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Posted April 18, 2009 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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Quinnelly's financial woes continue
Developer defaults on seven subdivision projects in area
By James Heffernan -- email@example.com
A bank foreclosed Thursday on seven of developer Denver E. Quinnelly's unfinished subdivisions in the area.
The sale covered four properties in Shenandoah County -- Cedar Valley in Strasburg and Orchard Hill, Orchard View and Woodstock Commons in Woodstock -- as well as three in Frederick County: Lynnehaven, LaGrange Farm and Senseny Village.
The lender, Springfield Financial Co., paid about $3.6 million to reacquire the properties from Taylor-Grace LLC, one of Quinnelly's real estate development firms.
"We're taking the properties back," said Linda Lees, who represented Springfield at the sale.
Quinnelly was not present for either auction and could not be reached for comment.
The subdivisions are in various stages of development.
Cedar Valley, a planned commercial and residential community on 82 acres along U.S. 11 north of Strasburg, was approved for up to 256 townhouses and single-family residences in May 2006, but no work has taken place on site in more than a year.
It sold for $2 million at auction Thursday, while Lynnehaven, an established residential subdivision on 43 acres in eastern Frederick County, went for only $200,000.
Winchester commercial real estate broker R.J. Turner, who sold Quinnelly some of the land and lots, said it's difficult to put a value on the properties in the current economic climate.
Two similarly sized Frederick County subdivisions, Red Bud Run and Carriage Park -- both owned by Taylor-Grace LLC -- were purchased at auction for $5.5 million and $3.2 million, respectively, in December, Turner said.
"Value is in the eye of the lender, I guess," he said.
Quinnelly, meanwhile, is in dire financial straits.
His former contracting firm, Ricketts Construction Co. Inc., went belly-up in late 2007, and he was forced to settle a lawsuit last year brought by the company founder's son claiming Quinnelly profited on both ends of the dealings between RCCI and his various development interests.
Taylor-Grace LLC owes Shenandoah and Frederick counties more than $60,000 in back taxes, according to online records.
And there doesn't appear to be anything in the pipeline for Quinnelly.
His planned restoration of the historic Taylor Hotel on the Loudoun Street Pedestrian Mall is at a standstill. The building's roof collapsed shortly after Quinnelly purchased the property in October 2007. The property, which is owned by Lafayette Plaza LLC, still sits vacant and has been deemed unsafe by the city fire marshal.
Another of Quinnelly's projects, the mixed-use Russell 150 development off U.S. 522 in Frederick County, which is slated to connect with Winchester's Tevis Street corridor, has also stalled pending the completion of a four-lane flyover bridge across Interstate 81.
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