Wyndholme may be on auction block again

Winning bidder failed to come up with money

January 24, 2002|By Allison Klein | Allison Klein,SUN STAFF

The latest buyer of a Southwest Baltimore property planned for a retirement community for deaf seniors has failed to come through with the money he bid at an auction, further delaying a project that has been trouble-ridden almost since its inception.

James R. Macfadden, owner of a Silver Spring computer business, bid $4.67 million in November for Wyndholme Village, a 24-acre property on which developers have been trying to build a specialized-living community since 1995. Macfadden submitted a $125,000 deposit and was to have paid the rest of the money earlier this month.

Leeds Federal Savings Bank, which owns the property because of a series of foreclosures, filed a petition last week in Baltimore Circuit Court to resell the property.

The petition must be approved by the court before an auction date can be set. It would be the third auction of Wyndholme since April, when Macfadden was outbid by Florida-based developer Stuart C. "Neil" Fisher, a former partner in the Wyndholme development project. He also defaulted on his purchase contract.

Macfadden, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, might lose his deposit because he did not come up with the remainder of the money within 60 days.

"The banks felt this was out of his area of expertise," said James M. Lancelotta, Wyndholme's original owner who lost the property through bank foreclosure last year. "They refused to finance the project."

The pair had intended to continue with the original plans for a $75 million community for people with total and partial hearing loss on the site of Lancelotta's childhood home, on Frederick Avenue near the city line.

Those plans include 550 condominiums, bicycle paths, dining rooms, a bank and a grocery store, all of which would cater to seniors with hearing problems and other disabilities.

Since Lancelotta announced the project in 1995, he has twice lost control of the property, declared bankruptcy and been forced to return dozens of $10,000 deposits to prospective residents.

Lancelotta remains optimistic, working out of his office on the property almost every day. He says he is confident that he'll find another group of investors who want to buy the land and help develop the community.

"This is just one more setback," Lancelotta said. "I'm far from giving up."

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