Although the receiver handling Potala Village has called for selling the Kirkland-based project, along with others owned by an Everett-based developer accused by fraud, it continues to move forward with the city’s design review board process.
Lobsang Dargey, Potala’s owner, is being sued in federal court by the SEC for allegedly raising more than $125 million through sales of securities to at least 250 investors for Path America and the Potala Place development in Everett. After filing the lawsuit in August, SEC filed a motion to appoint a receiver over Potala Village Kirkland and other LLCs owned by Dargey, to “ensure that their remaining assets are not dissipated or unnecessarily subject to loss in value during the pendency of this litigation.”
The SEC complaint alleges that Dargey and Path America used the EB-5 system, which allows foreign nationals who invest at least $500,000 in a project that generates or preserves at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers to qualify for residency in the United States, to raise money from Chinese investors by encouraging them to invest in Potala Place and Potala Tower. However, instead he allegedly misappropriated $17.6 million, $14.7 million involving Potala Shoreline LLC and Potala Village Kirkland LLC, which are not eligible for the EB-5 visa program.
Potala Village Kirkland met with the DVB early last month and has a meeting scheduled for March 7. Unless Dargey pulls out of the design review phase altogether, the legal complaints won’t affect the process.
The proposed project would be a 138,434-square-foot, three-story building that would include approximately 7,000 square feet of ground floor retail space on the north and south corners of the building, as well as 58 residential units on the second and third floor.
According to Senior Planner Angela Ruggeri, the latest DVB meeting concluded with recommendations for changing the design of the driveway to make it closer to Lake Street.
“That requires considerable design change and it’s just a lot of work on their part,” she said. “They’re trying to figure it if they’ll have everything done by that meeting.”