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Summit County developer collects $6M in deposits for condominium project, then files for bankruptcy

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Posted at 9:10 PM, Mar 30, 2023

DILLON, Colo. — It's actually a pretty ambitious vision — a luxury eight-story condominium complex located just a few blocks from Lake Dillon in Summit County called Uptown 240. But those who invested thousands of dollars will agree that it's proven to be only that — just a vision.

The project broke ground in 2019 and was supposed to be completed in early 2022, but Danilo Ottoborgo, Uptown 240 LLC's developer and president, filed for bankruptcy in February. Justin Wingerter with BusinessDen, a partner of Denver7, was the first to report the news.

The project was halted in 2020 when the Ottoborgo lost financing. He has been unable to find a lender since.

Denver7 drove by the property Thursday, where only the foundation has been laid. Metals on the site had visible rust building up.

Of the 80 condos, "41 have been sold to a number of people from a dozen different states around the country. There are people who are very concerned about that, not getting that money back," Wingerter said. "Some are of relatively modest means and anticipated this being their retirement."

Barbara O'Brien, 78, is one of those individuals. She moved to Summit County about five years ago to be closer to her family. When she heard about Uptown 240, she put down a roughly $80,000 cash deposit on a one bedroom condo.

"The whole thing is just so frustrating," O'Brien said. "I finally reached the point where I thought this is just never going to happen."

Now, O'Brien is working full-time at a local Target to earn that money back. It's certainly not the way she expected to spend time in her late 70s.

"I am now putting in 40 hours a week, sometimes even more, just because it makes me nervous with how much money, you know, I've had to spend up here," O'Brien said.

Wingerter listened in on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court hearing last week involving Uptown 240.

"Six million dollars has been put down in deposits for condos," Wingerter told Denver7. "All of that money has already been spent by the Ottoborgos. The money is gone. It was spent on construction that will now have to be redone."

The purchase agreement allowed Ottoborgo to use the money on project development, but Wingerter also learned of how other portions were used.

"In some cases, they paid themselves a salary. The Ottoborgos paid themselves a salary from the deposits," he explained.

Before starting construction on Uptown 240, the Ottoborgos owned a well-known Italian restaurant on that plot of land before they demolished it several years ago.

In a statement to Denver7, Danilo Ottoborgo said, "As locals from Dillon, Colorado, Uptown 240 is a generational dream of our family that we have dedicated years to making a reality. It is our objective to come out of the chapter 11 case successfully and continue construction and the completion of the development. We are committed to doing everything the company can to fulfill our purchase agreements and make Uptown 240 a success. We appreciate the support and understanding of our community and remain optimistic about the future of Uptown 240. We are confident that we will emerge from this process stronger than ever."

For folks like O'Brien, confidence has already been lost.

"I simply do not believe it is ever going to be built."

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