Back in December 2010, the Charlotte Observer broke the story entitled Couple Sues to Get Out of Vue Contract which explained how pre-sales buyers Lawrence and Ke Ding Berkovich filed suit claiming that they were entitled to a refund of their earnest money of $145,485, because the Vue’s contract did not contain a recordable legal description of the property in compliance with the ILSFDA. Ten months later, WSOC-TV has just reported the story entitled: Couple Wins Suit Against Uptown Charlotte Condo Development . The Berkovich’s won their case!
Before pre-sales buyers get too excited, it is important to note that the Berkovich’s filed their complaint within the 2 year statute of limitations of the ILSFDA. Anyone that sues the Vue now would probably be outside of that 2 year window. However, make no mistake about it, this is a huge defeat for the Vue and could give hope to others that have claims against the Vue for unfair and deceptive trade practices.
The Federal court ruled the Vue’s counterclaims for breach of contract and specific performance moot because the Berkovich’s contract was effectively cancelled so there was no reason to rule on these issues. So this means the pre-sales buyers will need to await the decision of the N.C. appellate court on the Vue’s 4 lawsuits for specific performance which we expect/hope to be rendered this fall.
This long and painful saga for all parties is reaching its denouement. Whether the Berkovich’s will ever see their 145K will depend if the Vue even has the money in their bank account to return to them. My guess is the Vue will appeal this decision which may stretch things out even longer.
However, the Vue is becoming distinctly clearer: there are no winners in this saga, only losers. Pre-sales buyers, with perhaps an exception of the Berkovich’s, will lose their deposits. Current residents may in the short-term watch the majority of Vue units get auctioned off at a substantial discount to what they paid. All around, just a miserable outcome for all concerned, mainly due to the economic collapse and the unfortunate decision MCL made to build rather than cancel the project like other developers in Charlotte and elsewhere elected to do with their projects.
Unless there are some unforeseen twists to the plot, I am sorry to say that the Vue’s days are probably numbered. If there is a savior in the wings, let’s hope one shows up soon. A beautiful but empty 400 unit condo in Uptown Charlotte isn’t good for anyone.
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