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October 16, 2012
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Ironbridge remnants on the bankruptcy auction block

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - In less than a month, the Ironbridge golf subdivision is expected to be turned over to a new owner, or several new owners, depending on results of an auction being conducted by a Chicago-based auction house.Sheldon Good & Co., the auction house, has set a deadline of Nov. 14 for sealed bids on all or part of the Ironbridge project, which is located between Glenwood Springs and Carbondale on the west bank of the Roaring Fork River.Ironbridge currently is owned by a holding company of the defunct Lehman Brothers investment company, which collapsed in 2008 in what was the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.The original developer of Ironbridge was L.B. Rose Ranch, a subsidiary of Lehman Brothers, which filed for bankruptcy in 2009.In 2009, the Post Independent reported that, besides its financial problems, L.B. Rose failed to install improvements that were required in the county government's 2004 planned unit development approvals for the project.At the time, the BOCC was preparing to ask a bankruptcy judge to allow the county to go after cash deposited in escrow accounts, in order to pay for the promised improvements. Those claims were withdrawn after most of the improvements were finished, according to Assistant Garfield County Attorney Cassie Coleman.In an unrelated difficulty, some lots in Ironbridge Phase I proved to have unstable foundations, which reportedly began slipping downhill toward the river. That issue is still subject to a class action suit against the developers, according to Phil Weir, a real estate broker and resident of Ironbridge.Approved for development of 316 homes and lots on 533 acres, the golf subdivision boasts a par-72, 18-hole golf course designed by Arthur Hills, a national golf course architect. The Ironbridge golf club reportedly has 280 members and, according to Sheldon Good & Co., generates annual revenues of $1.1 million.To date, according to a press release from Sheldon Good, 198 of the homes and lots in the subdivision have been sold, leaving 118 sites vacant.Weir, a member of the homeowners association at Ironbridge, said he sees no downside to the auction, and believes it will increase golf membership and boost the financial health of the golf course and club."I think it had to happen," Weir said of the auction. "I mean, Lehman Brothers had to sell off their assets to pay off their creditors."Bidders in the auction can buy the golf course, one or more of the remaining homes, or the entire package, according to the auction house.Sealed bids for the auction are due in Sheldon Good & Co.'s Chicago office by 3 p.m. Central Standard Time on Nov.

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The Post Independent Updated Oct 17, 2012 07:06PM Published Oct 16, 2012 01:25AM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.