Land agreement OK’dPublished 10:28pm Thursday, December 12, 2013
A couple of big steps forward in the development of land on North Suffolk’s College Drive have taken place recently, including clearing the way for a variety of uses on the site.
A land use agreement for about 444 acres owned by the city’s Economic Development Authority and the Tidewater Community College Real Estate Foundation contains language that restricts its development to defense uses supporting U.S. Joint Forces Command.
Since that command no longer exists, and other changes have taken place in economic conditions in the region, more flexibility was needed, city Economic Development Director Kevin Hughes said.
An addendum to the agreement has been crafted that would allow development “for commercial uses in accordance with development plans related to those parcels” that is done “in a first class manner.”
The State Board of Community Colleges already has voted in favor of the addendum. A vote at Wednesday’s Economic Development Authority meeting gave its stamp of approval, and the Tidewater Community College Real Estate Foundation is expected to vote on Dec. 18.
The governor also will be asked to sign the addendum, Hughes said.
“The vote yesterday was fairly significant,” Hughes said of the EDA’s vote. “It’s been about three years in the making.”
Originally the General Assembly was thought to need to approve the addendum, but Hughes said that is no longer considered necessary because legislators never voted on it in the first place.
Hughes said his department currently is talking to two prospects for the land and is consulting in the coming months with major landowners and office users in the area “to make sure that everyone’s on board and buying into it.”
A marketing campaign, which dubs the site “The Point at Harbour View” and highlights its central location in the region, also is underway. The 55-acre portion owned by the EDA is undeveloped, while the much larger tract owned by the real estate foundation is a former campus of Tidewater Community College.