Mayor Marl: South Monroe Street Development Has Until the End of the Month to Pour Foundations, Pull Building Permits

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City of Saline Mayor Brian Marl and city council have apparently run out of patience with the developer of Fairdeen, the stalled proposed 30-unit condo development at 207 S. Monroe St.

Two weeks ago, developer Damian Farrell pleaded with council for another extension of the terms in his purchase and development agreement with the city. City council then went into closed session to discuss its options.

Monday night, Mayor Marl, reading a prepared statement, announced there would be no extension and that Farrell had until the end of the month to meet the terms of the agreement.

"Given the passage of several years since the sale of the property and the ongoing state that the parcel has been left, city council does not have confidence, that even if an additional extension were granted, that timely construction activity would occur on site," Marl said. "The intent of selling this parcel was to have the property developed in order to diversify our housing stock and remove an undeveloped parcel from the core of our community. This intent has been undermined and at least delayed for five years. As such the city is not inclined to grant or approve additional extensions."

Marl said the city is willing to assist Farrell in finding parties who might develop the property.

The city sold the land to Farrell's development company, High Meadows Development, LLC more than five years ago. Planning commission approved the final site plan for the project in August of 2016.

In 2019, the city and Farrell agreed to revise its purchase and development to help Farrell get his development back on track after supplier issues.

"This agreement also emphasized the city's desire to have this property promptly developed. In fact, the agreement stated, and I quote, 'the parties agree that timely progress in the development of the property is a material term in the agreement and the basis for the transaction.'" Marl said.

A new site plan was then approved by the planning commission in 2019.

Last year the city council extended the purchase and development agreement and the planning commission extended the site plan for one year.

According to the terms of the agreement, the developer has until the end of May to begin pouring the foundations and pull permits.

If not, the city has the right to purchase the land back from Farrell for $200,000.

At the April 19 meeting, Farrell told council he was on track to build homes this year and pleaded with council not to make the project harder and more expensive.

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