Raceway property up for sale Friday
By Jessie Burchette
The nearly 200 acres targeted for development of High Rock Raceway will be sold at the courthouse door Friday morning.
The sale is the latest in a series of financial problems and missteps for the development of a two-mile world class road-racing course planned on the former N.C. Finishing Co. property along the banks of the Yadkin River in Spencer.
A Greensboro veterinarian who paid $25,000 down on a planned townhouse has forced the sale to recoup his investment.
Anthony M. Flores is one of more than 100 people who bought membership in High Rock Race Club that included the right to purchase a townhouse. He went to court when High Rock Properties, the development company that owns the land, refused to refund his money.
On Sept. 25, Flores received a default judgment in Rowan County Superior Court ordering that High Rock Properties be sold to satisfy the lien.
Officials of High Rock Properties did not oppose the judgment, which is $25,000, plus interest, attorney fees and related costs, totaling $27,021.
Flores’ attorney, D.J. O’Brien III, said his client took action because High Rock Properties revoked his membership, promised to return his investment and failed to do so.
O’Brien, who is with the Greensboro firm of Brooks, Pierce and McLendon, said High Rock representatives then threatened to sue Flores for asking questions about what they were doing with his money. “He filed his lawsuit because he had no other options.” O’Brien said.
In the court filings, a copy of the individual membership certificate specified that in the event the road racing course “is not substantially completed and operational within one year of the issuance date of this certificate, said named member shall be entitled to a full refund …”
The certificate was dated June 20, 2008, and indicated it was the 96th issued.
It was signed by David L. Risdon, chief executive officer of High Rock Properties.
Risdon, who announced plans for the road racing course in February 2005, was ousted in June after he defaulted on a loan and surrendered his shares to the daughter of his partner, Frank McGuire.
The suit contended that High Rock failed to meet its construction obligations and the “road racing course is not remotely ‘substantially complete and operational.’ ”
According to the filing, in April of this year, High Rock notified Flores via e-mail that his membership and townhome reservation had been revoked and “Legal counsel for High Rock is currently preparing a certified letter to be sent to you regarding return of your deposit.”
The filing further contended that High Rock representatives attempted to tie a refund to an “unacceptable termination agreement.”
The sale is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday inside the entrance to the Rowan County Courthouse.
The sale will be conducted by McDaniel Auction Co. acting on behalf of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.
The highest bidder will get the property, along with all liens and liabilities, which total millions of dollars.
A portion of the property has been graded in preparation for building a track. Another section has the wreckage of the former textile mill building that was knocked down. Much of the debris remains on site.
According to county tax records, the 195.8 acres is valued at $2 million.
In recent months since McGuire, his daughter Ellen, and other family members assumed control of High Rock Properties, they have cited continuing efforts to get investors to go forward with the project.
Efforts to contact Frank McGuire were unsuccessful.
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