2017-09-21 / Local News

Moorings development remains on hold

By Eric Carlson
Of The Enterprise staff

A recent flurry of court-filings in a year-old case involving the largest single housing development project currently planned in Leelanau County is doing little to move the project in a positive direction, according to individuals associated with the case.

Last year, well-known local real estate agents Bob Brick and Ted Lockwood gained approval from the Traverse City Planning Commission — and later the Elmwood Township Planning Commission — to build a 154-unit housing development in the southeast corner of Leelanau County.

The entire 44-acre development is in Leelanau County, but 32 acres of it are in a portion of the county that was annexed by the City of Traverse City in the 1990s. A 12-acre portion is located in Elmwood Township where 58 condo units are planned off Carter Road.

Documents filed last week in 13th Circuit Court indicate that Judge Thomas Power plans to sanction the defendants, investors Jason Warren and Mark Johnson, for their failure to turn over computer thumb drives that might provide evidence. The defendants’ attorneys have promised to appeal the judge’s order.

Project managers Brick and Lockwood have a 58-percent interest in the project while investors Johnson and Warren have a 42-percent interest. A dispute between the project managers and investors has been ongoing since the summer of 2016 when investors sought to foreclose on a mortgage held by the project managers.

Individuals associated with the case asked not to be quoted in the newspaper because litigation is ongoing.

Last year, passersby on M-72 just west of M-22 on the Tom’s West Bay shopping complex noted extensive earth moving on the property, removing a number of mature oak trees. Since then, native trees and other plants have been added to the property along with soil erosion control measures approved by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and local drain commissioners.

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