Walnut Creek Developers Face Lawsuit

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Want more evidence of the housing market's anemia? Try this story about Larkspur Housing Partners, a Walnut Creek-based development company whose Marin County project seems not just dead, but positively decomposed. According to the Marin Independent Journal, the group entered into an agreement with the Irving Group to build 85 housing units on the site of an old nursery in downtown Larkspur, a Marin bedroom community otherwise known as the last place Janis Joplin called home. Thirteen years and many deal revisions later, Larkspur Housing Partners still haven't done a lick o' work, and the Irving Group, which owns the property, has been trying to sell the land to someone else. In its lawsuit, the Irving Group claims that Larkspur Housing let its escrow expire on July 1, which means that under the agreement, the owners are free to void their development contract and sell the site to a third party. However, Larkspur's officials have allegedly refused to sign paperwork affirming that they no longer control any aspect of the property, and have even "falsely represented" to would-be buyers that they still have a proprietary interest in the site. Meanwhile, a Larkspur representative suggested that this was all a big misunderstanding that will hopefully be cleared up by the end of the month. Like we said, buildin' things ain't easy in this climate. On the other hand, Larkspur's been dithering since 1997? Through the most inflated housing and credit market in history? What kind of bozo can't get it together when all the stars are aligned the way they were for the last ten years?

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