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VOL. 124 | NO. 169 | Friday, August 28, 2009

Developer Files For Chapter 7 Protection

By Eric Smith

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LATEST ISSUE: Bob Williams’ limited liability company 460 Tennessee Street LLC last month defaulted on a $3 million loan on the 50,820-square-foot, mixed-use building at 460 Tennessee St. -- DAILY NEWS FILE PHOTO

Robert G. “Bob” Williams Jr., the developer of numerous Downtown condominium and mixed-use projects, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection after amassing a host of business debts.

Williams, who lists an address of 429 N. Main St., filed his voluntary bankruptcy petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Tennessee in June, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.

His filing lists 17 creditors, assets of $110,315 and liabilities of $9.7 million. Only one creditor is listed as holding a secured claim, while the remaining 16 hold unsecured claims, according to the petition.

PROBLEMS ON MAIN: Bob Williams, operating as 95 South Main LLC, was accused of breach of contract by the original owners of Sauces restaurant. -- DAILY NEWS FILE PHOTO

When reached by The Daily News, Williams hesitated to discuss his situation, which he called “pretty common these days” in light of the current economic climate. He did say the problem stemmed from a development on the Gulf Coast; the bankruptcy petition lists Williams’ business venture of Canal Road Townhomes Development LLC as a condo project in Orange Beach, Ala.

“My whole bankruptcy was due to the failing of a project in Alabama, Gulf Shores, a multimillion-dollar project that the Bank of Bartlett took over,” said Williams, whose primary business is International Construction Services LLC.

Most recently, his limited liability company, 460 Tennessee Street LLC, defaulted on a $3 million loan on the mixed-use building at 460 Tennessee St. in the South Main Historic Arts District. The building was foreclosed last month and houses the Memphis Flyer, Memphis Magazine and other Contemporary Media offices.

And he was involved in the redevelopment of 95 S. Main St. into condos and Sauces restaurant on the ground floor. That project sparked a slew of complaints from condo residents and legal action from the original restaurant owners, who accused Williams – operating as 95 South Main LLC – of breach of contract. They claimed Williams didn’t deliver their restaurant space in the contractual time and the delay resulted in operating losses.

In September, a state tax lien was placed on 95 South Main LLC by the Tennessee Department of Revenue, according to The Daily News Online.

As for other Downtown projects, Williams once was part of the team redeveloping the Lawrence Building at 56 S. Main St. into a 42-unit complex to be renamed The General Washburn after the alley behind it.

He also had been involved with properties such as 11 W. Nettleton Ave. and 17 W. Pontotoc Ave., but he said he since has dissolved his affiliation with all Downtown projects, meaning the bankruptcy shouldn’t have an impact.

“Since I am not actively a part of any current projects going on Downtown, it does not affect said projects,” Williams said. “I’m not with any projects going on Downtown, nor have I been for the last year. I’m not a part of any of them, and therefore they would not be affected.”

PROPERTY SALES 140 207 19,653
MORTGAGES 128 196 22,629
BUILDING PERMITS 166 367 40,371
BANKRUPTCIES 40 102 12,588