By Amy Jo Martin, firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW KENT – A year after it was foreclosured and nearly deserted, the residential/commercial portion of New Kent Village is back on track.
John Adamson, of Adamson Development Corporation and Maidstone Group, LLC, recently purchased Maidstone, a mixed-use development in the New Kent Village, which was foreclosed in 2011 and 2012, said County Administrator Rodney Hathaway in a phone interview Monday.
According to reports by RichmondBizSense, Adamson purchased the residential portion from Colonial Virginia Bank for $400,000 and is in the process of closing a deal on the commercial portion with Essex Bank. The total project is estimated at $22 million.
"As far as I know, Mr. Adamson has purchased Maidstone and is in the process of working on financing and the residential plans for the project," Hathaway said.
"Next, he will have to submit the plans for a building permit."
Although Adamson has not filed any formal paperwork with the county, he told RichmondBizSense that he will keep the 41,670-square foot Maidstone as an English style village, but reduce the number of houses from 70 to 50, as initially proposed by the property's first owner, Grosjean "John" Crump.
"Mr. Adamson's main focus is on getting new tenants in the buildings already built," Hathaway told the Review.
RichmondBizSense reported that Adamson plans on completing Maidstone's residential portion within three years of the project's start, but does not have a timeline for the commercial portion.
According to Crump, he and Adamson have met "several times" and are on the same page in regards to design.
"It seems like [Adamson is] very interested in continuing with the vision and the future of the project," Crump said in a phone interview Tuesday.
Maidstone initially offered 74 single-family detached homes in seven designs, ranging from 1,088 sq. ft. in size, and costing from $225,000-$350,000.
Four residences were also set aside for above commercial housing, and 16 for townhomes or flats.
As of October 2011, Crump had built two of the proposed residences.
Adamson is reportedly in talks with Virginia Beach-based J.F. Schoch Building Corporation to build additional houses at Maidstone, which are projected to sell for $195,000 - $235,000.
"This is very positive for the county," said Hathaway. "We're very excited about it."
"I'm very excited about seeing Maidstone reach its full potential," echoed Crump.
"It's unfortunate that we had the little pause that we did, but it's going to be a nice community for the courthouse area."
With an initial price tag of $24.8 million, the 21-acre New Kent Courthouse Village was approved by the county in 2006, and was divided into two parts: Preservation Park and Maidstone.
Preservation Park, located near New Kent Courthouse and the historic high school, was initially proposed to also contain "artisan exhibits, boutique shops, county service related businesses, and historic-themed educational exhibits," according to the New Kent Village, LLC website.
Maidstone was designed to replicate an English village and give residents and guests an opportunity to walk to their destinations, such as the local church and deli.
Despite its lofty vision and over $9 million invested by Crump, however, the village struggled to find homebuyers and businesses, and therefore, experienced a lack of funds to complete the project.
Colonial Virginia Bank, one of the project's major lenders, foreclosed on the residential section of Maidstone in August 2011.
Crump filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September 2011 in order stop a foreclosure by Essex Bank on the commercial portion of Maidstone, but asked in January 2012 that the bankruptcy be dismissed, so that he could work out a deal with creditors.
Essex Bank purchased the commercial portion of Maidstone in March 2012 for $1.7 million.
EVB Bank, another of the project's three major lenders, foreclosed on Preservation Park the following month.
Since then, the New Kent Village has mostly been deserted.
Five of the eight commercial buildings in Maidstone remain unoccupied. They once held Colonial Virginia Bank, deli/marketplace, pharmacy, and doctors offices.
Today, only four businesses remain active in Maidstone: Maidstone Dental, New Kent Insurance Agency, Stay & Play Child Care, and Active Life Fitness Center.
Three calls to Adamson were not returned as of press time Tuesday.
Martin can be reached by phone at 804-885-0040.
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