Less than two weeks after purchasing the loan on a stalled high-end Libbie Avenue condo project, the property’s former contractor is quickly pushing to foreclose.
The long-delayed Tiber development at Libbie and Guthrie avenues is scheduled for an April 26 foreclosure auction on the steps of the Richmond Circuit Court at 10 a.m., according to a legal notice. The foreclosure is being pushed by Libbie Guthrie LLC, which took control of the $6.27 million loan on the property a few weeks ago.
Libbie Guthrie is controlled by John K. George, who is a part-owner of the Tiber’s development group, Tiber Partners LLC, and owns the general contracting firm that was fired from the construction site after delays and disputes with his partners. George’s partner in Libbie Guthrie is David Posner.
“The loan has come due and has not been paid,” Courtney Moates Paulk, a Hirschler Fleischer attorney who represents Libbie Guthrie, said in an email. “Given the current status of the loan and the project, Libbie Guthrie elected to initiate foreclosure proceedings.”
The loan for Tiber was issued in 2013 by Middleburg Bank, which sold it to George and Posner’s group. Locally based Stuart Simon Law Firm has been enlisted to handle the foreclosure.
Should the foreclosure move forward, it could give George a chance to gain full control of the project and attempt to finish it. Paulk previously said that George and Posner’s hope is to see construction completed as soon as possible.
The pending foreclosure auction is the latest chapter in a chain of events that has seen the Tiber delayed well beyond its initial planned completion date of last year.
George, Scott Boyers, Jennifer Fergusson and Berkeley Fergusson formed Tiber Partners LLC in 2012 to build the 15-unit condo project. Nine of the units, which ranged from $575,000 to $1.2 million, sold before John K. George & Company broke ground in 2013.
Boyers, reached by email, declined to comment.
The project has sat idle as George and the other Tiber developers air some of their grievances in circuit court. George filed a lawsuit late last year accusing his partners of wrongfully terminating his firm from the construction job. The other Tiber partners fired back, arguing George was incapable of completing the job. Meanwhile, prospective Tiber residents who put down deposits have filed liens and lawsuits of their own.
Long & Foster has handled the listing for the Tiber condos. Scott Shaheen, the brokerage’s regional vice president, said the deposits that have been paid thus far on 14 Tiber condos are being held in escrow in anticipation of the project being completed.