Theodore N. Lerner, one of the developers of the Tysons II retail and office development in Northern Virginia, came out $1.5 million ahead Friday after the state Supreme Court ruled that he is entitled to a deposit on a land deal that collapsed in 1981.

At that time, Lerner agreed to pay $35 million to become sole owner of the tract off Route 123, where Tysons II is to be located, and paid the deposit prior to the transaction's scheduled closing in 1982. However, Lerner backed out of the deal after the Virginia Department of Highways and Transportation quarreled over proposed access roads, one of his attorneys, Richard W. Hausler, said.

Lerner sued the Gudelsky Co., from whom he was supposed to buy the property, for return of his deposit.

Writing for the majority, Virginia Justice Charles S. Russell said the highway department's refusal to grant road changes constituted a change of the conditions under which Lerner agreed to buy the property, and he was thus entitled to a return of his money.

Following the collapse of his deal with Gudelsky, Lerner became a coowner of the Tysons II project in another deal and has agreed to meet conditions for opening roads to the development.