New group in early discussions with Westport developer

Developer Patrick Turner is negotiating with a new group over his role in an ambitious mixed use development project he had planned for waterfront property in Westport.

Citigroup Global Markets Realty Corp., which made a $30 million loan to Turner in 2007 to help finance the development, transferred ownership of the note July 2 to Westport Property Investments, LLC. Earlier this year, the bank moved to foreclose on the properties securing the loan, on which Turner owes more than $32 million. An attorney for the bank declined to discuss the sale, saying only that the bank was no longer involved.

In court filings Tuesday, Westport Property Investments asked a judge to delay a hearing on the case scheduled for July 18, saying it has begun "preliminary discussions" with Turner's group, that could avoid further litigation. Attorneys for Westport Property Investments, which is represented by Ballard Spahr, did not respond or declined to comment. The company registered in Maryland last month.

Kenneth Frank, an attorney working with Turner's group, Inner Harbor West, LLC, also declined to comment, saying only that Turner remains involved.

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