When negotiations began a few months later, the two sides were at odds about the number of apartments reserved for families making less than the region’s median income. They also disagreed on a sale price for the property.
RRHA said it wanted $4.1 million for it, according to a letter Hopkins sent board members earlier this month. The letter, obtained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, did not specify what The M Companies countered with.
Wolfe said RRHA had an appraisal conducted and had sought to sell the property to Hopkins’ firm at the appraised value. Hopkins said his firm never received a copy of the appraisal and that research into sale prices for similar properties in the area indicated that RRHA’s asking price was too high.
Hopkins said that a few months later, his firm received a letter from RRHA terminating the negotiations. The letter, sent last June, came shortly after former RRHA CEO Damon E. Duncan resigned his post and his deputy, Therese Walton, briefly led the housing authority as its interim CEO. A subsequent meeting with Walton and others to try and salvage the deal was unsuccessful, according to the letter Hopkins sent to the Board of Commissioners.
Wolfe said RRHA officials followed federal, state and agency rules. Existing RRHA policy “would not require the CEO to consult with the board before she terminated negotiations with a procurement offeror or candidate,” he said.