Creditors push for Dancing Bear-Aspen bankruptcy | AspenTimes.com

Creditors push for Dancing Bear-Aspen bankruptcy

ASPEN – Five creditors have taken steps to push the owners of the Dancing Bear Residences-Aspen into bankruptcy, just days after a federal judge in Denver dismissed a Chapter 11 filing made by the financially saddled development.

On Thursday, an involuntary petition was filed in the U.S. District Bankruptcy Court in Denver, in an effort to place DB Capital Holdings LLC, the Aspen-based owner of the real estate project, into bankruptcy.

The unsecured creditors include PGA golfer Fred Funk, who also was an investor in the project. Funk, according to the involuntary petition, is owed $354,166 for marketing and promoting the project.

Other creditors include G.D.B.S. at Snowmass Village, which claims it’s owed $54,000 for a lease in Basalt; California-based Realty Financial Resources Inc. ($25,000); William Dennis of Jacksonville, Fla. ($300,000); and architectural firm O’Bryan Partnership of Frisco ($11,132).

All told, the sum owed to the five creditors is $744,298, according to the petition.

The attorney for the creditors, Jeffrey S. Brinen, did not return a telephone message left at his Denver office Monday.

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The move came just four days after Judge Michael E. Romero dismissed DB’s Chapter 11 filing on June 21.

The ruling was made in response to a motion made by Aspen HH Ventures, which invested $6 million in the project and argued DB’s May 27 bankruptcy was made “in bad faith” in a bid to stave off receivership proceedings in Pitkin County District Court.

That’s the venue in which Aspen HH Ventures and another investor, WestLB, have sued DB Capital Holdings, contending that DB Capital defaulted on loans made to finance the project’s construction. Both lenders are secured creditors.

In its bankruptcy filing, DB Capital holdings reported that it owes $56 million to WestLB, the Germany-based lender that financed most of the project.

Jim DeFrancia, the Pitkin County Court appointed receiver who’s been overseeing the Dancing Bear’s finances since May, said the involuntary petition would not affect his role for now.

“I’m not quite sure what the creditors who filed this expect to achieve, but it’s not my place to speculate,” he said Monday.

The Dancing Bear fractional-ownership project was billed as a two-phase development, but only the first phase, located at the corner of Monarch Street and Durant Avenue, has been completed. Construction on the second phase came to halt when financing dried up.

rcarroll@aspentimes.com