Project developer drops $ 20 million lawsuit against owner’s widow


A 2018 sitemap for the age-limited development of Traditions of America which is now expected to total 233 homes. (Images courtesy of Chesterfield County)

A development limited to the age of four in the works is moving forward after a legal dispute with the widow of the deceased owner was recently resolved.

Traditions of America, a Pennsylvania-based company behind an expected community of 55 and over in Chesterfield, is back to work on the 233-home project after dropping a lawsuit against Marjorie Taylor, the widow and current owner, who had asked over more than $ 20 million in damages.

Traditions’ complaint, filed in Chesterfield Circuit Court in July, claimed Taylor had refused to make the contract she had with her late husband, Harold Taylor Jr., who died two weeks after agreeing to sell most of it from their property at 10600 Hollyberry Drive. .

In its response and counterclaim, Taylor argued that Traditions failed to comply with a 180-day window stipulated in an amendment to the agreement that allowed it to relist the property for sale to another buyer.

The amendment – the last of five to the 2017 agreement – was made in light of the delays caused by the closure of government offices in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic. This required closing the first of two transactions for the land within 180 days of reopening the county offices and resuming work on the project – the exact date of which was in dispute between the parties.

Traditions argued that Taylor’s refusal to close was costing the company about $ 6,000 per day in operating costs, and that she had invested $ 1.3 million in the project and was going to pull a development profit of nearly $ 19 million. He also said Taylor had expressed his intention to relist the property and argued it would cost the company $ 20.22 million in losses.

Since Taylor’s counterclaim was filed in early August, lawyers for both sides have told BizSense in recent weeks that the parties have resolved the dispute and the case is on the verge of being closed.

The development would consist of isolated single-family homes grouped together in clusters.

“We have filed a lawsuit to enforce closure,” said Gregory Habeeb, who represented Traditions in his lawsuit with fellow Gentry Locke lawyer Alicha Grubb. “The dispute has been resolved, it will be dismissed, and the first part of the closing has taken place.”

Taylor’s attorney N. Leslie Saunders Jr. of Saunders, Patterson & Mack, confirmed the case has been resolved but declined to comment further.

The parties completed the first transaction last month, with Traditions closing a $ 3.3 million purchase of half of the 108-acre site on August 24, paving the way for the initial phase of development. Under the terms of the agreement, a second equal payment will be made for the second phase in 18 months, bringing the total purchase price of the land to $ 6.6 million.

The land forms the bulk of Taylor’s 120-acre property, which has been owned by her husband since 1957, according to county property records. After his death, the property was put under his name in early 2018. The 120 acres were recently valued by the county at $ 3.71 million.

Traditions is planning a development of 233 units, reduced from an initial proposal that provided for 250 units, which will be limited to buyers 55 and over. The detached single-family homes would be grouped into clusters and would be the company’s first project in the Richmond metro market.

Two-story homes are expected to be 1,200 to 1,500 square feet in size, with community amenities including a 6,500 square foot clubhouse, swimming pool and community hall. A representative for the company in 2018 said the homes would be comparable in price and product to other Traditions communities, which at the time started at between $ 200,000 and $ 300,000.

Attempts to contact Traditions to comment on this story were unsuccessful. Local attorney Andy Condlin with Roth Jackson Gibbons Condlin represented the company in its zoning approval and real estate transaction. He said the company would not comment on the project.

The project site is on the east side of Ironbridge Boulevard, southeast of the Chesterfield County Government Complex on Ironbridge Road. The site is across from the Garden Springs Apartments, which was purchased two years ago by Kushner Cos from Jared Kushner.


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