Northwest Georgia Housing Authority attorney Stewart Duggan said Wednesday he is in the process of negotiating an extension of the
closing date with the Atlanta-based developer that hopes to bring a Publix to the old Hight Homes site.
“An additional extension will allow Madison additional time to obtain additional tenants to facilitate, presumably, their financing,” Duggan said.
The attorney suggested that the latest extension on the closing of the sale of the property could run for another four or five months.
Madison Retail officials announced last December that Publix had signed a lease for the property. Late last month, officials with the developer said they had six leases signed for what Madison is calling the Charles Hight Square development.
One year ago, in April 2010, Madison signed a contract with the housing authority calling for the developer to pay $3 million for the property; contribute $750,000 toward construction of a new administrative office building for the housing authority; and reimburse the authority some $368,000 for demolition of the 150-unit Hight Homes property.
Calls to Madison Retail officials Wednesday were not returned.
Housing authority Executive Director Sandra Hudson said she was confident the deal would be completed, and that the extension now being negotiated with Madison would likely go through the end of September. She said that the last time she spoke with officials from Madison, several prospective tenants were reviewing contracts but had not formally committed to the development.
During Wednesday’s housing authority board meeting, Hudson reported that the Department of Housing and Urban Development gave the authority a 96 out of 100 on its Public Housing Assessment System examination for 2009 and has been designated a “High Performer” by HUD.
“We lost two points of the physical assessment (scoring 28 out of 30) and that’s where most housing authorities fail,” Hudson said. “It’s basically all these old units.”
NWGHA scored 29 out of 30 points on its financial examination. New Finance Director Debra Toothman reported that at the end of March, the authority was showing a $2,951 bottom-line deficit.
Steve Chumley, director of technical services for the authority, reported that two years after the April 2009 hail storm that hit Rome, the NWGHA has finally settled a claim with its insurance carrier. A contract for $488,000 worth of roofing repairs at the Willingham Village development in West Rome and at the Main High Apartments off Watters Street had been authorized.
About 150 units at Willingham Village will get roof repairs, along with 64 at the Main High complex.
Chumley also reported that the new Village Green 10-unit public housing development on Division Street is approximately 60-percent complete.