Lenders pay $10.7M for Poplar Point site

Lenders bought back a 4.5-acre development site in Anacostia for $10.7 million after its owners defaulted on a loan they took out to redevelop the property.

Alex Cooper Auctioneers sold the Howard Road properties just south of Anacostia Park at a foreclosure auction in the District on Tuesday that drew multiple bidders, auctioneer Paul Cooper said. The sale was held by Jody Krieger, Alex Cooper’s District-based foreclosure and court-ordered sales manager. Krieger declined to discuss details of the sale.

A development team led by Jeff Epperson had weighed a number of uses for the property over the years, including a Wal-Mart and potential lease to the Department of Homeland Security, but setbacks kept those projects from materializing.

According to an auction notice, Poplar Point North LLC and Poplar Point South LLC took out property loans in 2007 that were amended several times. The lender, who is not identified by name in that auction notice, alleges the property owners defaulted on the terms of their loans.

Attorney Kenneth Samuelson, who represents the noteholder, declined to identify his clients by name without their permission.

Epperson said plans for the Wal-Mart fell through after the District withdrew its backing of subsidies that would have brought the retailer to Southeast D.C. Following that, the developer responded to a DHS request for more than 1 million square feet of office space, but the agency canceled its requirement in July 2011, leaving the land in limbo.

Epperson said his team retains about 5 acres of land that he eventually hopes to develop in the future. But he said he is waiting to see what the District does with a large swath of land it also controls on Howard Road before moving forward with his plans.

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.

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