The brother and a son of U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson are being sued for defaulting on a multimillion-dollar loan to build a residential community in Buckhead for people 55 and older.
In papers filed last week in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, North Carolina-based BB&T bank accused Edwin Andrew "Andy" Isakson, the senator's brother; Kevin Warner Isakson, one of the senator's sons; and their partner, David L. Barnhart, of "breach of contract" in their failure to repay a $26.7 million loan the trio had taken out with Colonial Bank for the project six years ago.
BB&T assumed Colonial's assets in 2009 after Montgomery-based Colonial failed.
BB&T is seeking about $30.5 million, which includes repayment of the loan as well as about $3.8 million in accrued interest, more than $12,000 in late fees and undisclosed attorney costs.
The developers sought the money to construct Peachtree Hills Place, a 274-unit development set for 23 acres in Buckhead's Peachtree Hills neighborhood. According to its website, Peachtree Hills Place was to offer mid-rise villa buildings or single-family homes and include a clubhouse with fitness center, spa and a library.
Reached on Tuesday, Andy Isakson said he and his partners tried to work with the bank to resolve the issue before a lawsuit was filed, but failed.
"We're continuing to work with the bank and have a good relationship with them," said Isakson, who did not offer details on next steps. "But sometimes lawyers get involved and things happen. But we still hope to work this out and get the project going."
The project ran into trouble when the economy went sour and during pre-sales "we got caught up in the times," Isakson said.
The news comes just a month after Kevin Isakson met with neighborhood residents to discuss their upkeep concerns. The parcel, which was cleared of an apartment complex that had been there for decades, is overgrown with shrubbery in places and sits behind a chain-link fence that has been damaged by storms and downed trees.
"Since that time, the PHCA Board has been in continuing discussions with Mr. Isakson to gather commitment along with specifics around the promises made by Mr. Isakson during that meeting," Peachtree Hills neighborhood leaders said in their July newsletter.
The loan on the property matured on March 1, 2010, according to the lawsuit, which also lists IBPHP Development and Peachtree Hills Place LLC, the name under which the property was being developed, as defendants.
The bank sent a notice of nonpayment to the defendants this past June 29.