Industry Watch

Cservak is president of Fountainhead's new markets unit

Joseph Cservak was recently appointed president of the Builder-New Markets Division of Fountainhead Title Group.


He is responsible for operations and marketing of 18 offices throughout Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Florida. A 1977 graduate of the University of Maryland, Cservak received his law degree from the University of Baltimore and was licensed to practice in Maryland in 1980. He is a member of the Home Builders Association of Maryland and has worked with Fountainhead for more than 20 years.

Fountainhead is the largest title company in Maryland.


Dan Ryan in top 100 of homebuilder list

Dan Ryan Builders, a Frederick-based construction firm, was 91st in Builder magazine's list of top 100 U.S. homebuilders.

Dan Ryan, the company's president and chief executive officer, said the company was started by his grandfather, who began building homes in Castle Shannon, Pa. The company builds in 37 communities in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

Court says Trump can keep pair's $8 million deposit

Donald Trump can keep the $8 million deposit that two brothers put down to buy four units in Trump World Tower in New York, a court has ruled.

It seems that the brothers, part of a wealthy family in Turkey, signed the contract and made the hefty deposit while the lavish building was under development in 1998; the closing eventually was set for October 2001. But after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the brothers informed Trump that they wanted out of the deal for the units on the building's 89th and 90th floors because they considered the building to be a terrorist target.

The issue has been dragging through the courts ever since, and now the state appellate court has ruled that the contract plainly stated that if the deal didn't go through, Trump would keep the money.

Besides, the court pointed out, the brothers have another reason for walking away from the deal, one that has nothing to do with terrorism: The two have been convicted in connection with a $1 billion swindle of Motorola Inc. in Turkey, and they face arrest if they set foot on U.S. soil.


Practice bombs, waste found at residential sites

As prime, buildable land becomes scarcer in some areas, it's becoming more prudent for potential buyers to inquire about former uses of the property.

A source of anxiety in several regions recently has centered on former military properties. One of the most visible examples is the legal and environmental turmoil that's swirling around a large development on Texas land that once was used for munitions practice. Many unexploded "practice" bombs (which nonetheless have the capacity to injure humans) have been found there.

Other contaminants might not be so obvious. A Pennsylvania couple who converted their farmland into a residential development agreed this month to pay a $20,000 civil penalty because the land had been used for dumping human waste.

The couple also agreed to buy back the lots where the waste was found, and to take back others if further testing turns up more tainted land. A local waste hauler identified places on the property where he had dumped sludge from portable toilets and from residential and commercial sewage customers, according to local news reports.