Banks seek more time, info on Welkowitz deal

Local banks are telling a Lancaster County court that they need more time and information to assess a deal that would settle debts from the estate of the late developer Richard Welkowitz.

Which creditors: The Welkowitz estate owes about $211.3 million to more than a dozen banks and other creditors. Four banks have stepped forward to contest the ATM deal.

  • They are Harrisburg-based Centric Financial, York-based PeoplesBank, York-based Traditions Bank and Montgomery County-based Univest Bank & Trust.
  • The estate’s debt to Univest is secured by the ATMs, while the debt to PeoplesBank is unsecured, according to court filings.
  • Centric and Traditions have both unsecured debt and debt secured by the ATMs.
  • Spokespeople for the four banks declined to comment.
  • An attorney for the estate, Alex Snyder of law firm Barley Snyder, declined to comment but confirmed that the matter remains open before the court.

What’s the holdup: In general, the four banks say they need more time and information before they can sign off on the estate’s sale of its ATM stake to Heller. Heller already owns a minority share in the ATM ventures.

  • In legal filings, the banks describe the estate as cooperative and communicative.
  • Nonetheless, they are asking for more information about the estate’s finances and its efforts to find other buyers for the ATM assets.

What’s next: A hearing on the matter is scheduled in Lancaster County court for Oct. 7.

The background: Welkowitz committed suicide in December 2019, leaving behind tens of millions of dollars in debt to local banks and others.

  • Welkowitz was the low-profile head of Blackford Development, the firm behind North Cornwall Commons in Lebanon County and a host of other developments in Lancaster County and beyond, according to a rare 2015 profile in the Central Penn Business Journal.

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