360 partner faces unrelated foreclosures | SteamboatToday.com

360 partner faces unrelated foreclosures

Virginia-based Hank Wilton is reorganizing his assets, local Realtor says

— Developer Hank Wilton, the majority partner in the proposed 360 Village project seeking annexation into Steamboat Springs city limits, is the subject of three foreclosure filings in the Routt County Public Trustee’s Office. Local sources close to 360 Village say the foreclosure filings represent Wilton’s personal property and have no direct bearing on 360 Village. Those sources also say payments on the note backing the approximately $7 million purchase of land on Routt County Road 42 for 360 Village are current.

Documents on file at the Trustee’s Office show that either Wilton or Wilton Development are behind on payments on an undeveloped lot at Marabou Ranch as well as two rural Routt County homes on small acreages.

“The properties (involved in the foreclosure filings) are personal,” Steamboat Springs Realtor Randall Hannaway said. “360 Village is held by a completely different company with different investors. We’re working very closely with the banks, and he wants to avoid (foreclosure), but it’s unfortunate in this case that he may have to let them go.”

Hannaway, a broker/owner with Colorado Group Realty, is one of six partners in Wilton West and 360 Village. He confirmed that Wilton, with a 50 to 60 percent stake in the project, is the managing partner.

Wilton, a Richmond, Va.-based developer, also is involved locally in The Bridges development on the Yampa River at Dougherty Lane, and Tailwaters Ranch on the Yampa River downstream from Lake Catamount.

The properties for which notices of a public trustee’s sale have been filed include:

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– Homestead G1 at 25825 Shooting Star Lane in Marabou Ranch owned by Wilton Development Corp. The property has an outstanding principal balance of $1.58 million.

– A rural Routt County home on 5 acres at 31040 Willow Lane in the Willow Park subdivision, which Wilton owns with his son, Jud.

– A rural home built between 1972 and 1984 on 5 acres in Nordic Village at 31715 Routt County Road 35 and owned by Wilton Development Co. Unpaid principal is $406,436.

Public auction dates are scheduled for each of the properties.

Tony Connell, another local partner of 360 Village, said the project is on schedule to submit documents to the city supporting its application for annexation by Dec. 1. The date was determined by the city’s request that the developers accept a two-month delay from the original due date of Oct. 1. Connell said he remains focused on seeing the annexation approved sometime in spring 2010.

“We’re still pursuing that,” Connell said. “We think we’re 80 to 90 percent done with our packet. Later this month, we’ll meet in Richmond with the limited partners and discuss what our expectations are on the cost of getting an annexation through.”

Wilton companies

Hank Wilton has two primary companies in Richmond, The Wilton Companies and the smaller Wilton Development Co. The Wilton Companies has a portfolio of 3 million square feet of commercial real estate and was worth about $500 million before the recession, Hannaway said.

To understand how Hank Wilton, a man whose holdings include apartment buildings and office buildings on the mid-Atlantic Coast and 30 shopping centers in the Richmond area, came to fall behind on three relatively modest properties in Routt County, Hannaway said it helps to know how Wilton structures his real estate development ventures and what he is trying to accomplish today.

Like many real estate developers across the country, Wilton had leveraged a number of ongoing projects, and like most developers, he was hurt by the lending crisis, Hannaway said.

If a hypothetical developer had $100 million in projects under way, and a recession reduced the value to $65 million, when short-term notes came due and it was time to refinance those loans, that process become a challenge, Hannaway said.

“Restructuring is a financial strategy that cannot be avoided” for many developers in this economy, Hannaway said.

That’s essentially the position Wilton finds himself in, Hannaway said.

“Hank put it very succinctly,” Hannaway said. “In economic times like these, investors often have to consider what to hold, what to push forward and what to let go.”

Wilton is a partner in a number of development entities, all with varying makeup among the investors and all held by different business entities. As he restructures his debt, he is refocusing on the real estate holdings most important to him and those that involve other partners to whom he feels a strong sense of obligation, Hannaway said. In the process, he is assigning a lower priority to his personal holdings.

“I think it’s about managing your cash very strategically and where best to put it,” Hannaway said.

Wilton first came to Steamboat after his adult children moved here. He was introduced to Hannaway, who worked with him on developing a series of spec vacation homes. After developing several one-off custom homes, Wilton expressed an interest to do something more involved.

“He told me, ‘I want to do something real out here, so you find me the right property and we’ll do something bigger,'” Hannaway said.

At a glance

That led Hannaway to the proposed 360 Village site just west of Steamboat.

In addition to the three properties subject to the foreclosure filings, Wilton Developments holdings in Routt County include:

– A single-family home in Fox Estates where the land is valued by the assessor at more than the improvements

– A 50-acre lot in Sidney Peak Ranch with no improvements on it

– A pair of units in Hayden Airport Garages

– A spec home in Stonebridge Park subdivision valued for taxes at $2.5 million

– A home in Silver Spur

– A business entity registered as Wilton Development of Steamboat owns nine lots in Lazy H Subdivision