The American Legion in Chapel Hill, located on a scenic 36-acre property, is subject to be bought by Woodfield Acquisitions LLC and changed into 600 apartments.
Woodfield Acquisitions LLC is a developer and operator of multi-family and mixed-use assets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S.
The American Legion began in 1919 and is the largest wartime veteran organization. Their central goal is to provide aid to veterans and their families, while simultaneously strengthening the communities where they reside and the nation as a whole.
Although the development project is early in the planning process, the American Legion is under heavy discussion about how to move forward with the project.
The town had the first choice of buying the property in a 2005 agreement for $9 million, but passed on the proposal in November, foregoing their right of first refusal.
The right of first refusal is a contractual agreement that gives someone the option to enter into a business transaction with an owner before that owner can make an offer to a third party.
Jessica Anderson, a Chapel Hill Town Council member, said in an email that the town currently is not accurately funded to buy the property. She also said approval is still needed for the project.
“I can’t speak for the rest of the council, but my understanding is that we do not have the funds needed to purchase the property and the right of first refusal was given up late last year," Anderson said. "We still have to decide if we will approve the project if/when it comes before the council, but we don’t have the choice to buy the property at this point.”
Amanda Mann of international law firm Troutman Sanders is in correspondence with Woodfield Acquisitions LLC. She said in an email that at the present time, acquiring feedback and answering community questions are the next steps in the potential project.
"There will be a number of opportunities throughout the planning process for the community to provide input and ask questions," Mann said. "Any such opportunities will be publicly advertised.”
Nancy Oates, a Chapel Hill Town Council member, said the situation has not yet been examined, but the community remains worried about the future of the American Legion.
“The council hasn't discussed it, but likely we will in the future as the community seems to be understandably concerned about the process,” Oates said.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.