A new developer is prepared to complete the Clarksburg Town Center community in northern Montgomery County.
Elm Street Development of McLean, Va., the company that is building Clarksburg Village, has agreed to take over Clarksburg Town Center.
Newland Communities of McLean, the original of Town Center developer, has for several months been looking to sell the troubled community. When the first prospective buyer walked away from the deal, Elm Street stepped in, Newland vice president Keith Hurand told the Montgomery County Planning Board on Thursday.
The deal is scheduled to close Dec. 1.
Planning Board Chairwoman Françoise Carrier wanted to know if Elm Street is prepared to move more quickly than Newland to complete the community.
If the board does not alter the approved plan, the retail district may not be built for another 20 years, Elm Street president David Flanagan said.
“[The approved plan] cannot work,” he said.
Construction of the retail area stalled for five years after the Planning Board found that Newland had not built the community according to the specifications of its approved plans. Instead of paying a multimillion-dollar fine, the developer and a group of residents hashed out a settlement agreement that included a vision for the retail center. The Planning Board used that agreement as a basis for the retail plan it approved in February 2010.
The plan calls for a parking garage and a grocery store.
Flanagan said he will spend the next few months talking to county leaders, residents and the Planning Board to find out if they want to wait until an improved economic outlook makes the envisioned retail center possible or build something else sooner.
“Some of the bad boy provisions — roads, parking decks — can’t be done,” Flanagan said. “Things have to go …The bad boy things killed the developer who did the bad things. Do you want the project to die, or the developer?”
According to the terms of the sale, Elm Street will build the retail area and complete the community’s residential development after the 900th house. The community has Planning Board approval to build more than 1,200 houses and close to 200,000 square feet of retail space. The developer will incur more road obligations after it develops the 900th lot, according to the conditions of the planning approvals.
Newland is seeking builders for last 50 lots to take its total to 900, Hurand said.