This evening the Charlotte Business Journal is reporting the death of Ballantyne Crossing aka BallanCroft.
In the end a poorly conceived project that put a spotlight on Ballantyne's most deep seeded fears couldn't endure financial scrutiny. But questions and fears as well as a good sized black eye remain. The damage thanks to Stuart Proffitt and a community that is quick to toss in the race card will be a lasting stain on the name of Ballantyne.
According to Susan Stabley of the CBJ: "Republic Development Group says it will withdraw a rezoning petition for an affordable housing project proposed at the intersection of Johnston Road and Providence Road West".
Late on Monday, the Charlotte Housing Authority withdrew from the development citing costs.
Less than two hours later in front of a capacity crowd Proffitt explained he was moving forward without the CHA. During the meeting Proffitt faced fierce opposition, failed to sway sentiment and was often unable to explain even the most basic fundamentals of the project. To many homeowners in attendence the project was a mistake even if it didn't included low income housing.
Republic principal Stuart Proffitt says his firm found out on Tuesday that the application cannot be transferred to his company.
“Without Housing Trust Fund money, also known as ‘local money,’ the project’s tax credit application would no longer be competitive,” Proffitt told the Charlotte Business Journal in an e-mail.
Legal troubles for the project started when the developer was forced to change the name Ballantyne Crossing to BallanCroft because of trademark infringement.
And now according to the Charlotte Observer there is more than just a bad idea going on here. Apparently as Republic moved forward with the controversial project, the housing authority was investigating how two CHA staff members helped put the deal together.
The members of Republic, John Schwaller and Proffitt, are vice presidents of SPQR Real Estate Company, according to the N.C. Department of the Secretary of State. The president of SPQR is Ben Collins, who was a senior development officer with the Charlotte Housing Aauthority.
Collins helped the authority and Republic create a partnership for the Ballantyne apartments, known as Ballancroft.
Collins and his boss, Kathleen Foster, vice president for real estate, left the authority on Feb. 11, said CHA spokeswoman Jennifer Gallman. Their departure came after the authority conducted an investigation about how the business relationship between Republic and Collins was handled, according to sources.
The Observer further reported that Proffitt was surprised by the fallout from SPQR and the authority. He went on to say that his relationship with Collins was known inside CHA and that there was nothing improper about Republic’s relationship with Collins.
“There was absolutely nothing wrong with our relationship,” Proffitt said. “Everything we did was 100 percent above board.”
So add CHA to the list along with CMPD, DDS, ABC, BOCC, CCC, and you have an alphabet soup of corruption within City County GovCo.
While the death of Ballantyne Crossing AKA BallanCroft will be good news for Ballantyne homeowners the damage done by the Charlotte Housing Authority and Stuart Proffit will take months if not years to undo. Clearly the failure of this project and City Council's commitment to force subsidised housing in Ballantyne will depress home values under a continued cloud of uncertainty.
And again Charlotte's has an issue of corruption another city/county operation with questionable ethics. What the heck is going on and why was Cooksey and Cannon so intent on approving the project, so much so that they came to each others aid on Monday?