The phased sale of a large parcel of land in the City of Howell has been deemed no longer feasible.

Howell City Council earlier finalized the purchase agreement for the former Highland-Howell property to Branoff Randle Real Estate Partners and the due diligence period then got underway in early 2017. Community Development Director Tim Schmitt tells WHMI the sale is not happening at this time and the group is letting the option to purchase expire. He says the main issue the buyer cited in walking away from the deal was the cost of construction having gone up substantially. Schmitt says the property will continue to be marketed and they hope to have fruitful conversations with other potential buyers in the near future.

The term sheet for the phased sale was structured so that at any point during the purchase process if the developer decided not to complete the transaction, it would put the City in an advantageous position to further develop or sell the balance of the land at a future date. The total purchase price was $3 (m) million and it was a three-phase take down, meaning it could take as long as three to four years to complete the sales of all the pieces of 215-acre property. Plans had initially pointed toward a mixed use development, revolved around multiple family housing near the center of the site with commercial along D-19, and additional housing to the east near Lucy Road. Access had been a challenge in marketing the property and the purchase agreement included language clarifying that the City would not be liable for the costs of constructing a road or utilities. (JM)