Is Crye-Leike The Next Company to Fold?

Not likely. This appears to be an isolated case where Harold Crye happens to be the defendant. Although, I have spoken with a few people close to the situation who are quick to point out that Mr. Crye did build quite a few commercial developments over the past decade and that his commercial real estate division seems to be in trouble. I have no way to confirm these claims except to agree that I have seen quite a few vacancies in Crye-Leike anchored strip centers.

Here is the original article entitled “Realtor Crye sued over land deal” which appeared in the Nashville Post on June 4th, 2009. The article was written by Kyle Swenson:

‘A lawsuit was filed this week against longtime real estate fixture Harold Crye, co-founder of one of the region’s largest residential brokerages.

The suit, filed in Davidson County Chancery Court, was brought by former real estate entrepreneur Robert A. Sharp Sr. over a soured real estate transaction. Crye is an individual defendant only; Crye-Leike Realtors is not named in the suit.

According to the court filing, Sharp and Crye, acting through his living trust, entered into a December 2006 agreement for the financing and sale of of 194.5 acres in Fairview.

Sharp, who formerly ran real estate firm Sharp & Sharp, financed $1.4 million of the purchase price in the form of a promissory note. With a deed of trust note dated April 23, 2007, “the Trust promised to repay Mr. Sharp, all amounts advanced thereunder.”

In February of this year, the parties agreed to amend the promissory note. The filing states that the parties agreed to lop $300,000 off the original $1.4 million if Crye could pay the remaining $1.1 million by March 31. When that date arrived and no payment was made, Sharp extended the deadline another 30 days. That date also passed with the sum unpaid, the suit alleges.

The filing also alleges Crye breached his original contract by failing to uphold his responsibility to handle the “leasing, management, and maintenance” of two residences located on the property.

The complaint asks the court to award Sharp $1.1 million and compensatory damages.

“This matter reflects how quickly the commercial real estate financing market had deteriorated, especially as it relates to raw land zoned for residential development,” Sharp’s attorney, Russell Harwell, with Adams and Reese, told

An employee at Crye-Leike Realtors said Crye was traveling Thursday and could not be reached for comment.’