BY MAIRE O’NEILL
It looks like Cyndi Wells would still like to place her business, Pet Pangaea, on Lot 5C in the 20th Trinity Street Extension area, now that the Los Alamos County deal with a developer for a Marriott hotel and conference center there has fallen through. When the County Council agenda for Tuesday’s meeting in White Rock was released Friday, it included an item, “Approval of Amendment No. 3 to the Purchase, Sale and Development Agreement for…. 3661 and 3689 Trinity”, which are the two lots currently being purchased by Wells from the County. These two lots are on the corner of Trinity Drive at the intersection of 35th Street where it heads downhill to the the 149-unit Hill Apartments currently under construction at the former Los Alamos Site Office location.
Not included in the agenda packet but mentioned therein, was an October 10 letter of intent from Wells’ attorney Philip Dabney to the County Economic Development Manager Dan Ungerleider noting a September 30 meeting where Wells’ desire to swap the two Trinity lots for Lot 5C was discussed. The Los Alamos Reporter requested a copy from the County of the letter of intent and received it late Monday.
Dabney’s letter states that Wells had attempted to purchase Lot 5c with a similar proposal as that contemplated for the Trinity Drive lots several years ago.
“Lot 5C remains the favored property for Pet Pangaea due to its level topography, location and constructability for the proposed project. It is my understanding that the County has an interest in further discussing this proposed land swap, with the goal of presenting it to the County Council at the next available meeting for starting the approval process,” Dabney said.
He said the current purchase agreement for 3661 and 3689 Trinity Drive includes an inspection period that has been extended to the third week of October with $20,000 in earnest money deposited by Pet Pangaea into escrow. The letter proposes the extension of the inspection period for the Trinity lots for a sufficient period of time for the new purchase and sale agreement between the County and Pet Pangaea to be entered into.
If the County decides it does not want to sell Lot 5C or if Pet Pangaea decides it does not want to purchase Lot 5c, Pet Pangaea would like to keep open the option of continuing to pursue the development of the Trinity lots under the current agreement. Pet Pangaea proposes to purchase Lot 5C for the appraised value. The last appraisal in 2017 valued the lot at $365,000 and the County would have to obtain an updated appraisal to determine its current fair market value. Other details about the proposed agreement were also included.
The proposed development for the Trinity lots would be continued if the land is swapped for Lot 5C with any revisions made to accommodate any differences in the lot configuration, easements and other considerations. Dabney also asked what the ingress/egress requirements would be for Lot 5C and whether all utilities are currently available and accessible. He asked whether or not there is a larger plan of action for sale of the other lots in the 20th Street extension area.
Approval of the proposed swap would require a lengthy process including enactment of an ordinance by Council.
Council Chair Randall Ryti told the Reporter Monday evening that he met with Wells July 20 after the ordinance to terminate the TNJLA deal was introduced to discuss the status of her project on Trinity.
“Dr. Wells indicated she still had an interest in doing her project on 20th Street. I passed along this information to the County Manager and encouraged Mr. Lynne to bring an item for Council to consider if the LEDA deal was terminated,” Ryti said.