Outside view of RiverEast condos

Roughly two months after nine Washington DC condominium tenants filed a complaint alleging discrimination, fraud, and neglect against local housing developer Stanton View Development and its side entity, RiverEast at Anacostia, the companies each submitted voluntary petitions for bankruptcy on March 23, 2021. 

Of the 113 combined creditors owed a total of $2.76 million, 75 creditors are contractors or material suppliers, according to the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland

Stanton View Development and RiverEast at Anacostia, which both operate in Greenbelt, MD, are listed as developers of the troubled condominium property at 1262 Talbert Street in Washington D.C. named in the official complaint from January 29, 2021, according to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs dealt with “inadequate foundation design, detailing and construction…which had resulted in substantial cracking and separation.”

On September 21, 2020, Stanton View Development and RiverEast at Anacostia sued six contractors for their role in constructing the condominiums, according to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. 

Maddox Engineers & Surveyors, one of the six contractors sued by the bankrupt developers, is allegedly owed $777.50 from Stanton View Development with a nonpriority unsecured claim, according to the bankruptcy petition. The contractor could not be reached for comment. 

Stanton View and RiverEast owe contractors a combined $2.76M

While Stanton View Developments filed for reorganization of their assets and business affairs under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, RiverEast at Anacostia declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which requires the entity to liquidate. 

According to Stanton View Development’s bankruptcy petition, the developer suffered a 92% decrease in gross revenue between 2019 and 2020, having earned $10,267,096 in 2019 and $835,466 in 2020. 

The developer is faced with $2,291,972.96 in liabilities, $567,519.62 in assets, and $1,000 in total checking. 

Stanton View Development’s petition lists no secured claims, which are held by creditors that are typically paid first. The petition includes two priority unsecured claims and 101 nonpriority unsecured claims. 

Of the 101 nonpriority unsecured claims, 75 involve contractors and material suppliers. 

The largest 10 contractor/material supplier claims listed in Stanton View Development’s bankruptcy filing include: 

  • Carter Lumber – $160,428.58
  • JSC Concrete Construction – $81,633.08 
  • Changs General Construction – $70,000
  • T&A Contractors Inc. – $69,638 
  • Green Landscaping – $61,785.75 
  • King Carpentry – $47,329.25 
  • LBC Construction – $43,000 
  • Potomac Concrete Co. – $42,119 
  • Ultra Siding Contractors – $41,323.70 
  • BK Electric – $37,572.76

RiverEast at Anacostia is faced with $476,973 in liabilities to 10 creditors all with nonpriority unsecured claims, according to the developer’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. The nine plaintiffs from the complaint filed against the disputed property are listed as creditors with nonpriority unsecured claims. 

Atlantic Specialty Insurance, the surety behind the troubled property, is the remaining nonpriority unsecured creditor and is owed the nearly half a million dollar claim. 

The managing member of both Stanton View Development and RiverEast at Anacostia, Donte Lee, has yet to respond to a request for comment. Lee is also named as a creditor in the Stanton View Development bankruptcy filing, allegedly owed $75,000 for “unpaid wages.” 

A request for comment was also left with Michael G. Wolff, the attorney representing both Stanton View Development and RiverEast at Anacostia, which has not been responded to as of time of reporting.

6 of the 9 homeowners currently suing Stanton and RiverEast

9 first-time homebuyers sue developers for discrimination, fraud, and neglect

On January 29, 2021 — roughly eight weeks prior to the bankruptcy filings — nine first-time homebuyers filed a complaint against the now bankrupt developers, citing dangerous cracks, water damage, and mold in the unstable foundation. 

In a video posted on Twitter by local news affiliate WUSA9, plaintiff Robin McKinney is shown highlighting the dangerous cracks in her home. 

“I went from homeless to homeownership, and at this point I feel hopeless and homeless again,” McKinney told WUSA9 in February of 2021. “I’m afraid every time I go into my house, I feel preyed on, betrayed.”

According to the WUSA9 report, the nine plaintiffs purchased their homes by taking advantage of the Home Purchase Assistance Program, Washington DC’s first-time homebuyer program. 

Plaintiff Ladonna May told WUSA9 the bankrupt developers insisted the massive cracks on her newly purchased condo were “normal” and subsequently ignored her claims of concern. May was then forced to hire a contractor three times to address the dangerous condition. 

“I have cracks that are large enough that I can put my hand in,” May told WUSA9. 

The complaint also notes allegations that the property’s foundation withstood dangerous shifts, causing water damage and mold.

“All of my clothes were riddled with mold and my shoes I had to throw out,” plaintiff Jaztina Somerville told WUSA9. 

“I’m not even staying there because it’s so bad,” plaintiff Denine Edmonds told WUSA9 after she moved her family out of the property in December of 2020 due to the hazardous conditions. “I don’t have a bathroom.”