon H. Scarborough.

In August, a settlement agreement was reached between the plaintiff, Meredith Trattler of Cornerstone Campus Communities and Cornerstone at Shadowline LLC, and the defendant, according to court documents.

Scarborough agreed to pay Trattler $600,000 in return for “all entitlements, permits, plans, specifications, trade names and copyrights” associated with Shadowline Square. That also includes the water allocation granted by the Town of Boone, a zoning permit, a traffic study, contracts with and payments to vendors and all work produced after April 21, 2013 for the project.

This proposed development first made headlines in October 2013, when the Boone Town Council approved Trattler’s water request of nearly 70,000 gallons of water for the mixed-use project. At the time, the $35 million project was described to consist of 490 bedrooms among 190 units, more than 10,000 square feet of commercial space, a 485-space, five-story parking deck, 124-space parking lot, a clubhouse and pool and a 3.5-acre park.

In October 2015, Trattler last appeared before the Boone Town Council to request an amendment to the town’s water and sewer ordinance regarding vesting-period extensions. This, according to court docs, allowed for an extension for a third year upon paying 30 percent of the full impact fee and would grant water and sewer allocations until Oct. 17, 2016.

The total impact fee for the allocation of nearly 70,000 gallons of water was $573,078.

According to Trattler’s complaint, $757,000 was spent in connection to the Shadowline property – not including time invested over the 37 months.

Trattler initially agreed to buy the property for $4.7 million in April 2013. Trattler claimed that price was based on about 343,274 square feet of developable land at approximately $13.75 per square foot.

In the complaint, Trattler said that inspection of the property by planning professionals revealed 137,685 square feet of the property “could not be used for any development” due to a stream running through the eastern portion of the land.

The timeline of this revelation, however, is unclear. Trattler claimed that purchase price should be reduced accordingly to $2.83 million. The claim notes that the defendant, Scarborough, refused to reduce the price.

The plaintiff, Trattler, was represented by Moffatt & Moffatt, and Shadowline Properties was represented by Anthony DiSanti.

Trattler didn’t respond to a request for comment. A representative for Scarborough didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, either.

Recently, the property has seen activity. Currently, asbestos abatement work is being conducted under a permit with the state, according to Boone Planning and Inspections Director Bill Bailey. If needed, this must occur prior to any demolition, and a few D.H. Griffin Wrecking Co. signs advertising the demolition area are present on the condemned property.

Last week, Bailey said that demolition and building permits have yet to be applied for. A zoning permit was issued in June 2014, and six-month extensions of the zoning permit have been secured since then.

“The only permit we have for this site is a multi-use development that was approved about two years ago and has been kept alive,” Bailey said in an email.

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The view from the Shadowline property looking out above the Harris Teeter shopping center.

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