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Industrial park land up for sale

By Alex Bridges

A large area in Strasburg's industrial park goes up for auction later this month.

The Strasburg Commercial Development Company based in Vienna, Virginia, bought several parcels of land totaling 77 acres in the North Shenandoah Industrial and Business Park in 2008. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in mid December last year and the properties recently fell into foreclosure. They will go on the auction block at a trustee's sale Aug. 21.

Strasburg Economic Development and Planning Manager Kimberly Murray said Wednesday the status of the land's ownership hasn't delayed the town's effort to bring business and industry to the park.

"We think it could be a critical piece in spurring development out at the park, having some commercial property develop out there," Murray said. "So our hope is whoever ends up being the owner or the investor of the property is interested in developing it sooner or later and working with the town on their vision as well as our vision for that commercial piece as it relates to our community and its needs."

Strasburg annexed the 300-acre industrial park Dec. 31 as part of an agreement with Shenandoah County. Strasburg still needs to craft the master development plan for the industrial park. Murray said she expects the town to advertise for proposals from consulting firms interested in helping Strasburg create the development action plan. Murray and Town Council talked at a work session Monday about the park's development and the Golden Triangle.

The town does not have an interest in buying the 77 acres, Murray said. Strasburg has not set up an organization like Shenandoah County's Industrial Development Authority that could buy properties and seek developers. The authority already owns some property in the park.

Murray said she has been talking with potential investors and has been working with the company in charge of the sale to convey the town's interest in seeing the property develop.

Sperry Van Ness Motleys Asset Disposition Group is handling the sale of the property. While the land comprises six parcels, the company plans to sell it as one, 77-acre tract, said Tim Dudley, vice president of real estate. A future developer would have the infrastructure in place needed to develop the property, Dudley said. A single developer would have an easier time constructing the roads, drains and other needs to make the property usable.

Dudley touted the land's proximity to Interstate 81 and access to the railroad as selling points for the property and its potential development for commercial and industrial use.

The Strasburg Commercial Development Company executed a credit line of deed trust in late October 2008 to secure $3.7 million for the properties, according to a public notice for the sale published Saturday. The two largest parcels, making up about 72 acres, were conveyed by Strasburg Developers to Strasburg Commercial in 2006.

Information from the Strasburg Commercial Development Company indicated that with regards to the bankruptcy case the judge took action that allowed a bank to foreclose on the property. The company continues to try to find an investor who would buy the property from the bank. While the property has drawn some interest, no potential investor has come forward to buy the land.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com

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