Two Bundoran Farm Developers Killed in Plane Crash

Two Bundoran Farm Developers Killed in Plane Crash

The Bundoran Farm development suffered a tragic loss Wednesday, June 14, when Qroe Companies CEO Robert Baldwin and Regional Director David Brown died in a plane crash around 11:30am. Baldwin, 75, and Brown, 55, were en route to the property from New Hampshire, where the company headquarters are located. Their single-engine, six-seater Beechcraft plane crashed in rough weather while preparing to land at a private landing strip on the property several miles south of Charlottesville, off Plank Road. The cause of the crash was undetermined as of press time.
Robert Baldwin founded Qroe Companies, and has developed 10 other properties that limit residential development in favor of preserving streams, farms and forests through interlocking easements. Only 88 buildable lots are planned for Bundoran Farm’s 2,301 acres, a site on which zoning ordinances would allow 163 lots.
David Brown had ties to the area beyond Bundoran: His daughter Pam Brown recently graduated from UVA.
The Qroe Companies executives were scheduled to meet last week with environmental consultants from Audubon International, the nonprofit organization that is helping plan and implement environmental sustainability at the site.
“They were the good guys—they were really trying to make something special happen here,” says Susan Payne, a Qroe marketing partner with Payne, Ross and Associates. She says the company plans to hold a local memorial service for the men in the fall.
It remains to be seen what this means for the development. “All we’re doing right now is working with the families,” says David Hamilton, Bundoran Farm project manager.—Will Goldsmith