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PEDC, Altera set timetable on apartments


Pecos Economic Development Corp. board members approved a pre-development deal on Monday for the Delaware Crossing project proposed by Altera Development, with a nine-month window expected to start later this month to get the first part of the project underway.

The board met in executive session at noon Monday at its new Cedar Street office, and agreed on the plans for the project, the first phase of which involves the construction of new apartments off U.S. 285 south of Interstate 20. “We’re waiting on a print-out of the exhibits, and then we’ll have everything together to sign,” said PEDC president Bill Oglesby.

“They’re going to do the ‘due diligence’ period, which is a nine-month period to do their engineering studies, soil studies,” he said. “During the due diligence period in nine months they have to start of the 200-unit apartment complex, and they have two years to build the apartments.”
He said development on additional tracts at the 200-acre site also is planned, under separate site develop- ment agreements.

“We’ve worked all this time to get to this point where now they can do what they need to do to deter- mine what can be done with the pieces of land,” Oglesby said, adding earlier surveys of the land had been done through the PEDC, and that the next step will be tied in to the annexation of the land by the Town of Pecos City.

That action is expected to take place on Dec. 18, a day after the second public hearing on the annex- ation plan. That would put the deadline to begin work in mid-August of 2016.

Altera was awarded the right to develop the land 15 months ago, but no work could begin until the land was sold by Reeves County to the Town of Pecos City, and then re-sold to the PEDC, which under state law has the right to then sell the land to Altera without competitive bidding.

Michael DeLier and Chuck Ray with Altera and Pecos Holdings, the sub-company handling the devel- opment of 200 acres of land, met with Town of Pecos City Council members in September and told them platting and final engineering on the site would begin when the land was annexed by the city.

Motels and other temporary housing have been the main projects during the oil boom since 2008 in Pecos, but the contract between Altera and the Pecos Economic Development Corp. requires that at least 200 apartments be built on the site before any hotel can be constructed.

“We’re still seeing a lot of activity, specifically in the Delaware Basin,” DeLier said, noting that drilling in the Pecos area has held up better than in other parts of the country with the decline in oil prices.

However, he did say the recent drop in prices down at one point to under $40 a barrel has made lenders a little more careful.

“Some of the requirements with some of the lenders, as far as the investment committees and approv- als have changed. They’re a little more stringent, but we working though that with Eric (Honeyfield, city manager) and Bill (Oglesby, PEDC president) right now,” DeLier said. “There’s no tractor out there right now – you can’t do it until we annex – but there’s been a lot of work going on behind the scenes on the capital side, which is the most important side.”