Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tempe condo towers up for sale by CB Richard Ellis

by Angelique Soenarie The Arizona Republic Apr. 24, 2010 12:00 AM

Early next week the mostly-built Centerpoint condominium towers in downtown Tempe will be listed for sale by CB Richard Ellis.

The condominium project recently failed to sell at a foreclosure auction, which forced Peoria-based lender ML Manager LLC to take over the property.

A price will not be listed, but offers will be accepted for the property, said Mark Winkleman, ML Manager chief operating officer
. Already, he said, there has been interest from all over the country.

"It's attracted very prominent and well-capitalized buyers in the country," he said. "We're approaching 200 inquires and with zero marketing from around the country."

Five years ago, the Centerpoint development, which began near Maple and Sixth streets, was to include 375 condos, an upscale retail plaza, fine dining and a winery.

The Tempe City Council waived height requirements to approve the 22- and 30-story buildings. But now local stakeholders see the vacant towers as an unsightly problem.

Winkleman said the possibility of a buyer tearing down the towers to develop something else is unlikely.

He said the development could become high-end rental property, student housing or assisted living.

Winkleman said the inability to sell the condominiums at the recent foreclosure auction "was merely the lender foreclosing. We were expecting the bid to be substantially higher."

He said the minimum bid started at $8 million and could have gone up to $135 million, which was Mortgages Ltd.'s loan to Tempe Land Co. LLC, the former developer of Centerpoint. Tempe Land is a subsidiary of Tempe-based Avenue Communities LLC. Winkleman expects the development will sell in the next 45 to 60 days.

"Unfortunately, it won't recover all of it," Winkleman said. "No one has suffered worse losses than our investors. It's a tough situation."

Tempe condo towers up for sale by CB Richard Ellis

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