Steamboat Springs The 354 acres west of Steamboat Springs that were part of the proposed 360 Village residential project are on the market for $3.99 million, an amount that is less than what is owed on the original land purchase of $6.74 million. And people close to the project say that if it ever goes forward, Hank Wilton, of Wilton Development, based in Richmond, Va., is unlikely to be involved.
“Hank, with his financial difficulties, is not going to carry this forward in any form really,” Steamboat-based development consultant Tony Connell said. “With everything he’s got going on, getting approvals (for 360 Village) isn’t a priority.”
Either Wilton personally, or Wilton Development, has six properties in foreclosure in Routt County, according to Routt County Public Trustee Jeanne Whiddon. And Richmond BizSense reported June 3 that an investor in 360 Village has filed suit in Henrico County District Court in Virginia seeking the return of its $750,000 investment with interest. The suit also alleges that Wilton never made a promised capital contribution of $3.38 million and that he used $800,000 of investor funds for other business activities.
Wilton and Wilton Development answered the complaint and denied the charges, according to an article in Richmond BizSense. In the article, Wilton acknowledged that the Wachovia loan used to purchase the 360 Village land was secured by a personal guarantee, and he expects to absorb the shortfall of $2 million to $3 million after a sale. A jury trial has been set for October.
Consultants for Wilton Development still were working their way through a pre-annexation agreement with the city of Steamboat Springs in late 2008 and 2009, and interim City Planning Director Jonathan Spence confirmed Thursday that the petition had been granted an extension and has not been withdrawn.
However, Randall Hannaway, a broker/owner
with Colorado Group Realty in Steamboat, also confirmed Thursday that he is representing Wilton in a sale of the property with the cooperation of Wells Fargo Bank (nationally), which acquired the note along with Wachovia Bank.
“It’s a private listing,” Hannaway said. “We didn’t want it exposed publicly initially, and it’s not on the (Steamboat Springs Multiple Listing Service). Hank is the owner — he’s still in control of the property.”
Hannaway confirmed that the offering is in essence a short sale — Wells Fargo will approve any offer before it’s accepted, but it’s understood it will be for less than the amount of the principal remaining on the note.
“Hank is the one responsible for the deficiency,” Hannaway said. “He’s decided to sell it just to move on.”
Wilton also controls another piece of potential development ground just outside the city’s southern limits along the Yampa River and accessed by Dougherty Road between River Place Subdivision and Steamboat Christian Center. That involves a different development group, which shares some of its members with the seven-member 360 Village group, Hannaway said, but there is no news on its status.
The Steamboat Pilot & Today reported in October that three properties, one owned personally by Wilton and his family and two owned by Wilton Development, were in the foreclosure process. They were:
■ Homestead G1 at 25825 Shooting Star Lane in Marabou Ranch, owned by Wilton Development. The property has an outstanding principal balance of $1.58 million.
■ A rural Routt County home on 5 acres at 31040 Willow Lane in the Willow Park subdivision, which Wilton owns with his son, Jud.
■ A rural home built between 1972 and 1984 on 5 acres in Nordic Village at 31715 Routt County Road 35 and owned by Wilton Development.
Whiddon said last week that the notice of demand on the Willow Lane property has been withdrawn, but the lot on Shooting Star Lane has been returned to The Bank of America and the Nordic Village property has been returned to Alpine Bank.
Three other properties formerly owned by Wilton have been returned to Alpine Bank, including an airport garage near Yampa Valley Regional Airport, a home in Silver Spur and a luxury spec home in Stonebridge close to Rollingstone Golf Course. It was listed for $6.34 million while under construction and now is listed by the bank for nearly $3.88 million.
Hannaway said the bank received one low offer on the home in the past month that the bank rejected.
Richmond BizSense reported that in spite of his financial difficulties in Colorado, Wilton has begun building the first of 240 townhomes in a development outside Richmond.