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    VIP countersues One Loudoun

    The prospects for a professional sports stadium at One Loudoun in Ashburn grew murkier this week as the company planning the stadium filed a counter claim against the developers of One Loudoun.

    Virginia Investment Partnership filed a counterclaim that refutes a suit by One Loudoun that the sports and entertainment company has not met its contract to build a stadium on the site.

    In its countersuit VIP claims it suffered more than $30 million in damages as a direct result of One Loudoun's termination of the lease, for which VIP hopes to recoup "an amount to be determined at trial for any and all damages sustained by VIP as a result of One Loudoun's breach of the lease."

    VIP's chief operating officer is Bob Farren, who has attempted to build a stadium and bring professional baseball and soccer to One Loudoun for nearly a decade.

    Farren has said the stadium effort is not dead, but the developers of One Loudoun have said they have terminated its lease with Farren and are seeking new partners.

    The first line of the counterclaim from VIP denies many allegations in One Loudoun's termination suit.

    The counterclaim begins by refuting the majority of the allegations One Loudoun made in the original claim to the county. Later VIP explains the immense expense of the project and the inability of One Loudoun "to act in good faith."

    Last month, One Loudoun claimed that VIP had not lived up to its end of a lease agreement, and sought to have courts terminate the agreement.

    According to the counterclaim filed in Loudoun County Circuit Court, One Loudoun failed to act in good faith on multiple occasions throughout the process, impacting the working relationships VIP has with lenders and potential lessees.

    "One Loudoun's contact with, and disparaging remarks about VIP to, the Atlantic League and VIP's prospective sublessees have interfered with VIP's ability to enter into subleases with those parties and suggests that One Loudoun's true goal is to cause the sublessees to abandon their relationships with VIP and enter into agreements directly with One Loudoun or other parties," read one part of the document.

    VIP further alleged that One Loudoun asked them to pay three times the market rate for maintenance charges and asked VIP to sign away all its rights against One Loudoun simply to keep negotiations alive.

    The suit claims that at a meeting in May, which was attended by One Loudoun officials, Loudoun County officials, the Atlantic League and VIP investors, William May, vice president of Miller and Smith, developer of One Loudoun, "demanded that unless VIP signed the pre-negotiation letter, all negotiations between One Loudoun and VIP would be terminated."

    May declined to comment, citing ongoing legal action.

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    Loudoun Business Journal - Summer 2014

    Loudoun Business Journal - Spring 2014