Danielson-Minor feud: Two trade barbs after arbitration

landmarkwithMinorandDanielsonMinor and Danielson have traded lawsuits over their unfinished Landmark hotel.

After a week spent inside some Omni hotel conference rooms putting on evidence as if at trial, would-be hotel-makers Lee Danielson and Halsey Minor each offer their own spin on their court-ordered binding arbitration process.

Danielson, taking note of the various lawsuits Minor is facing and waging, contends that the $3.5 million Minor alleges he's spent on legal fees litigating the Landmark hotel–- a moldering eyesore on the Downtown Mall–- might have actually completed the project.

"The hotel should be finished," says Danielson, "and a man of this substance should be able to finish it and work out his other problems."

Minor and the experts he called to testify in the arbitration procedure–- which was closed to the public including the media–- don't see it that way.

"Lee has to have the last word no matter how inane and ridiculous," says Minor. "Lee's and the bank's budget was $30 million, which both experts considered fantasy."

Construction on the Landmark ceased a year ago with accusations from various parties about unpaid bills, unfunded loans, bogus budgets, and a spendthrift owner. All that the two sides agree on at this point is that they expect to hear a decision on the binding arbitration in June.


He wasn't a cop - he was a Sheriff's Deputy who got fired in the nick of time before nepotism took its toll on the department.

The mall was alive and well before the brick. Charlottesville Hardware, M C Thomas Furniture, Roses, Woolworths, Leggetts, Dixie News Shoppe, Reids Supermarket, Stacey's Music Shop, the office supply store (forgot the name), and many others.

Doing away with the pavement and the on street parking was a slow and painful death for all these businesses.

Let's move the conversation back on topic... I'm wondering if people more knowledgeable than me can chime in on whether or not Minor may face any kind of criminal charges (money laundering/embezzlement,etc). I know, it's fairly speculative, but let's look at some facts: Seems like his pattern of behavior ought to have caught the attention of the authorities, not to mention his tax delinquencies (which, as always, is the fault of someone else). His own comments (both public and in emails sent to his adversaries) paint a picture of a man who is profoundly disturbed, perhaps even sociopathic. GSOE's narcissism and megalomania pale in comparison to the "grandiose monstrosity" of HM. Who else gets restraining orders placed on them from sending emails to lenders? Everyone involved in the case (current arbitration, art houses, ML Private Finance, etc) has stated that the circumstances are complicated, which basically just means that Minor was leveraged to the hilt using an array of collateral and questionable dealings. Criminals thrive in this sort of chaos, which HM has knowingly created to deflect attention from his reckless and cynical manipulation of leverage. He sees as his last chance to cover his tracks the need to attack banks in general (to manipulate public sentiment), and try to portray everyone else as unethical. Anyone else think there may be more to the story? Anyone want to wager that HM may ultimately end up behind bars? I for one hope so....

I guess it's the only sentence in the first paragraph.

Anyhoo...the point is we all have something to offer the economy as Americans (Blue/Red/North/South/East/West). There are intelligent and creative people all over this great country.

Yeah, look at downtown Waynesboro. The Mall will be absolutely packed Friday night from now til October. The only vacancies are a VERY few on the east end, from landlords taking a tax loss rather than lowering their rents to meet the market there.

We can probably list the vacancies in one short paragraph (storefronts under construction don't count):
1. A&N, 3rd and Main.

You say the restaurants are failing, let's see. If a few do, maybe they will get cheaper! Restaurants fail in Richmond constantly, and are continuously re-opened. That's how it works, when it is working. And it seems to be working. If you have traveled anywhere outside Cville, you would realize how strong the market is here, thanks to UVa daddies & mommies, and rich transplants.

Well, it's more than that. College towns are thriving all over, as are other places full of creative & intelligent people. The go-go red state areas, like Georgia and Arizona, that ran the bubble scams of the century, are suffering, and are net tax drains on this country. The blue states, and blue enclaves in other states, account for all the real economic growth of the last decade.

Let me give you a few more thought provoking statements.

I know nothing about Atlanta, Georgia. But if I have business or pleasure there, and my car is vandalized, broken into, or stolen from a parking garage next to the hotel I spend the night at... I won't be staying at the same hotel ever again.

Most people carry a $500 deductible on their vehicle insurance nowadays. A $150 hotel bill and $350 repairs to their vehicle adds up to $500 or more very quickly.

A few nights ago the cop shoppe received a call about a small group of juveniles panhandling in the Omni parking garage. When customers refused to hand over any money, the juveniles then started threatening them with bodily harm. This is enough to cause customers to have second thoughts about ever staying at the Omni again in the future.


Well, if the City wants to let the eyesore continue to sit there hurting other businesses they'll stand by. With the end of the rink, what is there down on the Mall? Not much but some small spots and failing food places.

I used to like to eat on the mall but no more. What's left is overpriced hipster food that is pretty poor. I enjoyed the Nook. Now it's the Nook with new t-shirts all in black and worse food with a bigger price tag.

I would rather save the Ice Park than some overpriced fluff hotel that would only be full on UVA graduation days.

[reposted without a bad word c..ppy]

Huntsville is full of gov't-funded scientists and university spin-off startups, so it's not your best example. I'm arguing against places that concentrate on low-wage jobs, low quality products, etc., which tend to be 1. represented by Republicans in Congress, and 2. are a net drain on the federal budget. At least Huntsville is giving back!

Raleigh is in the Research Triangle, so that is a good example for me too. As is Austin. As is the Silicon Valley. They are all blue areas in their own states.

As for auto incentives and road projects favoring big rural states, that is pretty obvious. People in Nebraska buy cars, people in NYC don't. Generally.

I'm not saying everything on Fox News is wrong, but the Huffington Post has some good insights too.

Call cleared a 290-5 at 7:09 p.m.

290 means "Vandalism/Damage/Destruction of Property"

-5 means "Incident Not Verified, No report"

In other words, whoever was tossing the quarters off the top of the garage wasn't caught.

PunkBuster, I agree it's looking bad for HM, but no one else seems to want to point out the other side, so I do. I've posted before about the similar Milwaukee hotel project with the same bank and two developers suing each other (one is Icelandic!).

It's conceivable that not the best people were making loans at that bank, Specialty Finance. It specialized in medium-sized hotel construction loans, was based in Atlanta, and had no customers. It just cut up loans and sold them to regional banks, mainly in the South. So it was more like a finance operation than a bank. And it's conceivable they were more interested in making the loans than evaluating them, that it was a high pressure sales operation, and that they didn't care if the budget was sound, since they made their money on fees on the deal. It's even conceivable they made crooked side deals. That is what was alleged both here and in Milwaukee.[1] Construction is not the cleanest business. But I agree, HM's statements do not inspire confidence. Now it's the FDIC he is ranting on. Could be right...

The liquidation of Specialty Finance was a large blow to the regional economy, said the Atlanta newspaper. And any finance operation focused on hotels would be in the drink right now, so this story could go either way.

[1] To clarify, both deals are alleged to have been built on under-estimated budgets, so that the unknowing partner later would have to contribute more money than he expected, while the bank and other partner came out clean. (In other words, rip off the rich guy with a funny deal.) In the Milwaukee case, the partner did pony up the extra funds after, he claims, Specialty threatened to sell the loan to a "loan shark" if he didn't pay up. In the Cville case, but all payments stopped from all parties.

The reality of THE WORLD is that crime is going to happen, cities and towns all over the world hire off duty cops to help prevent crime. Is it true that cars have been broken into in the parking garage, sure, will it happen again, more than likely. GSOE likes to share his opinion which we're all doing here, his views may not be the same as everyone elses (thank God) but they are clearly though prevoking. Crime happens, it's probably not going to impact the success of this hotel nearly as much as the two meat heads building it.

re:ââ?¬Å?The hotel should be finished,” says Danielson, ââ?¬Å?and a man of this substance should be able to finish it and work out his other problems.”

THIS is the statement that Minor himself says is "inane and ridiculous"? So his contention is that he shouldn't be able to finish it and work out his other problems?

Wow. The darn thing will NEVER be finished!

Gasbag you must be in charge of making stuff up. There is nothing but the dark corners of your mind that makes your statement resemble anything other than fantasy. Are their lots of break-ins now? Is the parking lot a source of a bunch of crime now? that would be a no. A don't go giving us all the crime are hush, hush cover ups to keep everyone happy. They are not that good at cover ups

Do you really think you wanton negativity based on nothing but your legendary cop instinct to go on, impresses or informs the readers of this paper. Spare me your pontification on what might be. The bitterness that pervades your comments does nothing but engender dislike that you seem to feed on. Enjoy this snack.

At least a failed hotel can become condos (hello Monticello Hotel) or an office building. A skeleton can't.

Automobile sales? Shovel-ready? I don't see Detroit booming again. And I think you missed my point about IMPLYING there were no creative or intelligent people in the South/Red States...and you obviously didn't check out the USA Today article. From the same article (pay close attention to the last sentence, first paragraph)...

"Forbes magazine just named Huntsville [AL] one of the top 10 places for business and careers. It was named America's fourth-strongest building market by BusinessWeek in September, the nation's top midsize city to launch and grow a business by Fortune Small Business magazine in November, and one of the world's top 10 smartest cities by Forbes in December.

The area has one of the USA's best job-growth rates, according to Moody's Economy.com."


"The surge first buoyed the nation's midsection before spreading to the Southeast. An exception is Florida, which is still reeling from the housing bust.

Perked-up factories are lifting cities with transportation and distribution centers, such as Louisville, home of UPS' air hub, where an average 226 flights depart and arrive each day.

Meanwhile, a technology boom fueled by mobile Web crazes such as the iPhone has boosted tech research and manufacturing centers such as Austin; Raleigh, N.C.; and California's Silicon Valley, says Wells Fargo economist Mark Vitner. "

7:03 p.m. Friday

Cop shoppe dispatches cops to Market Street parking garage

Large group of juveniles tossing quarters from the top of the parking garage down onto pedestrians below.

This is exactly what I was talking about above. When a person parks in the garage to walk to the new hotel where he is staying the night, he won't be back to this hotel again after being hit in the head with a quarter.

Hey Colfer, not that I really care THAT much, but stop spewing hate for the sake of it. Your comment IMPLIES "Red States" don't have creative and intelligent people - pretty sure Wall Street had quite a bit to do with the "bubble scams of the century."

From 4/26's USA Today:

"While big chunks of the Midwest and South are recovering [Read "RED STATES"], much of the Northeast and West [Read "BLUE STATES"] are still mired in recessions that are easing in severity.

Only 41 of 135 metropolitan areas in the Northeast and West were in recovery in February, according to Moody's Economy.com. By contrast, two-thirds of the 249 metro areas in the Midwest and South were on the upswing based on the February data, the latest available."

Colfer I appreciate your comment, but Waynesboro has about in much in common with Charlottesville and Albemarle County as Paris, Texas might. Yes I know many people live there (Waynesboro) and work here (Charlottesville).

Back to this place... There are too many people "playing at" retail here. To many misinformed shopkeepers that have little no no understanding how to run a business. We are not NYC or even Richmond and have very few people come here in several months of the year to drop cash. And there are too many high end restaurants here as well. I wish em all well, but there are too many. I root for the small business man and loathe un-healthy fast food, and rude sales people or know it all restaurateurs. Seems like we have that stuff in abundance.

Anyone else seem to notice that these message boards and newspaper comments seem to get ruder and more mean every single day? Why?

if you think downtown c'ville is dangerous, you must soak your pants when you go to richmond. lord only knows what would happen if you found yourself in baltimore!

Charlottesville needs a new hotel. there are never any vacancies. can't these two gentlemen put their egos aside and get it built?

still wondering when and how any "wannabe thugs" broke into the water street parking garage and or avoided security cameras

Perhaps the same way a multi-million dollar security system at

John Paul Jones had not one second of Morgan Harrington on video?

Yeah, the Mall sux so much. Except you'll have to fight your way through the crowds tomorrow afternoon to get from one end to the other!

I thought hotel construction was dead in the USA, but I found some articles saying it wasn't quite that bad. Still I doubt anyone wants to finance a $40m hotel. It's luxe and so small, the per room cost must be astronomical.[1]

Someone has applied to convert a small bldg. on 14th street to a hotel. And this questionable article has some figures on US hotel construction: http://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/4045122.html

[1] And any number of other opportunities would be out there for an investor without having to deal with the lawsuits and the state of the building. I say tear it down and make a vegetable garden, but that wouldn't help city tax revenues much. More likely it will go into receivership or something.

Crowds that spend so much money half the businesses are closing and little else is opening that is useful to replace it. A bunch of people are going to drink Capshaw's Budweiser while the city pays for a rcok concert on a cement patio.

The Mall was full in 2001, and businesses were actually still open and in business then.

To colfer, Danielson may not be above reproach, but HM is most assuredly beneath contempt. There is no question who is at fault here. Unless, as we are led to believe, there is some kind of conspiracy among every party involved to the extent Oliver Stone could not even fathom. To paraphrase Warren Buffet,
ââ?¬Å?Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked”. HM has no clothes, left only with a nasty ego and childish temperament, the product of too much privilege early on, and soon to face the music...

Gasbag lives to read people care what he thinks - I just read right past what he says cause life to short to listen to the his ravings - you all should do the same

About the auction--if any of that stuff does sell the auction house gets a big cut. Interesting to see what he collected (I'll stop there).

Again, another implication.

I am in fact a regular HuffPost reader (even have the iPhone app) and loath Faux News.

See how you're just trying to throw a blanket over everyone/everything? Not cool.

PS- People in Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut and Vermont buy cars (and need road projects) too.

Implications are not so bad. It's called writing! But I didn't mean to insult people in low wage economies within the U.S., just the goons who lead them.

Hey, here's a good quote I heard this morning, from Dr. Johnson: "No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money." What are we doing here? :)

And I'll still argue the federal economic stimulus favored short-term economies, not the long-term goodness of the blue area economies!

Let's just keep it the way it is. have it as one of them "art in place" type things.

Did he say "a man of his substance" or "a man of this substance"?
If the latter, we can infer all kinds of things. We have heard lots about Minor's fiscal hijinks in recent years and I think we may know the character of the man through them.

Hoping this means there is light at the end of the tunnel.

even if it ever is finished...how long will it be open before it goes bankrupt....again

K, in my opinion it won't take long after the place establishes a reputation for the customers cars getting broken into in the parking garage every night. Or even worse, the customers getting assaulted or mugged while coming and going.

you live in fantasy land gas

Well, we'll see, won't we?

Well, once again, I seem to be the only person here who knows anything. The parking garages hire off duty cops to provide security already. And the cops weren't hired to tow away cars that were leaking oil onto the concrete floors of the garage. They were hired due to numerous incidents of theft and vandalism to cars. And the occasional wannabe thugs who stand on top throwing stuff at the people down on the ground.

And I have bad news for you, Locust Avenue Guy. I am not and never was related to anybody in any of the Sheriff's Offices I worked for. The nepotism you speak of was when a sheriff hired and promoted his own son above others who had been there for many years. The intent of the family was most likely for the son to follow in the father's footsteps and eventually become sheriff. James Brown being elected sheriff in November of 2009 threw a moneky wrench in these plans though, eh? :)

so, how were those "wannabe thugs" as if that characterization made any sense in the first place, getting past the steel doors and chained entries to the water street parking garage? did the numerous security cameras there catch any of it happening?

Jim, the Monticello hotel is much bigger and has very tall ceilings thus making it perfect for condos. The thing was paid for many many years ago as well. The Halsy Minor fail-place has like 8 foot ceilings and is relatively tiny. The only way it would work to make it condos is to sell them for more than one million a piece or to add on 10 stories which ain't going to happen. This thing will never work and they should tear it down ASAP.

And as far as Gasbag goes, please go away from here. People that insert themselves into every conversation are megalomaniacs and somewhat delusional. Go away please... And if you could, please tell me where you know work so that I can never support it with my dollars and cents. thanks!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Megalomania is a non-clinical word defined as: [1]

1. A psycho-pathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence.
2. An obsession with grandiose or extravagant things or actions.

It is derived from the (from the Greek word Œµ³±»¿Œ±œ¯±; megalo-, meaning large, and mania) The first attested use of the word "megalomania" is in 1890 as a translation of the French word "m©galomanie".

The word "megalomania" does not appear in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)[2] or the ICD. Grandiosity and delusions of grandeur have similar meanings to megalomania and are used in the DSM and ICD as possible symptoms of several mental conditions.

quote: "And as far as Gasbag goes, please go away from here."

I can't. People like you and Locust Avenue

turn every thread into a discussion about me. :)

pretty weak dude and way off topic.

to quote your earlier comment:

"in my opinion it won’t take long after the place establishes a reputation for the customers cars getting broken into in the parking garage every night. Or even worse, the customers getting assaulted or mugged while coming and going."

and your opinion is based on what exactly? if it's facts, then produce a few. you haven't yet, and a feeble attempt to change the topic makes it seems like you must have none to offer.

GBSOE may be one of the few people commenting here who sees things as they are, not as the commenters wish they might be.

quote: "...your opinion is based on what exactly? if it’s facts, then produce a few...."

My opinion is based on a business hiring off duty cops to secure their premises. Charlottesville has become the type of city where you have to have armed security in parking garages to protect cars while the owners are out shopping or visiting the mall. Or in this case, spending the night in a hotel. What more do you need to know?

The off duty cops aren't there just because the business felt like throwing money at them for no good reason.

quote: "GBSOE may be one of the few people commenting here who sees things as they are, not as the commenters wish they might be."

I think my fan club is more upset because I have the time and energy to comment on everything. :)

A real man would have finished the job and sued for redress later.

If there were obstacles to that he should have pulled out his "wallet" and layed that bad boy on the table to prove it was not about cashflow.

quote: "...Let’s move the conversation back on topic... GSOE’s narcissism and megalomania..."

So, the topic is GSOE? :)

How do you arrive at the crimes of money laudering and embezzlement in your mind? Howard Hughes was a strange person, but that didn't make him a criminal.

"My opinion is based on a business hiring off duty cops to secure their premises."

by that logic, everyone who locks their door or has an alarm system must getting their house broken into all the time.

just anecdotal i now, but i always lock my doors and haven't once had my house broken into.

i know i meant, not i now

GSOE, I only mentioned criminal behavior in a purely speculative manner, which I make clear. In the broader context of his past behavior, public and private statements, and even his own legal pleadings, not to mentioned an already well publicized restraining order, I think it is fair for people to ask whether there may be more to the story. You are certainly correct that Howard Hughes was an oddball and that certainly did not make him criminal. Something is not right about this Minor character, though, and I firmly believe there is more intrigue and drama set to unfold.

Well, Danielson has had some detractors as well, such as the CVille/Hook story about the ice rink lawsuits. And the bank Minor is suing was not only taken over by the FDIC, but liquidated, and has been sued in similar lawsuits: accused of colluding with one development partner against another.

I'm tired of Gas!

Good news for State o Cali.


He's gonna be rolling in caesh soon.

Good Grief! Are we still talking about me?

Let's play Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

For one million dollares, GSOE, which of the remarks below is more believeable?

#1 quote: "Gasbag lives to read people care what he thinks - I just read right past what he says cause life to short to listen to the his ravings - you all should do the same"

#2 quote: "GBSOE may be one of the few people commenting here who sees things as they are, not as the commenters wish they might be."

Meredith, my answer is #2.

And that is my final answer! :)

quote: "...everyone who locks their door or has an alarm system must getting their house broken into all the time...."

The ole apple vs orange comparison.

People do indeed install locks and larms in their homes to prevent crime. A proactive approach to crime.

But the parking garages hired off duty cops to prevent any further crime. A reactive approach to crime.

I'm sorry gasbag did you say something? I was reading nogashere interesting comment

Turn the foetal hotel into: Downstairs, P. Chang On The Mall. Upstairs, Chang's home.

The auction listed by Nogashere was quite interesting. At the conclusion of the auction Halsey Minor will have enough cash to buy and sell everybody here about 100,000 times.

But, if I was Halsey Minor, I would take the money and finish the hotel on the mall so I could hang a large 4 foot by 6 foot picture of myself in the lobby. :)

Most everybody loves to hate wealthy people for some reason.

Tear it down! Don't we need more parking downtown?

Trying to get back on subject: a pox on both their houses. They are both arrogant jerks and trying to see who can be the biggest jerk. It may take a while to get this sorted out becuase the bank that made the loan has failed. Fortunately the City is wise enough to sit on the sidelines this time. Danielson doesn't have any funds and unless he finds some financing he isn't going to be a player. Who knows what Minor's finances look like but he has so many lawsuits going on he isn't in a position to finish it and besides I think the failed bank has it tied up. Even if a white knight comes alone and wants to buy I don't see this mess getting sorted out for a LONG TIME.

Ummmmm, I probably did go over the top, but it wasn't hate I hope. Perhaps the recovery has been regionally distorted by gov't action, such as supporting automobile sales and "shovel-ready" projects, which tend to be road work. In the long run, I still expect high-education areas to out-perform other areas economically, as they have in the past. A bunch of people in Georgia selling each other stuff from China is not real economic activity, or not very. Synthetic Wall Street instruments are pretty bad, but at least have something to do with capital accumulation and liquidity, when not over-duplicated. And that's one of the worst blue-area products. Others are better!

MTT, shops run by independently wealthy amateurs annoy me too, and are sort of unfair to the others. But Downtown Cville is a success.