City to land developer: ‘We’re going to work with you’

Sarnia City Councillors have unanimously voted to be flexible with the developer of a major piece of residential property in the area immediately west of Modeland Road and north of Highway 402, essentially giving Silvestri Development Corp. more time to complete the purchase of the so-called Rapids Parkway Lands.

The city took one of several options offered by the company, that being to proceed with the sale but in what might be described as "bite-size" pieces rather than one hard-to-digest chunk.

While council agreed to direct its staff to work out the legal language for a longer term extension, it did grant an extension to the closing date, moving it back from June 26, 2011 to July 29, 2011.

Council will discuss the terms of a proposed extension agreement at its July 18, 2011 meeting, although the anticipated results will include:

  • The sale of half the lands (not including property dedicated to the Ministry of Transportation) or about 18-20 acres, with the city receiving $1.325 million.
  • An existing $200,000 deposit being released to the city immediately upon approval of the extension.
  • Total proceeds to the city of just over $1.8 million
  • The developer continuing to pay property taxes (although still at the rate for farmland).
  • A closing date for the balance of land (18-20 acres) being June 26, 2014.

The developer, Mayor Mike Bradley told reporters after the public portion of the meeting, remains committed to completing the entire transaction, only over a longer period of time.

The first part of the transaction was completed on June 26, 2009, for which the city was paid $2.65 million for 43.64 acres. Since then, Silvestri has spent another $2.4 million servicing the Phase 1 lands, according to Bradley.

Silvestri is an American company, based in Salem, New Hampshire.

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