Developer Drama Never Ends....

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carla's picture
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Image and video hosting by TinyPic I am thankful for the other terrific blogging voices in the community. Pattye Benson, my pal in Tredyffrin reminds us today of a very BIG name and a very BIG drama that continues to play out: Brian O'Neill vs. Citizens Bank.

What up with Big Brian in Lower Merion, I wonder? Rock Hill Road, Righters Ferry Road, that site in Gladwyne and whatever else is out there?

Made-for-TV Movie . . . No, It’s Brian O’Neill vs. Citizens Bank
Posted on August 30th, 2010 11:44 AM by Pattye Benson

Wegmans and Target opened to much fanfare at Uptown Worthington but the battle rages behind the scenes between the property’s developer Brian O’Neill and Citizens Bank.

This story has all the trappings of a made-for-TV movie drama. The “man-versus-man” plot features a central character (Brian O’Neill) and an opposition character (Citizens Bank) as the primary actors. The central character has a goal and the opposition is going to attempt to stop the central character before he obtains the goal.

The latest chapter in the continuing saga of the mega-million dollar lawsuit and countersuit between O’Neill Properties and Citizen Bank has attorneys for the bank accusing Brian O’Neill of harassment against five of the bank’s top execs. O’Neill counters the accusations; claiming that the bank destroyed evidence and lodges obstruction of justice allegations.

This week Brian O’Neill and Citizens Bank are headed back to court . . . once again, the courtroom becomes the legal playground for attorneys on both sides. As the war wages on between developer and bank, the $700 million Uptown Worthington project on 106 acres sits largely unfinished. Reportedly, O’Neill Properties is feeling the effect of the recession – the payroll has dropped 50%, down from 150 employees to 75 over the last couple of years.

O’Neill’s battle with Citizens Bank is not confined to the Uptown Worthington project.....

Now don't forget Diane Mastrull's latest article:


Posted on Sun, Aug. 29, 2010
Developer's lawsuit against bank grows more acerbic
By Diane Mastrull
Inquirer Staff Writer

A summer of love it has not been in the case of J. Brian O'Neill v. Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania.

The litigation, initiated in January with harsh accusations and wildly high claims for damages, has grown even more acerbic since a judge urged both sides to settle in June.

Last month, lawyers representing the bank accused developer O'Neill of harassment for trying to depose five directors or high-ranking executives of Citizens and its parent, Citizens Financial Group Inc., who, they said, had no direct knowledge of O'Neill's dealings with the bank.

Now comes an allegation by O'Neill that the banking company altered or destroyed evidence in the case.

"Obstruction of justice" is what O'Neill's attorneys called it in a motion filed earlier this month in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court.

"More bluster piled upon bluster" is what the bank's attorneys called it in a response filed Friday.

So on Wednesday, the parties will head again to the courtroom of Common Pleas Senior Judge Albert W. Sheppard Jr.

In a brief interview Friday, Sheppard said he was disappointed by that, calling the legal expenditures involved to sustain the continuing volley of charges "bad money after good." ...
O'Neill's obstruction-of-justice allegation and request for sanctions against the bank stem from an update a bank employee made to an Internet-based loan-tracking system called Salesforce.com.

The entry at issue involves part of a $40 million loan O'Neill contends the bank agreed to extend to him for the first phase of the Sayreville project - and then canceled just before the scheduled closing.

The bank has said that while the loan was initially approved by Citizens, Royal Bank of Scotland ultimately nixed it for a variety of reasons.

Triggering an allegation of document-tampering was an entry that bank employee Jeffrey Nugent made to Salesforce.com three days after he gave a May deposition in connection with O'Neill's lawsuit.

On the day of that deposition, according to court documents, the bank's description of its financing commitment to O'Neill's Sayreville project, dated Sept. 19, 2008, read: "Opportunity Closed/Won. Probability 100%." An entry dated May 7 changed the status of the funding agreement to: "Opportunity Lost. Probability 0%."

Now not quite related per se, but food for thought when it comes to these Main Line developers and their projects, comes this beauty of an article from the Legal Intellegencer which someone scanned and sent:

article

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outtathere's picture
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Wasn't aware that Bri Bri has designs on Gladwyne. Where exactly is he seeking to leave his footprint on Gladwyne? Somehow that one slipped beneath my radar. Why can't this f-ing guy just retire? Have a custom-made yacht built and circumnavigate the globe a few times?

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"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.":Gil Scott-Heron 1970 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGaRtqrlGy8

carla's picture
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Down Rose Glenn or whatever in Gladwyne- Barker's Mill- remember? He had some condos approved down there...don't knw where they are in development...

Lower Merion developer Brian O'Neill has come a long way
By: Cheryl Allison 12/01/2005

He looks at a crumbling 19th-century woolen mill and sees 21st-century luxury loft condominiums.
He looks at a shuttered steel mill and sees a vital new mini-city.

He looks at traffic-filled City Avenue and sees gold-plated retail shops lining the main street of a "walkable village" à la Washington's tiny Georgetown.

Some may call him a dreamer. But over the past two decades, Lower Merion developer J. Brian O'Neill's strategy of taking relics of the Philadelphia region's industrial past and transforming them into desirable commercial and residential addresses has proved as sound as the bedrock in the Belmont Hills quarries he wants to turn into - yes - another luxury-living community.

His company, O'Neill Properties Group, was recently recognized as one of the fastest-growing privately-held companies in the Philadelphia area, with $4 billion in real estate holdings. With projects from Washington to Rhode Island, he has more than half a dozen projects in active development or nearing completion in the western Philadelphia suburbs alone, stretching the full length of the Main Line.

"Life is good," he sums up in an interview.

It's a long way from the single house in Manayunk O'Neill, a Merion Station native, purchased in 1977 as a first venture into real estate investment. He was 18, and had just dropped out of Lower Merion High School....

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"Well behaved women rarely make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

LMT Observer's picture
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love the Drama Llama

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