Mortgage And Real Estate News

Sunday, November 27, 2011

74 downtown Phoenix condos purchased

A California real-estate investment group has purchased 74 unsold condominium units in the high-profile Summit at Copper Square project in downtown Phoenix for $12.7 million.

That works out to about $171,000 each for the units that initially were listed for between $300,000 and $1.2 million.

Still, Hadden Schifman, whose Scottsdale firm Vizzda tracks the commercial real- estate market in metro Phoenix, called the sales price "fairly strong." He noted that some documents pegged the liquidation value of the unsold units at $7.3 million.

Documents show that Howard Wu and Taylor Woods, both principals in Urban Commons LLC of Los Angeles, purchased the units from Scottsdale's Stearns Bank. Stearns foreclosed in July on an original $64 million note secured by the property.

Norm Skalicky, CEO of Stearns Bank, called the sale a "win-win" for both parties.

"The buyers got a great deal, and we were happy with the price," he said

The buyers did not return calls seeking comment on their plans for the property.

The 23-story, multicolored high-rise development, just west of Chase Field, was completed in 2006 at an estimated cost of about $65 million.

When completed, the tower at 310 S. Fourth St.was hailed as a major milestone in the redevelopment of downtown Phoenix as a residential hub.

W Developments LLC sold 91 of the 900- to 1,500-square-foot units at an average price of $415 per square foot before the housing market collapsed in 2008.

After that, sales dried up and the project was beset with lawsuits over unpaid bills. In late 2009, W Developments filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an attempt to avert the Stearns foreclosure action.

W Developments was unable to put together a Chapter 11 reorganization plan acceptable to creditors. Stearns eventually took back the property.

The original lender was First National Bank of Nevada, which was declared insolvent and closed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in 2008. Records show Stearns purchased the note for an estimated $6.4 million.

by Max Jarman The Arizona Republic Nov. 18, 2011 12:00 AM



74 downtown Phoenix condos purchased

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