Granby " Eagle Ridge rebounding, developers say
July 6, 2008
Principals of a development near Granby say they are climbing out of a legal bind after contractors filed liens against the developer.
The developers of Eagle Ridge, an 11.5 acre development at Grand Elk, say they are trying to get past a rough spot prompted by an unfriendly nationwide lending climate.
Chief Operating Officer Dave Kendall and President Eric Skinner of Western States Land and Development in Arizona said it’s taken more than a year to overcome circumstances that pre-empted a suit filed by contractors working at the development.
They said Western States has secured a lender to refinance. They also plan to close on the land-purchase from Grand Elk in mid-July.
“By August, everything will be cleared up,” Kendall said.
More than $1.9 million in liens were filed as the developer has sought new financing, according to court records.
A court extension granted to Western States will expire Aug. 30.
The crunch came, according to Kendall and Skinner, when developers thought they had secured funding through a local bank.
“We wanted to go with a local bank and do (the development) with local money to help stimulate the economy,” Kendall said.
But due to no fault of the bank, he said, the deal fell through June 7.
“We got hit with a pretty hard blow, but so did the rest of the nation,” he said, referring to a changed lending market. “It’s not a money crisis, it’s a lending crisis. When the lending crisis hit, it hit everywhere. It wasn’t just Colorado.”
Asked if the company plans to square up with everyone it owes, Kendall responded that it does.
“It’s been a very long road to get this done. We’ve stayed in communication … we haven’t hid; we’ve been up-front. This is going to have a good outcome,” he said, adding that with a “commitment” to the Granby area and what it has to offer, Western States plans to go vertical with 110 townhomes by mid-September.
General Manager of Grand Elk Steve Bromberg said Eagle Ridge can still become a viable community within the overall Grand Elk project.
American Infrastructure of Franktown is the primary plaintiff listed in a complaint to foreclose on liens filed in Grand County District court April 25. Other contractors have also joined the suit.
Because Eagle Ridge land is still owned by Grand Elk, the southern Granby development is also included in the matter.
Granby business owners Ted and Terry Pratt of Flinstone Gravel and Trucking are owed $12,000 from gravel they sold to Western States in October of last year.
“They kept telling us, we’re waiting on funding, but it never happened so we filed a lien,” said Terry Pratt.
“It’s our first year in the gravel business. We’d taken it over from my mom and dad who retired, and $12,000 goes a long ways toward making payments through the winter.”
“It’s definitely hurt us,” said Dan Ellis, project manager of Ironstone Construction Inc., of Lakewood. The company performed sidewalk curb and gutter work in Eagle Ridge and was supposed to continue with other projects. “In the challenging economic times were in, it doesn’t help,” he said. “It makes you so mad sometimes.”
American Infrastructure listed costs of $633,078 for labor, equipment, materials and services, according to court documents.
As far as Grand Elk itself, Bromberg and Grand Elk Attorney Ron Stern said rumors Grand Elk as a whole is facing foreclosure are untrue.
“It’s absolutely not in foreclosure,” Bromberg said.
He pointed out worldwide Wyndham Vacation Ownership, which is building a 44-unit vacation ownership resort in Grand Elk, recently began construction and noted the golf enterprise is running strong.
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