Town agrees to extension of exclusivity agreement with Coastal Ventures
By Jack Chavez, Staff Writer
(Jan. 26, 2023) The Town of Berlin is extending its exclusive negotiation privilege agreement with Coastal Ventures Properties — the developer assessing Heron Park — by 180 days.
The mayor and Town Council discussed the idea Monday night before voting 3-1 in favor, with Councilmember Burrell opposed and Councilmember Shaneka Nichols absent.
The pre-vote discussion included a suggestion from Councilmember Jack Orris to shorten the window to 90 days.
“I feel like another six months is just another six months to drag it on,” he said.
Mayor Zack Tyndall said 90 days runs the risk of having to renew the agreement for a second 90-day period if progress were to stall, which would ultimately waste more time. Besides, he added, Coastal Ventures is already in agreement on 180 days.
Burrell suggested they don’t extend the period at all.
“I think the council has been briefed on some level with memos as to where our agreement stands or negotiations stand,” Tyndall said. “I think it’s prudent (at) 180 days because we do have a little bit of work to still accomplish. It’s not just working through some of the items that we have on our most recent agenda.”
Councilmember Jay Knerr asked what is impeding the development of a contract right now.
Town attorney Dave Gaskill said now is the time to have that done.
“We’re likely going to have some more survey work because, as it stands right now, the town intends to keep part of the property and the metes and bounds of what is being kept need to be laid out,” he said.
Heron Park, the site of the former Tyson chicken processing plant, has been a mostly unused eyesore for the Town of Berlin for years as the town looks for ways to revitalize the nonetheless promising property.
The agreement stipulates that Coastal Ventures has the exclusive right to negotiate with the mayor and council for the purchase and/or lease of three Heron Park properties owned by the town.
“We’re looking forward to continuing the conversation with Coastal Ventures,” Tyndall said after the meeting. “We’re looking forward to it and hope to pass something to report back to the public very soon.”