I represented the Provident Realty, who was pursuing large tracts of vacant land in New Orleans for multi-family development. No existing properties for sale were able to be acquired at a feasible price, so I researched all vacant industrial property in New Orleans that exceeded four acres with the idea that we could demolish any warehouse and get the site rezoned from industrial to multi-family.
I used satellite mapping software to scout out large sites that appeared abandoned. This property measured six acres, which made it the last large parcel in New Orleans. It was not listed for sale. I helped the buyer explored financing through tax credits and community development block grant funds, and the buyer's offer of $5.25 million was accepted. I negotiated for weeks on the language of the Purchase Agreement, with the last sticking point being who would be responsible for removing oil drums and ash from a furnace.
Neither party would accept responsibility and both parties were adamant. To resolve the issue, I negotiated that I would find a contractor to remove the items and have the buyer reimburse the cost. After the Purchase Agreement was executed, the buyer completed a Phase One environmental, which showed signs of contaminants. The buyer's engineer advised that 3 feet of soil needed to be removed from seven contaminated locations at a cost of up to $500,000, which the seller's environmental engineer disputed.
I arranged for several meetings of the buyer and seller, their attorneys and their environmental engineers, and led the meetings to a successful resolution. I also conducted meetings with both engineers and LDEQ to present a plan of mitigation, which LDEQ finally approved. I also led efforts to get the property re-zoned, including creating and making a PowerPoint presentation to the City Council representative, Stacy Head. I also met with the City Planning Department and other agencies that needed to approve the re-zoning.
I also obtained written recommendation of the neighborhood associations which helped increase the score value to obtain Community Block Grant Funds. The Sewerage & Water Board discovered one building was constructed on top of a servitude, so I negotiated with them to resolve the issue. I also resolved an issue of property boundaries with the City Planning Department, after they discovered one piece of the property was sold. All these issues were addressed within 30 days, and the Planning Department approved the rezoning within 4 weeks-a process that normally takes 4 months. Under contract October 16, 2006 and closed July 9, 2007. See before and after pictures below.