Mountain West Bank has filed a $12 million breach of contract lawsuit against Marshall Chesrown, whose luxury home and golf course projects in the region have been foiled by economic collapse.
It’s the latest round of financial troubles for Chesrown to end up in court. The suit centers on a series of loans related to his Ridge at Sun Up Bay development on the west shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene, said his attorney, Barry Davidson.
The project features 33 “estate-size” parcels, many on the waterfront. Chesrown envisioned the development as a serene gated community with multimillion-dollar homes, but only about a half-dozen of the lots were sold.
Mountain West made the loans in March 2009. Chesrown offered a personal guaranty to help secure the financings.
North Idaho has been especially hard hit by troubles in the housing market, which have not spared high-end properties, Davidson said.
The Ridge at Sun Up has been no exception. The development is south of what had been Chesrown’s premier development, The Club at Black Rock. Chesrown lost the Black Rock development, which ended up being sold to a group of club members, along with an adjacent project called Black Rock North.
Chesrown also lost his ambitious Kendall Yards project along the north bank of the Spokane River in downtown Spokane, his Legacy Ridge project in Liberty Lake, and his North Idaho ranch. He has not filed for bankruptcy and continues to operate some businesses and resides at least part time in Kootenai County.
Davidson said Chesrown has attempted to preserve the integrity of the projects by working closely with club members, property owners and banks.
Born and raised in Spokane, the developer made his fortune selling cars and then sold his dealerships to a group that later became AutoNation.
Mountain West, a subsidiary of publicly traded Glacier Bancorp Inc. headquartered in Kalispell, Mont., filed its lawsuit this week in Kootenai County 1st District Court. The suit names two Chesrown-controlled companies, along with Chesrown and North Idaho developers William Radobenko and Julie Radobenko. The Radobenkos are listed on two of the three breach-of-contract counts.
William Radobenko is the owner of ACI Northwest Inc., a company involved in heavy construction, heating and cooling systems, and mining construction.