Due diligence finds no major obstacles so far to Albemare’s purchase of 462 acres near Rivanna Station

Albemarle County continues to conduct a full review of what further actions may need to be taken if a planned $58 million purchase of 462 acres near Rivanna Station goes through. On May 24, the Board of Supervisors authorized the acquisition pending due diligence. 

“We’re assessing the the in-the-ground infrastructure, we’re assessing environmental, we’re assessing leases, title reports, and infrastructure that is out of the ground and so far, so good,” said Deputy County Executive Trevor Henry at an update given at the August 2 meeting of the Board. 

Henry said the county is in “pretty good shape” as it determines if the land will allow enough buildable space to pursue what they’re calling the “Intelligence Community Innovation Acceleration Campus.” 

The firm Line and Grade is conducting much of the work for Albemarle County and they’ve completed such tasks as mapping soils and drainage areas, seeing if there are any threatened or endangered species, and coming up with a conceptual road layout.

A map depicting the land that Albemarle seeks to purchase around Rivanna Station to prevent encroachment of the military base (Credit: Albemarle County) There’s also a check to see if there are any significant remnants of human activity. 

“One thing that is of particular significance from a cultural standpoint is that there is an existing cemetery, the Pritchett cemetery there,” said Blake Abplanalp, Albemarle’s Chief of Facilities Planning and Construction. “That was studied by our archaeological consultant who happened to be the same firm that did the work over at the courts. They are recommending that we maintain as best we can a 50 foot buffer between any kind of development and this cemetery.” 

Albemarle County as the owner of the cemetery would also have to provide access to that land to any family members who wanted to visit. There are two earthen dams on the property that the county would also own and need to be maintained and potentially upgraded. 

“From an engineering due diligence standpoint, in all of the things that we’ve been examining, the risks associated with liabilities on this property are very low,” Abplanalp said. 

There is also one rental home on the property. 

The next update to Supervisors will be on September 6 including more details on how Albemarle will pay for the land. 

“At that point in time we will bring forward bond resolutions that we will ask the Board to take action on and that really starts the formal process to issuing the bond anticipation notes,” said Jacob Sumner, the county’s acting finance director. 

Those notes will be issued by the Albemarle Economic Development Authority and that will be at their September 19 meeting. 

If the purchase goes through, Albemarle will become the owner of the earthen dam that impounds water for Greens Pond (Credit: Albemarle County)

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