The current rent rolls at Royal Crest are estimated to be worth about $18,000,000 per year based on their listed rental prices. The property is now owned by AIR Communities, a publicly traded company, they must meet the state’s sanitary codes, and have a legal fiduciary responsibility to their stock holders.
The owners are not going to allow the property to decay into nothing; the ownership will work with us or a different developer will come through with a better plan. The current proposal has a build out value approaching a half billion dollars.
There is always another plan. There is money to be made and nothing economically feasible can be done without a zoning change. They will NOT be able to build some other type of multi-unit housing by right.
Royal Crest is zoned Residential 5. What could be built by right if we deny this zoning? No commercial, no retail and the maximum building height stays at 35 feet with a maximum lot coverage of 20%. That means 80% open space!
The buildings could be no taller than the existing site and the maximum lot coverage still couldn’t exceed 20%. They could build essentially what they have there now at an incredible cost! They would need to update storm water; build to new structural codes; and meet updated ADA accommodations.
No one is going to trade 600 existing units for around 600 units newly constructed units; this is a for profit company. It’s just not economically feasible and it’s foolish to portray it would happen.
The developer will come back to us with a better plan and Merrimack will build their dorms on their campus. There will be a development agreement with whoever wants to build anything because the zoning will need to be changed to make new construction economically feasible.