Photo Credit: Blake Aued/file
Landmark Properties President and CEO Wes Rogers hit reply-all on that open letter Patterson Hood sent this morning pleading to extend a deadline to move the East Broad Street house the Hoods sold to Landmark out to Orange Twin.
It’s a pretty cheeky response, and you should read the whole thing, but here are the highlights for the TL;DR crowd:
• Rogers says he paid the Hoods $800,0000 for the house, which was valued at $180,000.
• If they still want to move the house, he offered to let them buy it back at the same price (knowing they won’t take him up on it, obviously).
• Landmark has “no intentions” of tearing down the house, plans to rent it out for the time being and will make “reasonable accommodations” to let someone move it in the future if they ever develop the property.
• The extension until Jan. 22 Hood asked for is not forthcoming.
• He’s not happy whatsoever that this business transaction has become public.
The full email (emphasis is Rogers'):
Thanks for your note. I hope you and Rebecca had a great Christmas with your family in Oregon. I appreciate you finally reaching out about this. Other than one email about a month ago, this is the first time anyone from your team has reached out to me directly about this issue.
It seems that you (and potentially some others) may be upset about us not granting an extension of time to move the house under our agreement. As you know, this was a highly negotiated, private agreement and we’ve fulfilled all our contractual obligations—including paying you $800,000 for a house that was assessed for $180,000 and that you paid $78,000 for, according to public records. That said, we are willing to sell you the property back for the price we paid you a few months ago. While we would still be out nearly $50,000 in expenses incurred, we are willing to take the loss if that’s the direction you’d like to go. You can then do whatever you would like with the house.
I do want to make one thing clear – we have no intentions of tearing down the house. I’m a staunch proponent of quality historic preservation, particularly in Athens. In fact, two Athens businesses/properties I am a lead investor in recently won Historic Preservation Awards—Creature Comforts and 1073 S. Milledge (5&10). Since the house was not moved within the reasonable 60-day period of time you agreed to, our plan all along has been to rent the property out until we determine what, if anything, we want to do with the property. If and when we ever decide to develop the property, we would gladly allow someone (potentially Orange Twin) to move the house. In fact, we would make any reasonable accommodations to make that happen rather than merely tearing down the house. I believe this is the outcome we all want.
However, an extension is impracticable at this time. We have incurred significant costs and efforts to accommodate the move within the negotiated window, mainly due to the fact that no action was taken to move the house for almost a month following the sale, and we cannot continue to divert our resources to monitoring the move and managing our risk here (including ensuring that licensed and insured contractors are being employed, making sure everyone who enters the Property has signed the properties Access & Indemnity Agreements, etc.). Additionally, we agreed to a very specific set of requirements to manage our exposure to potential liabilities that could result from the move, and, as of last week, these were nowhere close to having been met.
While I believe this is an issue that should be kept between the business parties, I know this issue has some community interest so I am replying to all so everyone is aware of the details of the situation.
Please let me know how you would like to proceed.