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Posted April 15, 2009 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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Local developer files Chapter 7

commercial center
This commercial center next to Diamond Auto Spa on Adams Drive in Winchester was being developed by Omni Design/Build Inc., which is now under Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Dennis Grundman/Daily

By Sally Voth -- svoth@nvdaily.com

HARRISONBURG -- A Clarke County developer has filed Chapter 7 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Omni Design/Build Inc., of Bluemont, filed the petition on April 3, according to online court records.

The records indicate that the company has assets totaling slightly more than $330,000 and debts of about $1.18 million.

Blue Ridge Bible Church in Purcellville has a claim of $500,000 against Omni for a construction contract, according to the filing.

Omni also has nearly $260,000 in potential claims from various vendors, including paving, roofing, landscaping, insulation, plumbing and metal companies in connection with an Adams Legge LLC construction project in Winchester, the filing says.

It says that the company grossed more than $2 million in 2007, but barely a third of that -- $719,499 -- last year.

Chapter 7, sometimes referred to as straight bankruptcy, usually leads to liquidation of a company to pay off its creditors. The company may continue to operate under the direction of a court trustee until the matter is settled.

When reached Monday, Omni President Wendell J. Johnson Sr. did not wish to comment on the filing.

In June 2007, Johnson did a sale-leaseback of his upscale car wash and detailing center, Diamond Auto Spa on Adams Drive in Winchester. At the time, he said he made the deal -- in which a company agrees to sell its property for current market value, pocket the proceeds and then immediately lease it back from the new owner -- to raise capital to expand the business as well as for his other real estate interests, which include a neighboring parcel that houses Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries and space for two more restaurants.

Part of the deal involved buying the auto spa property back in two years for the same price he paid for it, Johnson said.

Last year, the Warren County Board of Supervisors denied a conditional-use permit for a Diamond Auto Spa on Country Club Road, off U.S. 340-522, north of Front Royal.

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