Balsams Development Team Requests Delay In BFA Process
June 13th, 2018
DIXVILLE, NH – “The Balsams redevelopment team on Tuesday announced they are asking the N.H. Business Finance Authority, which is reviewing the team’s application to determine whether to recommend a $28 million state-backed loan, for more time.
On Monday, June 18, the BFA’s board of directors had been expected to vote on the Balsam’s bond loan request, but the Balsams developers asked the BFA for additional time to ‘explore all options’ with the the BFA, said Balsams project spokesman Scott Tranchemontagne.
In a statement, he said the redevelopment team made the request ‘to continue collectively working with the NH BFA to discuss potential alternatives to the current application for a state-backed guarantee on a $28 million loan.’
The team hopes the additional talks will help bring the process to a successful conclusion, said Tranchemontagne.
In a statement, lead Balsams developer Les Otten said, ‘We have worked productively with the BFA over the last several months and would like to continue those discussions to explore potential options to make sure we find the best solution for the project, but also the state. As we have learned more about the BFA’s programs and protocol, we have developed potential scenarios that warrant further discussion. It is prudent to explore those options thoroughly, as the BFA’s support is critical to our project’s success.’
BFA Executive Director James Key Wallace said, ‘We believe it makes sense to consider potential alternatives to see what best suits the project while protecting New Hampshire taxpayers. We recognize how impactful this project would be for the North Country and believe it’s important to explore every avenue.’
Developers for the Balsams Grand Resort, which has been closed since 2011, said the BFA’s $28 million credit enhancement remains an integral component of the total estimated $170 million firstphase renovation and expansion of the 153-year-old Dixville Notch resort.
Plans include rebuilding the historic Dix House, renovating the Hampshire and Hale houses, building a new Lake Gloriette House, restoring the golf course, quadrupling the size of the Wilderness Ski Area, and adding a new spa, open-air marketplace, 600-seat conference center and performing arts center.
The $28 million bond loan, facilitated by the 2015 passing of Senate Bill 30 that created a tax assessment district in Dixville, would be serviced through property taxes on all future Balsams real estate assets.
The project’s current chief lender is Service Credit Union, of Portsmouth.
The resort is owned by Dan Hebert and Les Otten.
Otten was brought into the fold as lead developer in 2014.
The development team said they want to return the Balsams to its former place as the economic driver of the region and estimated it could create more than 1,000 jobs after it is redeveloped.”
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