Comlinks Housing In Turmoil

NORTH CREEK Increasing concerns over the financial status of the Comlinks affordable housing project on Peaceful Valley Road, has triggered a considerable amount of speculation on the projects future. During a recent Johnsburg Town Board meeting, Supervisor Sterling Goodspeed alerted the board to a series of letters issued by Comlinks executives that were forwarded to his office by CEO, Nancy Reich. Addressed to various private stakeholders, investors, and state government representatives, the letters detailed the dire financial status of the project, and alluded to its abandonment by March 31 if an immediate solution did not materialize. In a letter dated Feb. 4, Reich discussed the details of the problem, including ongoing litigation with the developments general contractor that continued to financially strain the organization. As the co-developer, Comlinks has executed a number of financial guarantees with respect to the project, Reich stated. Comlinks, however, has no financial resources of its own to pour into the project. The project funds which are now covering insurance, maintenance, utilities and other ongoing project expenses will be fully depleted within the next 30 to 60 days. Citing the numerous difficulties the project has gone through since its inception, Comlinks Housing Development Director, Brian Cassini, noted the two major factors involved in the current struggles. There are really two aspects of this problem that everyone needs to be aware of, Cassini commented. First of all, the completion funding was inadequate for a host of reasons which have been well covered in the press. Secondly, for the project to break even we need to have a 5-10 percent vacancy rate. Currently, 13 of the developments 20 units are under lease agreements and the organization is actively seeking more residents. Cassini provided further clarification on speculation surrounding the projects closing, and confirmed that despite rumors to the contrary, contractual provisions were in place that would prevent a displacement of residents should the project become insolvent. I think if we can come to some sort of settlement with the general contractor, and we can achieve full occupancy by August, then well be able to overcome our present difficulties rather quickly, Cassini added. If we do, and some of the other North Creek projects come to fruition, I honestly see this project becoming quite viable. Reich is planning a visit to the development, to discuss its status directly with residents, and to dispel any rumors. She also issued a public statement to the News Enterprise, clarifying the project status, and providing details of the legal dispute.

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