The 2009 sale of property that ultimately became the failed Festival Tennessee site in Spring Hill has become the source of a dispute in Davidson County Chancery Court, where an investment group is claiming it is owed a large piece of the proceeds from that transaction.
Three entities, Rock Ivy Holding, RC Properties and Linked LLC, in 2006 entered an agreement to buy more than 650 acres of land straddling the Williamson-Maury County line. RC Properties is composed of investors Scott Sohr and Preston Ingram, who have been engaged for several years in legal action against each other over another large land investment.
The three companies took out $7.3 million in loans from SunTrust Bank to buy the 685 acres of land off Jim Warren Road with the thought that it would be developed and resold. When it came time in mid-2008 to meet the financial obligations, RC Properties and Linked ponied up their portions, a combined $3.3 million. That left $4.1 million for Rock Ivy, an entity owned by local attorney Huntly Gordon.
RC Properties and Linked had the opportunity to put up the extra money themselves, effectively booting Rock Ivy from the partnership, but they did not do that. Instead, Robert Pittenger Company out of Charlotte stepped in to buy most of the land in September of 2009. (Robert Pittenger, a Charlotte businessman, now represents North Carolina in now the U.S. Congress.) Former Spring Hill mayor Michael Dinwiddie in early 2011 announced plans for “Festival Tennessee,” an expansive theme park development, to be built on that land. The project never materialized.
Rock Ivy officials claim that, because RC Properties and Linked did not step in with extra capital in 2008, their 55 percent interest in the original partnership is still intact. But they say RC and Linked have refused to acknowledge that and are asking the court for a judgment reinforcing their ownership stake as well as granting them a cut of the proceeds from the Pittenger land sale.
John Hicks and Elizabeth McCostlin of Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz are representing Rock Ivy.