Developer hoping to salvage Belle Ayre townhouse project

By Lynn R. Parks

Developer J.A. Moore and Sons in Rehoboth Beach hopes to take over the faltering Belle Ayre townhouse development on the north edge of Seaford. Recently, the city council agreed to chairman and CEO Ronald Moores request for some help in salvaging the project.

Moore told the city council that the development never formed a homeowners association to manage its roads and common areas. Because of that, he said, publically-funding lending agencies are unwilling to agree to finance purchases of the townhouses.

Moore said that forming a homeowners association at this late date, when residents of the townhouses have already lived there for several years without having to pay association fees, would be very difficult. Doing so would be made easier, he added, if the responsibilities that the association would have to take over were fewer than originally planned.

Accordingly, he asked the city to take over responsibility for the streets and lighting in the area of the townhouses, something that originally was to be the responsibility of the homeowners. He also asked that the common area playground, part of the city-approved plans, be eliminated.

Doing that would mean that the homeowners association would be responsible only for the buildings roof and for the drainage system. That will minimize fees, and we think that the residents will agree to join then, Moore said.

The city agreed to Moores request that the city take over the streets. His request that the requirement for a playground be dropped was deferred until it can be considered by the Planning and Zoning Board, perhaps as part of consideration of plans for further development of the property.

Plans for the Belle Ayre townhouse complex were approved by the city in early 2008. Developer was Paul Robino of Newport.

The complex was to consist of 115 townhouses. Of those, only 30 were started and only 22 were completed.

The eight townhouses that were never completed deteriorated to the point that they were condemned by the city in 2011.

In October 2011, Robino appeared before the city council to say that he was $100 million in debt and expected to declare bankruptcy soon. At that time, the city agreed to work with TD Bank, which was taking over the property, in order to avoid having to demolish the condemned units.

Moore plans to complete the condemned building as it was intended to be completed, he said. He also will rehabilitate the complexs completed buildings to as close to new condition as reasonably possible.

As for the remaining 77 lots, he said that his company may come before the city for approval of construction of a product that might sell better than the present townhouses have sold.He told the city council that his company is considering putting up two-story duplexes with all living areas as well as the master bedroom on the ground floor. These first-floor living units are attractive to older people who dont want to have to go up and down steps every day, he said.

Free shred event Identity theft wreaks havoc with your personal finances and your credit rating. To reduce the threat of becoming a victim of identity theft, Sussex County FCU will hold shred events at each of their four branch locations throughout the summer.

Last year, Sussex County FCU community shred events collected more than 13,300 pounds of confidential and proprietary documents for shredding.

A free shred event will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, June 21, at the Seaford branch of Sussex County FCU, located at 1941 Bridgeville Hwy., Seaford. Bring up to 10 file boxes to secure for shredding, compliments of Lifestyle Document Management, Inc. Enjoy a live radio remote with Cat Country starting at noon and enjoy refreshments and giveaways, while supplies last.

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