Stalled Chester subdivision heads to auction block

The neighborhood’s entrance along Iron Bridge Road. (Photos by Jonathan Spiers)

The bulk of an unfinished neighborhood in the heart of Chesterfield County is being put up for sale after falling into foreclosure.

A public auction is scheduled Dec. 4 for much of Iron Mill, a subdivision off Iron Bridge Road west of Chester. The foreclosure involves four parcels totaling 125 acres at 5011 Ecoff Ave. owned by Wilton Family Investments LLC, an entity owned by local developer Hank Wilton.

The foreclosure does not include a completed first section of townhomes.

Unfinished sections are visible in the neighborhood.

A public notice states the sale is prompted by a default on debt payments. The noteholder is Atlantic Union Bank, which provided a credit line in 2006 to the Wilton entity.

The auction will be held at 11:30 a.m. at the entrance of the Chesterfield County courthouse. Christian & Barton attorneys R. Gaines Tavenner and Christopher Gill are conducting the sale as substitute trustees.

A call to Wilton was not returned Monday.

Wilton started developing the site in the mid-2000s, ahead of the Great Recession. Planned as a mix of townhomes and age-restricted homes, Iron Mill was approved in 2005 for 279 homes overall. By mid-2017, 61 of those homes had been built, according to county documents.

Reston-based Ryan Homes completed an initial section, called the Villas at Iron Mill, consisting of homes with first-floor master bedrooms and priced in the $200,000s. A sign at the entrance to Iron Mill states the section is sold out. A community building and pool also were built.

The villa homes are among lots on 23 parcels that make up the part of Iron Mill that’s not included in the forced sale. Two of those parcels are owned by Chesterfield County, while the 10.5 acres that make up the villas section were conveyed to a property owners association in 2017. The rest of the parcels are owned by Ryan Homes.

Bidders participating in the sale are required to pay a $100,000 deposit or 10 percent of the sale price, whichever is less.

Wilton for years was the head of The Wilton Cos., the family namesake real estate firm started by his father E. Carlton Wilton. He stepped down as the firm’s chairman in late 2012 after declaring bankruptcy in 2010.

He has remained active in real estate with a new business, Wilton Acquisition, whose holdings have included two sites that were sold to other developers: the 15-acre Wistar Glen site being developed by Stanley Martin Homes, and nearly 100 acres near Centerville where Main Street Homes is planning 157 houses.

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