Major Prince George's multi-use project still in foreclosure
Virginia developer owes more than $48 million to Wells Fargo
Months after the Prince George's County Council approved the site plan for a major multi-use project in Upper Marlboro that promised more than 4,300 residential units, 600 hotel rooms and more than 5.4 million square feet of commercial space, the project still faces foreclosure.
Sandler at Westphalia LLC, the Virginia owner of the long-heralded Westphalia Towne Centre, owes more than $47.4 million in default payments to Wells Fargo Bank, according to documents filed in Prince George's County Circuit Court. This does not include the $9,814 in interest owed to Wells Fargo for each day after July 16.
Foreclosure proceedings began in early August. The County Council approved the project in late September.
"This area is going to get developed regardless," said M.H. Jim Estepp, president and CEO of the Greater Prince George's Business Roundtable, adding that the town center is only one piece of the overall Westphalia project and that the changes at nearby Joint Base Andrews demand some type of economic development.
"People are still committed to the concept," Estepp said.
Sandler at Westphalia borrowed $41 million from Wells Fargo in December 2005, agreeing to pay back the money by June 29, 2007. After amending the original agreement once in October 2008 and again in December 2008, Wells Fargo appointed Richard E. Hagerty to take the matter to foreclosure.
Neither Sandler at Westphalia nor Wells Fargo would comment on the case.
Estepp also said that in times of recession, especially "something as massive as we had," there is always the chance for things to change.
"What is important is that we develop in that area and meet the need of Andrews," he said.
Andrews is expecting 2,900 new government employees to relocate to the base by September 2011 under the Pentagon's Base Realignment and Closure program. Also, Andrews is in the process of constructing 200 private homes on the base.