March 26, 1998 in Washington Voices

Five Mile Development Plan On Hold For Now

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Negotiations have stalled on Scott Brett’s bid to buy 51 acres on Five Mile Prairie from developer Barry Margolese.

“Scott Brett didn’t come to the table yesterday,” Margolese said Wednesday.

“No money showed up and there was no extension agreement. Essentially, the deal is canceled.”

But Brett said Wednesday he’s confident “with a little cooperation, it will work out sooner rather than later.”

Margolese has approval to build 180 homes on the property; Brett proposes about a fourth as many homes, and has talked about adding horse trails, and bike and jogging paths.

Final papers were scheduled to be signed at closing Tuesday. The meeting was canceled.

“I feel confident it will work out,” said Brett. “We were trying to rush it in yesterday, trying to push it too quickly.”

Margolese said the sale has been plagued by delays since December. He said he is frustrated and mystified by Brett.

Brett said he represents Bailett International Corp., a Bahamas company that focuses on humanitarian projects. He said the company currently has projects under way in Africa and South America.

“Scott has a substantial amount of non-refundable money committed, in excess of $50,000,” said Margolese, “It sounded like a realistic effort.”

Margolese, of Seattle, is general manager of West Jackson Co. Margolese is also developing the 250-home West Ridge subdivision on Spokane’s South Side.

“In the business of land development part of the process is securing pieces of land to plat in a positive way,” said Margolese. “Another part of the business is to sell the plat to someone else.”

He added that the outspoken Five Mile neighborhood was one of the reasons he negotiated with Brett.

“This opportunity came up, and I thought I might as well sell to Scott, who lives up there and wants to make it more what the community wants,” said Margolese.

“I told him, if you are willing to pay me a reasonable price, I’ll see if we can make a deal,” said Margolese. He added, however, he’s convinced his 180-home Summerhill subdivision is a good plan for the area.

The Five Mile Neighborhood Council strongly opposed Margolese’s development. Members asked that the homes be built without basements because of widespread flooding on the prairie. The city hearing examiner agreed, requiring Margolese to build houses without basements.

Margolese also volunteered to pay $200 per home toward park development in the neighborhood, and $1,430 per lot for road improvements.

Margolese said the deal with Brett might be revived, but he’s frustrated.

“I have no idea why he would put up $50,000 and not know whether they have the deal together, and no certainty about how it is coming together,” Margolese said. “There have been several extensions, time’s up. I’m trying to run a business.”

, DataTimes

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