BY RANDALL RYTI AND SARA SCOTT
Vice Chair and Chair
Los Alamos County Council
We’d like to provide an overview of a property purchase agreement that will be discussed at the Dec 15, 2020 County Council meeting. The Council and County staff held several closed session discussions to inform as well as maximize the County’s negotiating position in development of this agreement. It is being considered because of the potential impact on improving our local business environment, providing more housing options, and increasing the vibrancy and amenities in our downtown.
The Council on Dec. 15 will consider whether or not to make an offer on the CB Fox and Reel Deal properties, contingent on a 90 day due diligence period. The County has previously purchased properties for strategic needs; this offer would be for $4 million for both properties. Both properties were purchased by an out of town developer with plans to provide office space; in considering ownership, the County saw an opportunity for more beneficial use of these properties. For example, to maintain retail presence, provide some housing, and possibly some limited use for office space. If Council decides to enter into a purchase agreement on Dec 15, the 2021 Council with community and staff input, will be putting down $25,000 to provide the opportunity and the time needed for these deliberations and, therefore, whether or not to proceed with the purchase.
This 90-day consideration regarding whether or not to proceed with the purchase will include, but is not limited to, inspections and condition reports of the property, opportunities for addressing community goals and priorities regarding our downtown areas – some of which have been identified through the Downtown Master Planning and Comprehensive Planning processes. Additionally, because there are no plans for long-term County ownership or management of the properties, effective options/mechanisms for development and release of properties to benefit our local business environment will also be identified and evaluated. If purchased, the final path forward and development conditions imposed by the County as the property owner, will be informed by vigorous discussion and public input.
Also related to goals listed above, we are also actively pursuing a land sale of two adjacent parcels on Trinity Drive (3691 and 3689), which were advertised for purchase and development on Oct 16. These parcels were identified during a review of available County-owned lands; they were originally purchased to address upgrades that might be required at the intersection at that location. It was determined that these properties are not needed for this purpose and could benefit the community through potential development. Three proposals, all from local entities, were received by the proposal deadline of Nov 6. These proposals are still being evaluated with the objective of developing an Ordinance for the sale and development of the two properties. We may have additional information on this land sale in the Dec. 15 meeting package.
More details on this potential purchase agreement are provided in the Dec. 15 County Council agenda package. If you have comments on this item please email the Council at ~CountyCouncil@lacnm.us or to individual Councilors at their email addresses. We look forward to these items being considered and evaluated now and by the Council and public next year.