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Bank buys back Hager's Crossing parcel

second auction canceled

May 05, 2010|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

A bank bought back a piece of the Hager's Crossing development Wednesday at a foreclosure auction that drew about 10 people.

A second parcel was scheduled to be sold, but that auction was called off.

M & T Bank foreclosed on a $2.475 million mortgage secured in 2006 by Rachuba Town and Country LLC.

As of Jan. 31, 2010, none of the principal had been repaid, according to an affidavit on file in Washington County Circuit Court. The outstanding debt was $2,521,596.21, including interest and late charges.

Hundreds of housing units have been built at Hager's Crossing, at the city's western edge, behind the Centre at Hagerstown.

The 16.52-acre parcel that was put up for auction Wednesday is a grassy field. Last fall, the Hagerstown Planning Commission approved 147 multiplex units there - similar to apartments - but nothing has been built.

Joe Butts of Baltimore started the bidding at $400,000. The bank jumped to $1.2 million. No one else bid.

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Butts said the land isn't worth too much because it's not a good time to build homes.

"You'd have to sit on this for a while," he said.

A 9.34-acre parcel with a community center was advertised for a separate auction, but the auction was canceled.

Auctioneer Daniel M. Billig with A.J. Billig & Co. Auctioneers of Baltimore said the bank decided Tuesday not to sell the community center parcel.

John R. Sigeti, who represented M & T Bank at the auction, would not comment.

In October 2001, The Rachuba Group of Eldersburg, Md., submitted plans to build 936 residential units at Hager's Crossing as a planned-unit development, with a mix of uses.

The project was scaled down a few months later to 728 units.

Ray Rachuba, a member of The Rachuba Group, said last month that about 500 units have been built.

He said the slumping housing market changed the company's building plans.

He also said his company was talking to the bank to try to avoid foreclosure.

Rachuba could not be reached on his cell phone on Wednesday evening.

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