Lake Village inching onward
Developers met with town to discuss issues this week
By Blythe Terrell - Steamboat Pilot Reporter
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Steamboat Springs — The Lake Village subdivision in Hayden took a couple of steps forward this week, a consultant for the developer said.
“We met with the city, and we’ve gone over the list of requirements in order to establish preliminary acceptance of the utility lines, which is really the first step to being able to get everything turned back over to the sale of houses,” consultant Alison Strauss said.
Last month, the Hayden Town Board gave Mountain Adventure Property Investments until Aug. 8 to show progress on the uninhabited subdivisions. Pavement is crumpling around several compacted manholes, and the roads need a second lift to be level with the curbs.
Engineers have evaluated the site, Strauss said, and developers expect a report next week on what needs to be done.
Five model homes and a playground sit empty in the neighborhood in southern Hayden. The development is the first part of a larger project called Villages at Hayden.
Lake Village has faced stumbling blocks since August. Disagreements have led to problems among the four partners of Mountain Adventure Property Investments. Grassy Creek Holding; 4-S Development; Oregon-based Robinson and Sons; and Oasis Development, an Oklahoma subsidiary of FSB Bancorp., make up the group. Grassy Creek and 4-S are locally owned and control 61 percent of the company’s stock.
They provided land, and Oasis was meant to provide funding, said Roger Johnson, a manager for Mountain Adventure Property Investments and Grassy Creek Holding.
Robinson Construction out of Oregon, which is affiliated with Robinson and Sons, was the contractor for the subdivision. 4-S has said that Robinson is responsible for the infrastructure issues, and Robinson suggested that its subcontractors were at fault.
Neither Robinson and Sons nor Robinson Construction is connected with RN Robinson & Son Inc., an excavating contractor that has been in Hayden since the mid-1940s.
"I don't know them, there's no relation and we've never been affiliated," said Bob Robinson, owner of RN Robinson & Son. He said his company also has not been affiliated with 4-S Development or Grassy Creek Holding. RN Robinson did not do any of the subcontracting work at the Lake Village site, Robinson said.
Robinson Construction filed $2.3 million in liens against Mountain Adventure in August, alleging that the partnership had not paid for work.
“4-S does not owe Robinson Construction any money,” 4-S owner Ron Sills said. His company has provided documents to Hayden indicating that 4-S paid Robinson more than $4.9 million for work, Strauss said. That’s more than Robinson was owed, the documents state.
After the liens, Mountain Adventure Property Investments and 4-S Development filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Mountain Adventure’s case is on hold, however, while the partners try to resolve the issues through mediation. The parties plan to enter talks next month.
“This has always been basically a partnership issue,” Johnson said. “Everything’s been put in abeyance essentially until July 14, and there’s a mediation to try and get this resolved and get the legal junk out of the way.”
The bankruptcy documents hint at the friction.
Bob Grissom is chief operating officer and chief financial officer for Altus Ventures, another subsidiary of FSB Bancorp. That group is connected with First State Bank of Altus, in Altus, Okla. 4-S Development has an account with the bank, which it used to pay bills for Lake Village.
Grissom also was the chief financial officer of Mountain Adventure Property Investments. The bankruptcy papers said he ended his relationship with the corporation in August. Altus Executive Vice President Don Anderson’s relationship with Mountain Adventure ended the same month, and project manager Kirk Moisan of Robinson and Sons broke from the partnership in November.
Neither Grissom nor Moisan was available Friday afternoon. Anderson declined to comment.
In a Feb. 7 document, 4-S stated that it had “not been able to gain possession of most of its books and records prior to August, 2007.” It attributed that to a change in management, adding that the statements could contain inaccuracies because 4-S lacks those records.
In another twist, First State Bank of Altus has filed a motion to foreclose on other Grassy Creek Holding property.
“It’s all part of the same conflict,” Johnson said. “Essentially, what’s happened is that when there was a bit of a falling out in August of ’07 … what happened were liens were filed, notes were called, things like that. It was not necessarily all right then, but it was all part of that. It’s all a partnership dispute.”
Johnson said he was confident that the mediation would resolve the problems.
Last month, when the Hayden Town Board gave the developers an extension, the town expressed concern that the bankruptcy issues would hamper home sales and infrastructure repairs at Lake Village.
“We do not expect the bankruptcy to stop us from being able to take care of the repairs,” Strauss said. “The rest of the improvements and that stuff, it will be affected by the bankruptcy. Taking care of the repairs and city approval is not going to be hampered.”
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