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Posted: April 23, 2010 12:30 a.m.

Blue Willow Village faces foreclosure for loan default

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Not going away: The Blue Willow Village is currently facing foreclosure, but owner Louis Van Dyke states that through rearranging debt they will be able to save the village.

The Blue Willow Village in Social Circle may soon be a thing of the past if the owners of the iconic establishment are unable to avoid a foreclosure in May.

"We’re in negotiations with Wachovia to restructure the loan," Blue Willow owner Louis Van Dyke said. "If we’re not able to before the end of next week, we’ll be taking other action to stop the foreclosure. We have a positive attitude; we’re not going to lose (the village)."

The village will go up for public auction on May 4.

The foreclosure notice, originally posted in the Walton Tribune, states that Van Dyke and his wife have defaulted on a $2.875 million loan that was issued by Wells-Fargo bank in 2007. Van Dyke can pay or reorganize the debt by the May 4 auction date to avoid foreclosure.

The Blue Willow Village was constructed and opened in 2008, and featured locations for several stores, restaurants and a history museum. Unfortunately, due to the economic downturn, many of the stores remained un-leased, and the museum closed in 2009.

"It was a victim of the recession," Van Dyke said "Every business space was pre-leased months before (the opening in Oct. 2008), but then the market crashed. All but three tenants wanted amicably to get out of the pre-lease agreements. We let them."

Without the businesses, particularly the museum, bringing in revenue and paying rent, there was not enough income to pay for the loan.

Van Dyke hopes the Village will pick up when the economy improves.

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