Buyer of homes for deaf seniors says
he may sell
to bidding rival
By Allison Klein
Originally published May 2, 2001
The day after a Florida developer bought
the remains of the bankrupt Wyndholme Village for deaf seniors at
auction, he said he would consider selling it to the deaf businessman
Stuart C. "Neil" Fisher bought
the 24-acre Southwest Baltimore site for $4.6 million Monday after a
bank foreclosed on it because he said he had $2.4 million tied up in
the bankrupt project and wanted to protect his investment.
Fisher said yesterday he has talked with
Montgomery County businessman James R. Macfadden -- the man he outbid
at the auction -- about selling the property to him. Fisher said he
envisioned the site being developed as a gated community of townhouses
that would accommodate the deaf residents who have paid deposits.
Macfadden said that he has had a serious
conversation with Fisher about buying the property, but that the two
didn't discuss a price.
If Macfadden buys the property, he said,
he will follow a years-long vision of the deaf community and build
senior citizen housing where deaf people feel comfortable.
"It all depends on how much he's
asking," said Macfadden, who owns a computer company in Silver
Spring and lives in Howard County. "At this point, I'm more
interested in protecting the idea of Wyndholme Village for senior
citizens and trying to keep a deaf-friendly atmosphere alive."
More than two dozen people have each put
down $10,000 deposits to move into the community, which was to have
1,200 condominiums on a hill surrounded by a courtyard, bicycle paths,
dining rooms, a bank and a grocery store.
Construction never started because the
construction loan fell through, and the owner, James M. Lancelotta,
filed for bankruptcy protection. The property is the childhood home of
Lancelotta, a Howard County developer whose maternal grandparents were
"Initially, it seemed to be a viable
project," Fisher said. "But it was too much and
Fisher said he wants to get out of the
project and make a profit.
But that worries people like Harry
Tremaine, 65, a deaf man who said he has had his "heart set"
on moving to a majority-deaf community for four years. Tremaine has
put deposits down on three condo units and has given the project
$200,000 to help it along.