A historic Ijamsville farm property is now in the hands of one of the most controversial property owners in Frederick.

Myung and Duk Hee Ro bought the 25.6-acre estate of M. Robert Ritchie, a well-known county businessman, in Manor at Holly Hills for $920,000 at a Feb. 19 auction, according to state property records.

The Manor at Holly Hills property, at 9798-A Ormonds Terrace, is the largest and most prominent property in the 21-lot community. It sits at the top of a hill and is visible from Ijamsville Road, and includes a historic two-story log and stone house built in the early 1800s, a modern house, a barn built in the late 1800s, two garages, smaller outbuildings and stables.

The Ros own several other properties in the county, including high-profile vacant buildings in downtown Frederick such as the old Asiana building at 123-125 N. Market St. and another building at 300-304 N. Market St.

Those two properties are on the city of Frederick’s blighted property list, due to previous code violations and health and safety issues at the buildings. The Ros recently did major repair work to the Asiana building after a court case with the city, although the building is still condemned and vacant.

Duk Hee Ro did not respond to requests for comment Monday or Tuesday.

The Holly Hills property is listed on the Maryland Historical Trust inventory of historic places, as its history stretches back to the late 1700s as a farm and the residence of prominent local figures.

Ritchie, who developed Holly Hills Country Club and Golf Course, along with Manor at Holly Hills, bought the property in the 1950s with his wife, Harriette Benchoff Ritchie, said Rocky Mackintosh, president of MacRo, the real estate service selling Manor at Holly Hills. Robert Ritchie died in 2013 at age 100.

There is no historical protection on the house, as it is not on the Frederick County Register of Historic Places or the National Register, said Denis Superczynski, a principal planner for Frederick County.

Yet the Ros will have to carefully maintain the property, and will be restricted to using the property for residential purposes, as it is part of the Manor at Holly Hills homeowner association, and its use is restricted by land covenants, Mackintosh said.

The covenants state that the property can be used only as a residence and not for commercial purposes, must be maintained in good order, condition and repair, and any changes to structures must comply with the association’s design guidelines.

Mackintosh said when he was trying to sell the property about a year ago, Duk Hee Ro contacted him, and he showed her the property.

“She had told me her thoughts were to live there,” he said, “but after showing the house, I didn’t pursue the sale any further.”

The Ros still own their house on Camelot Court, which was built in 1982 and sits on 6.39 acres, according to state property records. That house is less than a mile southwest of the Holly Hills property.

Historic land

The Ritchie estate was originally part of a 480-acre tract of land owned by Nathan Hammond, a notable merchant and landowner in the county, and then his son, Ormond Hammond, according to a 2009 historic review of the property. Through generations, the Hammond family used the land for growing tobacco and other crops. It was noted in the mid-1850s that the land had an excellent orchard and a blacksmith shop and stable, according to the records.

The land once hosted the Frederick Pony Club, the New Market Hunt Club and various other equestrian activities in the latter half of the 20th century, according to the Manor at Holly Hills website.

Robert Ritchie’s vision for Manor at Holly Hills was for a high-end community, and the community was important to him, Mackintosh said.

“Overall, it’s a beautiful place, and we are really proud of it,” he said.

Follow Jen Fifield on Twitter: @JenAFifield.

(23) comments

elymus43

Hopefully, this property will not become a BLIGHTED PROPERTY???????

sue1955

My jaw dropped when I saw this headline and read the article. This is beyond outrageous. I'm just shaking my head. This is all just total insanity.

DeDeuceCoupe32

The Ro's enjoy a quality of life for themselves. Their tenants, contractors, or others beware.

newspostreader

I'm not even sure if they enjoy their own house. The aerial view of their current property shows a big home, a pool and tennis courts, but non of it looks maintained. The yard looks to be more dead grass than alive. The courts look like weeds and debris have taken over and it looks like a good bit of random junk around the house. Not really surprised though.

abowers1

Duk Hee Ro - destroying Frederick's historical architecture, one building at a time.

FrederickFan

If by saying, "...the Ros will have to carefully maintain the property..." Mr. Mackintosh really means it could take years before noticeably large chunks of the buildings start breaking off, or before the first roof finally caves in, I would have to agree with him.

In the meantime, the "Manor at Holly Hills Homeowner Association" may want to reallocate a few dollars out of pool furniture maintenance into the covenant issues legal resolution budget.

KellyAlzan

You don't get rich by being dumb. I'm impressed!

DeDeuceCoupe32

Or who you defecate on in the process getting there, even more impressive.

nbouqu1

Wow! Racist much FrederickVeteran?

I am no fan of the Ros but that was uncalled for

niceund

A sin!!?

CynnicalSid

It IS April Fools Day! And the citizens of Frederick have been fooled but not by the Ro's.

Code Enforcement inspected the Asiana and said all the work was done and the building was in compliance! Then they uncondemned the building! (It was only re-condemned when someone started asking too many questions).

The legal department declared a the required work was corrected and dropped all the fines.

The Mayor also proudly claimed all the work on the building was complete and nothing was overlooked!

NONE of the work was completed! The inspections were falsified and The Ro's are laughing all the way to the bank!

Happy April Fools Day Frederick! Courtesy of City Hall!

Reader1954

they snub their nose at the city government, they sure won't worry about any HOA rules

Reader1954

there goes the neighborhood

dcg326

Gee ,look Americans , they make plenty here as some watch and complain.Its called freedom in the USA.Yes some want this in Richie family , gone now too late ,,Americans born here.Did they work for what they have????Lots live off government contracts and government hand outs of our taxes.Freedom to buy what they wish,no discrimintion, remember Americans passed the laws.Now complain ,not some choice for ownership. cannot stop the sale.Really news????/Let them live as they wish.

ESF530

I agree with everyone. I worked downtown long enough to watch Asiana go from a thriving business, damaged by fire, and sit condemned for years. Now the "owners" who claim to have no money go out and buy a million dollar home? Nice trick if you can get away with it. Kind of reminded me of the defendants in Backruptcy court who testified before I did...you could tell they were lying through their teeth. I who had no assests, scared to death sat up there and told the truth.

jwhamann

How much more bizarre can this tale get? I'm sure it will, though.

nollynn

What is she up to now? You have to wonder.

prg202

Bob and Harriet Ritchie would be appalled. I certainly am. Hard to tell what will happen to this beautiful property now. If they can afford to buy this property, they can afford to bring up to snuff the old Bennett Department Store property (Asiana). Or maybe they could sell this one to be able to buy the Ritchie Estate.

Dwasserba

[thumbup]
Or sell their other house in the neighborhood!
But likely their concern is not about the red faces in their wake or making the Asiana worthy of its prime location.

youshouldknowbetter

They are trying to rent 300-304 N. Market St. And it has been condemned and was ready to fall in on itself at one time

Christinlewin

She tried to rent 304 to me for $1200/month in Fall of 2016

RLMC

Potential problems for Holly Hills owners association! These people don't believe in the rules the rest of us try to abide by.

Dwasserba

I am hoping to be thrilled when they sell something and use the proceeds to rent or sell their most visible controversial properties.
If not, I hope the mansion has some noisy and annoying ghosts.

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