Thursday, June 14, 2007

Local group acquires unbuilt portion of the Greenway Farm development at foreclosure auction

A story in yesterday's Baltimore Sun reported that a group of local investors, which previously owned the 85 acres next to the Bulle Rock golf course, outbid at least one other party to regain possession of the land at the foreclosure auction held Wednesday.

According to the story:

"The group's $21 million bid was only three-quarters of the debt, which totaled about $28 million."

The group says they plan to move ahead with a housing development planned for the land, which is close to the Aberdeen Proving Ground. APG is expected to get an influx of more than 8,000 jobs in the next few years due to BRAC. Despite the expected increase in demand for housing BRAC is expected to bring, the nationwide housing slump convinced property's developer decided not to go ahead with its development plans.
"Acacia Capital Corp. bought the property to develop it for K. Hovnanian. After the booming market burst, the builder decided not to exercise its option to purchase the final two phases, approved for 414 homes. A. Hugo DeCesaris, a regional president for K. Hovnanian, said in a statement in April that both his company and Acacia believe the land is now worth less than the price originally agreed upon, but the lenders 'were unwilling to resolve the matter short of foreclosure.'"

The new owners are well-known locally. The group includes:

"Ronald W. Benfield, who runs a real estate appraisal company; Charles Benfield, founder of Benfield Electric, an electrical contracting firm; and Chris Michel, a land developer."

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