Town says restrictions will remain in effect for new potential owners
SACKVILLE, N.B. – A local businessman is asking the town to remove restrictions off his industrial park property so he can sell it to another interested developer without those restraints.
But town officials say the covenants will remain in effect on the property even if the current owner turns it over to someone else.
“The new purchaser will have the same conditions so our interests are being met,” said town councillor Bill Evans during council’s monthly meeting May 13.
Evans said the town has no problems with the current owner selling the property to another developer but the covenants which were placed on the original sale of the site will remain in effect.
With a proposed sale on the table for one of the two properties owned by Jim Throop, town council agreed to waive the right of first refusal (ROFR) restriction for the current owner for the transaction to take place but pointed out that the ROFR will be placed back on the new owner, along with the other covenants agreed to when the properties were sold to Throop in 2009 and 2012.
Sackville treasurer Michael Beal said the time period for those covenants have not yet expired, “therefore, the recommendation is that those covenants remain in effect for the new potential owners.”
But Throop argued that the deal may not happen with those restrictions in place.
“It kind of puts me between a rock and a hard place,” he told council. “I hate to see this deal fall through.”
Throop, who runs a graphic design and sign shop in Sackville, said unfortunately with the economic recession, business has not gone as well for him as planned and he was hoping to sell this property to another local businessman who could bring further economic development to town. He said the potential owner, however, has already indicated he wasn’t interested in the property with those covenants remaining in effect.
So he requested town council remove them from the table.
“If we want to help small business out, these are the kinds of things we need to do,” he said. “Is there anybody knocking on the door of the industrial park to get in there?”
Evans didn’t dispute the fact that it would certainly benefit the town for the property to be developed. But he also pointed out that the municipality sold the property to the current owner fairly cheap so that would happen; and those covenants were part of the deal.
Phil Handrahan, the town’s chief administrative officer, agreed.
“Our interest is development of that lot,” said Handrahan. “If there’s a new ask, then we need to have that discussion. But right now there’s an agreement in place . . . and if it’s sold, it’s council’s wish that the covenant goes with the property.”