September 16, 2019

Cutler base to change hands in January Developer Sunset Group purchases former Naval property for $400,000

CUTLER – The two nonprofit organizations handling the sale and transfer of the former naval station at Cutler to a for-profit developer immersed themselves in technical details Monday as they cleared the way for a mid-January transfer of the property.

The buyer, Sunset Group LLC, with local representation by Richard Deegan of Beals, has agreed to receive the base three months sooner than planned.

But the price for the property has been dropped to $400,000 rather than the previously agreed $600,000.

With that lower price, the developer takes on the responsibility to heat and maintain the base, with its 22 administrative buildings and 61 housing units, through the winter months.

The shift in the closing date from April to January was forced by the Navy’s announcement earlier this month that it was ready to convey the former base to local authorities. If the nonprofit groups did not agree to take ownership from the Navy the first week of December, the Navy would turn the property over to the federal General Services Administration for its disposal.

Both the Washington County Development Authority, which is overseeing the property’s transfer, and the Cutler Development Corp., which worked to identify potential uses for the base and find a buyer, were caught off guard by the Navy’s decision to get out of town.

But they have moved quickly to adjust, and so has the Sunset Group.

Christopher Spruce, a community planner with the Sunrise County Economic Council, has been advising the base’s redevelopment for the past year.

“What happened Monday is that the two boards have done technically what they have to do to make sure the base can go to the Sunset Group at a closing soon,” Spruce said.

“There is an amended purchase and sales agreement contingent upon a closing by Jan. 15, although we fully believe the groups will be able to do that before that date.”

Sunset Group is headed by Peter Calandruccio, a Savannah, Ga., architect and real estate developer. His partners include Deegan and brothers Michael and Tom Schlitt of Vero Beach, Fla.

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