VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – For the second time in a month, Vanguard Landing has taken its case to the Virginia Beach Development Authority (VBDA).
The question before the authority: Should a $ 2.85 million interest-free loan from taxpayers be “called” or should Vanguard Landing be granted an extension?
Vanguard Landing is a 75 acre site along Princess Anne Road and promotes itself as a safe, purposeful, interactive and inclusive community where people with intellectual and developmental differences can live.
Vanguard Landing, a nonprofit, wants to build the $ 40 million housing community. However, the city auditor recently determined that the company was in default, which was unanimously approved by city council in 2013 and signed in 2014. It had been eight years, but nothing had been done.
Avant-garde Landing was given a one month extension by the VBDA in mid-May to put its financial orders online and provide proof that he had enough money in the bank.
Dorothy Clark, who lives in an integrated community, spoke out against Vanguard Landing on Tuesday.
“It is said that people like me, and I know this for a fact, want to live in inclusive neighborhoods and not segregated neighborhoods where the only people who live there have a disability. They want to live in an ordinary community, to go wherever they want, to do what they want and to live the life of their choice. People with disabilities, with the right support, can live in an inclusive neighborhood, can work in an inclusive environment, and have friends… So I’m against Vanguard Landing, ”said Clark.
The Arc de Virginie also opposes the concept of Vanguard Landing, which believes in the integrated approach favored in Virginia.
Dave Redmond has a daughter who lives with autism. He says the Vanguard Landing project would simply offer another choice.
“She could live in a support group environment like Vanguard Landing. I know she will need choices. She will need options. What she doesn’t need, or anyone with an intellectual disability doesn’t need, is to be labeled, ”he said.
With these comments as a backdrop, Vanguard Landing came to the VBDA. What they were looking for was an extension of the abstention period.
The first good news Vanguard Landing showed on Tuesday was $ 2.1 million in the bank – far more than the last VBDA meeting in mid-May, where they had shown around $ 250,000 living day to day. . Vanguard Landing attorney Eddie Bourdon told officials last month they had a “seven-figure count.”
This account was not recovered by city auditor Lyndon Remias, who at the time determined that Vanguard Landing was in default on its $ 2.85 million interest-free loan from city taxpayers. The default was not due to financial failures, but to failure to meet loan conditions, such as building a structure.
When Bumblebee revealed the seven-figure count, the Authority extended the forbearance period for 30 days to find out how much money Vanguard Landing had. As 10 On Your Side first reported Monday evening, they had indeed confirmed $ 2.1 million.
Vanguard Landing said its inability to build a structure was due to stricter flood regulations that delayed site approvals at all levels and for months.
We were told there was pressure to have those who support Vanguard Landing “show me the money,” as City Councilor Rosemary Wilson told us when we first reported on Vanguard Landing. Pawnbrokers quickly became deposits.
After the initial hearing on Tuesday, the VBDA met behind closed doors and after about an hour came out with a motion: “Within 60 days, the borrower must make a lump sum principal payment of $ 500,000 on the amount. of the promissory note. ”
In May, Vanguard Landing also wanted an 18-month extension of the forbearance period to allow for further discussions on the call for the $ 2.85 million loan.
Vanguard Landing did not have 18 months at Tuesday’s meeting, but abstention will continue for 12 months until June 15, 2022.
Tuesday’s vote by the VBDA was unanimous, but the motion was a compromise between Vanguard Landing supporters and opponents.
10 On Your Side asked Lisa Murphy, president of the Virginia Beach Development Authority, which led to the compromise.
“We felt that since they had the money, we wanted to get as much of the money out of the city as possible as soon as possible. Twelve months gives them the opportunity to perform well, and we wanted to make it clear that we would be reimbursed when they took out a construction loan, ”she said.
Murphy also clarified that staff have received instructions if conditions are not met within a year, the VBDA will initiate foreclosure proceedings as read during the terms of the motion.
“And if there is a violation of the terms of this resolution, staff are encouraged to issue a foreclosure on the loan,” the motion reads.
Bourdon understood everything.
“It wasn’t what we were hoping to see. I don’t think that’s a big deal… We appreciate the city providing the interest-free loan, as long as everything happens when we have approved the sitemap, ”he said.
Murphy also said the city will “bend over backwards” to help Vanguard Landing get the sitemap approved, and if it doesn’t get one in a year, then it’s basically on Vanguard Landing.