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Concerto Heads to Court Planning for a Sale

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, January 18, 2011, at 08:23AM
Concerto Mikey Wally

Concerto's 77-unit loft building stands in front of the 30-story tower that has been at the center of a bankruptcy fight since 2009.

Lawyers head back to bankruptcy court this morning to argue over the funds needed to restart construction and complete Concerto's 30-story residential tower, a structure that developer Sonny Astani hopes to sell within the next two weeks.

During a deposition taken last week, Astani said that the property at 9th and Figueroa is currently listed for $200 million and has received "more than one bid." Astani declined to specify whether the written offers were for the asking price.

Construction on the 271-unit tower and its neighboring 77-unit loft building started in May of 2006. Sales for all units in the low-rise loft building have closed as of the end of the year, but it would be up to a buyer to decide whether to keep the tower units condo or convert them to rentals.

Astani said that his company's tentative plan is to choose between the bids in the last week of January, after which the sale would be required to close within thirty days.

The development has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy since 2009, when the developer made the move in an attempt to close sales after construction lender Corus Bank folded. Astani has since been in a very public fight with the FDIC and Starwood Capital Group, the investment firm that purchased the loan. The lender shut down construction in November.

Wednesday's hearing is focused on Astani's motion for approval of the roughly $3 million needed to finish construction on the tower and the lender's motion to appoint a bankruptcy trustee to manage the project.

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