Foreclosure looms for One Steamboat Place as investors insist deal will be reached
Steamboat Springs — The foreclosure sale related to nearly $100 million in unpaid construction debt at One Steamboat Place is two weeks away, and the deadline has passed for the original investors to cure or redeem the matter. But Timbers Resorts CEO David Burden said he and the development’s investors continue to work with the lending banks and expect to reach an agreement.
“My investors are very capable, and we’re positive they’ll have it worked out with the banks,” Burden said by telephone from Florida on Wednesday. “Negotiations are continuing. We’re more than optimistic, and we’re aware the banks have taken a strategic position from a legal standpoint and that we’ll endure another round of negative PR.”
Routt County Public Trustee Jeanne Whiddon said the sale is scheduled for 10 a.m. March 16 in the hall outside her office in the lower level of the Routt County Courthouse in downtown Steamboat Springs.
Third-party investors may bid to acquire the unsold portions of the 465,000-square-foot condominium building at the base of the ski area through the sale.
Whiddon said at this late date she would be surprised if either the status of foreclosure proceedings changed, or if another party came forward with a hefty check for the full amount of the debt.
“I doubt very much that will happen,” Whiddon said. “It’s too late for the investors to remedy the foreclosure unless the lenders allowed it. I haven’t had anyone bid against the bank (in a foreclosure sale) for more than 18 months, and in this case they’d have to come up with a cashier’s check for the full amount of the outstanding debt plus fees and interest by 2 p.m.” on the date of the sale.
Burden said pending resolution of the foreclosure, he’s certain that Timbers Resorts will remain in the management role of One Steamboat Place and that it will continue to host guests regardless.
“This is my opinion, but if anything happens with the property, there might be a very short-term disruption, a disruption in that we may not be able to close (any sales) for a very short time,” Burden said.
OSP General Manager Lance Thompson said a growing number of Steamboat residents buying social membership to the resort property, combined with owners and vacationing guests, have made it a positive winter.
“Our wine tasting every Friday draws more than 100 people, and après ski for owners and guests is busy,” Thompson said. “I’m proud of the service we provide every day. One Steamboat Place has been vibrant this winter even with the overlying challenge we’ve been dealing with.”
Burden added the homeowners association remains strong and the investors were impressed during a recent site visit.
“They were just out there and told me they can’t believe the amount of activity there,” he said. “We just had 30 walk-ins (at the sales office) and there is new activity, I mean some really serious people looking at whole ownership.”
The last developer sale at One Steamboat Place was a 2,388-square-foot, four-bedroom condo that sold for $1.8 million Jan. 26.
7 lending banks
The notice of election and demand that constitutes the foreclosure was filed here in November. The outstanding debt at the time was $100.49 million on a $165 million note. Documents at the courthouse reflect that the debt balance has been reduced to $99.7 million.
Seven banks took part in the original loan, including Alpine Bank, which has a branch in Steamboat Springs. The largest share — $58 million — was extended by the New York branch of a German banking corporation, WestLB AG. In response to a phone request for an interview, Matthew Trinidad, an Aspen lawyer representing the banks, responded by e-mail: “The lenders respectfully decline to comment at this time.”
Burden emphasized during an interview in November that the condominiums that already have sold at One Steamboat Place are not subject to the foreclosure proceedings, nor are the public spaces that include a grand lobby, spa and exercise rooms and an owners’ retreat with wine storage.
One Steamboat Place broke ground in late summer 2007 and continued construction through a record snow winter. It posted $15.25 million in sales during its first round of closings in November 2009. The project includes 80 large condominiums with 38 whole-ownership vacation homes among them.
— To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or e-mail tross@SteamboatToday.com
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