Sunday, August 7, 2022

Up to $3.3. million in incentives from Leland approved for Brunswick Forest

By adding 1,790 new residential units, phases seven and eight in Brunswick Forest will add nearly a half-billion dollars to Leland's tax base by 2030-2031, the town estimates.

The Town of Leland will consider paying Brunswick Forest’s developer up to $3.3 million in economic development incentives to fund development west of the rail line. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna Ferebee)
The Town of Leland will consider paying Brunswick Forest’s developer up to $3.3 million in economic development incentives to fund development west of the rail line. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna Ferebee)

LELAND —Leland Town Council approved an estimated $2,647,000 economic development incentive for Brunswick Forest’s developer, Funston Land and Timber.

The town’s obligation to Funston Land and Timber could be slightly higher, depending on future construction costs, but it will be no more than $3,308,750, according to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) approved at Leland’s Town Council meeting Thursday.

Related: Leland could pay Brunswick Forest developer $3.3 million in incentives

The item was approved under the town’s consent agenda, meaning, Council did not discuss the item before approving it unanimously. Items on the consent agenda are considered routine in nature.

Leland’s approval brings the town’s total incentive obligation to $3,672,000 or a maximum of $4,333,750. The town opted to delay taking action on a proposal to grant Sunset Land Investments $164,000 in economic development incentives associated with a planned 162-unit townhouse development on Mt. Misery Road. According to Leland’s clerk, the economic development agreement associated with the incentives was not ready for approval Thursday.

$2.6 million to $3.3 million

A forthcoming economic development agreement will lay out more specifics of the approved exchange, including the dedication of a 31.8-acre park to the town. The future public park’s land value is estimated at $1.6 million.

(Shown in black) A narrow, 31.8-acre parcel will be dedicated to the Town of Leland for a future park.

A map in the approved MOU showing the approximate location of the future town park shows a narrow, 31.8-acre parcel sandwiched between Kay Todd Road and the Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point (MOTSU) rail line.

Leland will essentially reimburse Funston Land and Timber for its payments into a separate account used to collect System Development Fees. These fees are paid by a developer to a utility to connect to existing infrastructure.

At first, Funston Land and Timber will pay to extend Brunswick Village Boulevard to Hewett-Burton Road across the Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point (MOTSU) rail line.

Leland and Funston Land and Timber will negotiate in the future economic development agreement utility, multi-use path, and road construction costs incurred to improve the Kay Todd Road to Hewett-Burton Road extension. The town will pay to cover the actual cost for constructing these projects via the recently-approved economic incentive payment in exchange for the town’s acceptance and future maintenance of the infrastructure. The estimated is $2.6 million but the town has allowed up to $3.3 million — but no more — to account for possible increases in construction costs.

The economic incentives are associated with phases seven and eight of Brunswick Forest, which will add 1,790 new residential units to the development. By 2030-2031, this will add an estimated $447 million to the town’s tax base.

Related: Brunswick Forest’s developer put the brakes on SAD process, no plans to move forward

A new proposal to offer Funston Land and Timber up to $3.3 million in economic development incentives to extend utilities in phases seven and eight of the Brunswick Forest Planned Unit Development does not include phase nine. In 2018, Funston Land and Timber sought to establish a Special Assessment District (SAD) that would have covered the developer’s $16 million fees to extend infrastructure in phases seven, eight, and nine. (Port City Daily graphic/Johanna Ferebee, base maps courtesy Town of Leland)
Leland’s recently-approved MOU with Funston Land and Timber including up to $3.3 million in economic development incentives to extend utilities in phases seven and eight of the Brunswick Forest Planned Unit Development does not include phase nine. In 2018, Funston Land and Timber sought to establish a Special Assessment District (SAD) that would have covered the developer’s $16 million fees to extend infrastructure in phases seven, eight, and nine. (Port City Daily graphic/Johanna Ferebee, base maps courtesy Town of Leland)

Down the road

Across Highway 17, Leland also approved a second MOU with Brunswick Forest’s developer, Jeff Earp. Earp is a manager of Funston Land and Timber and president of Brunswick Forest.

No incentive figure was given in the preliminary MOU approved Thursday associated with Earp’s new project. Located off Old Town Creek Road, Earp plans to develop a single-family residential subdivision on a 287-acre property owned by J-Earp LLC.

In exchange for submitting a voluntary annexation request to the town, Leland promised to install a sewer extension project is has planned since June 2018. Though it wasn’t clear at the time, sewer extension plans show a drop-off point at the beginning of Earp’s 287-acre Old Town Creek Road property.

Once Earp submits an annexation petition, Leland has 18 months to complete its wastewater extension project. Costs for the project have not yet been made available.


Send tips and comments to Johanna Ferebee at johanna@localvoicemedia.com

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