Willits developer is facing second foreclosure action
October 18, 2010
BASALT – The Chicago development company that has lost control of the undeveloped part of the Willits Town Center project – at least temporarily – now might lose control of its office as well.Alpine Bank initiated a foreclosure action earlier this month against Triangle Park Retail Holdings LLC, a company tied to Chicago developer Joseph Freed & Associates (JFA).The bank claimed Triangle Park Retail Holdings has defaulted on a loan with a balance due of $2,795,104, according to foreclosure documents filed with the Eagle County public trustee. Triangle Park took out a loan for $2.88 million at a fixed interest rate of 8.5 percent in October 2006, the documents say. It was unspecified when Triangle Park allegedly stopped making payments on the loan.Alpine Bank is foreclosing on units C-110 and C-118 in the Triangle Park Lofts Building, the first building, and one of only two, completed in the Willits Town Center core. A foreclosure sale is scheduled for Feb. 9, 2011.JFA’s subsidiary owns a corner space that it uses as an office and a second, vacant commercial space along East Valley Road in the Triangle Park Lofts building. All other spaces are owned by other parties, including some of the restaurateurs and merchants operating there.In a prepared statement, JFA said Friday it intends to regain control of the units, as it aims to do with the undeveloped portion of the project, which includes a proposed Whole Foods Market.Bank of America repossessed a major portion of Willits Town Center last month in a separate foreclosure action. Bank of America claimed JFA defaulted on a loan with $36 million remaining in the principal.The property went to foreclosure sale but Bank of America was the only bidder. Meanwhile, a court-appointed receiver, Cordes and Co. from Denver, is overseeing day-to-day operations of the project.The fate of another portion of Willits Town Center, which includes the Whole Food supermarket space, is tied to a lawsuit scheduled to go to trial this month.Despite the tangled web involving ownership of the project, JFA officials remain confident they will regain control of the project.”We were disappointed by Alpine Bank’s reaction to a minor delay in payment, but look forward to resolving this issue at the same time as the issues involving the Bank of America loan,” JFA’s statement said. “Our outside capital investors are currently in productive conversations to resolve the loan issues to enable the Willits Town Center project to continue to move forward.”Other parties may also be interested in acquiring the undeveloped portion of Willits – even though no bids were placed in the foreclosure sale. “There are multiple parties looking closely at the Willits assets,” said Mike Staheli, the project manager for the receiver.Basalt Planning Director Susan Philp said about five parties have visited Town Hall to inquire about the land-use approvals at Willits Town Center.It is unknown if Bank of America has a deadline for selling the stalled development email@example.com
• April 2010 – Bank of America starts a foreclosure action on a large, undeveloped portion of Willits Town Center. The lender alleges Joseph Freed and Associates (JFA) defaulted on a loan with $36 million remaining in principal.• April 2010 – A judge approved a restraining order on the foreclosure proceedings on a small portion of Willits Town Center that includes the proposed Whole Foods Market store. The stay is approved because the general contractor and subcontractors maintain they have a superior lien on the property. That lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial this month.• September 2010 – Bank of America places an initial bid of $10,545,000 on part of Willits Town Center in a foreclosure sale. No other bidder emerges. The lender was required by law to submit the opening bid. JFA announces it has an investor lined up and remains in negotiations with Bank of America to acquire Willits Town Center.• October 2010 – Alpine Bank starts a foreclosure action unrelated to Bank of America’s action. Alpine claims a company related to JFA defaulted on a loan with principal of $2,795,104. It is foreclosing on two commercial spaces JFA holds at the Triangle Park Lofts, a building constructed by Michael Lipkin before JFA bought into the project. The foreclosure sale is scheduled for Feb. 9, 2011. JFA says it still aims to acquire its former holdings.