Two sections of a massive planned development in New Kent County appear headed for public auction.
More than 700 acres that has been planned for residential development as part of the Farms of New Kent project, a multi-sectioned mixed-use community between Interstate 64 and Tallysville, are set to be auctioned by New Kent County in a judicial sale this fall.
The properties’ owner, Republic Land Development – part of the Washington, D.C.-based Republic Family of Companies – is at least two years behind on real estate taxes. If the company doesn’t set up a payment plan or pay the delinquent taxes on the parcels, auction proceedings will start June 1.
New Kent County has hired local law firm Sands Anderson to handle the sale, as it did two years ago for another portion of the Farms of New Kent project where taxes were delinquent. That sale never made it to auction.
Sands Anderson attorney Dan Siegel said the properties involved in this latest proceeding total about 160 parcels in the development’s Landbay IV and Landbay V sections. Once notice of auction is given to the owner, he said, it has 30 days to pay or set up a payment plan. If that doesn’t occur, a suit is filed in circuit court to set up the sale.
“Assuming no payments are made,” Siegel said, “then we’d probably schedule an auction of the property sometime in the fall.”
Republic holds the properties through two LLCs: NKP LB4 LLC and NKP LB5 LLC. A message left with the company’s D.C. office was not returned.
The overall value of the taxes owed could not be determined by press time. A message left with the New Kent County Commissioner of Revenue office was not returned.
The largest parcel of Landbay IV that’s involved in the sale – 247 acres – was most recently assessed by the county at $5 million. The largest Landbay V parcel – 481 acres – was assessed at $8.6 million.
Nathan Shor, a developer on the commercial portions of Landbay IV and V, said his land, which totals 183 acres, is not involved in this latest judicial sale. Shor’s commercial piece faced similar threat of auction two years ago, but Shor said he and his development partner are working through the issues with the county.
“The county never completed it,” he said. “It’s a technical step they need to take, but I’m not sure if it’ll ever be completed by the county or not.
“It’s kind of hard to sell that stuff on the courthouse steps when you’ve got a big community development that’s already behind it.”
Shor, who runs Shor Real Estate, said development on the commercial side of the project has been slow.
“The whole project’s slow,” he said, “because of the economy still dragging it down. New Kent’s taken a little bit longer to rebound, so there’s no real activity on the commercial.”
On the residential side, the Farms of New Kent consists primarily of New Kent Vineyards, which includes the Club at Vinettera golf course and New Kent Winery. Other sections include the Reserves at the Arbors cottage-style homes, a Four Seasons 55-and-up community and a section reserved for larger estate lots.
The development, near Exit 211 off I-64, was conceived amid the real estate boom, when many developers rushed to the rural county as the next bedroom community for Richmonders.