Update 9/12/12 – 2:44 p.m. – Comment from Grubb and Ellis added
A NADG concept drawning of the exterior of a Smith’s Marketplace. Courtesy Photo
By Greg Kendall
In a surprising announcement this morning, Los Alamos County Councilor Vincent Chiravalle reported to KRSN AM 1490 morning show host Nancy Coombs that North American Development Group (NADG) has requested that the Trinity Site development project be legally transferred to the property development arm of Kroger.
If the transfer is approved, NADG would no longer be the developer of Trinity Site, instead Smith’s, a division of Kroger, would become the developer.
Smith’s has plans to build a Smith’s Marketplace grocery and retail store at the Trinity Site and is currently in the process of building a Smith’s discount gas station across the street from Trinity Site.
Earlier this morning, County Council Chair Sharon Stover told the Los Alamos Daily Post that it is her understanding the County’s contract with NADG allows for a transfer of the lease agreement to a third party such as Kroger saying, “their contract allows them to do this.” Stover noted that the County Council must approve any such transfer of the agreement.
Along with the lease transfer, Kroger is requesting that the development “clock” be reset to allow Kroger time to do the full due diligence allowed in the existing Trinity Site contract with NADG.
The contract calls for a six month due diligence period, plus a potential extension of two months. NADG has one month left in its six months of due diligence period at this time.
County Administrator Harry Burgess told the Los Alamos Daily Post this morning that “per their lease agreement, they [NADG] have the right to assign their lease agreement to a third party, subject to council’s approval.” “They [NADG] had the right to pull out during this feasibility period. There are some technicalities, they [NADG] had put down a $250,000 deposit, which through this proposed assignment [Kroger] would buy out their $250,000 and [Kroger] would now have a deposit with us. The only real change to anything is the timeline.”
Council has tentatively announced a special council meeting for Sept. 24 in order to discuss and possibly approve a transfer of the lease agreement to Kroger.
Stover noted that, “we hope that people in the community will get educated about and participate in the process.”
A comment was requested from NADG, but has yet to be received. Bob Feinberg, Senior Vice President/Principal at Grubb & Ellis New Mexico, who is acting as the primary leasing agent for the Trinity Site development’s retail spaces, was unaware of NADGs request to transfer the lease contract to Kroger when contacted for a comment this afternoon.
Check back for more news on this developing story.