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Concerto Bankruptcy Hearing, Part II: Watch the Influence, Politicos

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We're covering developer Sonny Astani's Concerto project, which had an important hearing today in downtown bankruptcy court. Part I is here.

The court hearing for developer Sonny Astani's Concerto project resumed today at 1 pm, but was ultimately continued until Thursday at 10:30 am. But from what lawyers for the Concerto project said in the afternoon, it sounds like there's an agreement in place with new owner Corus Construction Ventures LLC to release the units to buyers (lawyers for Astani simply asked for more time to finalize the paperwork). Many buyers turned out today to see what would happen. Nathalie Bui, who purchased unit 510 and lives in West Covina, came out to watch the hearing. "I've been waiting two months," she said. "So I have been feeling anxious. I wanted to see what would happen." But Bui and other buyers were also sent emails last week by reps for Concerto, asking for their support at the hearing. "I think they wanted us to come out to 'humanize' the hearing," said Bui (the email is after the jump). Meanwhile, before allowing the continuance, Judge Vincent Zurzolo had a rather interesting announcement: He stated that he'd received letters in support of Astani from the Mayor's office and from City Councilwoman Jan Perry's office, as well as a business group in Central City. "The letters will be returned," Judge Zurzolo said. Strongly admonishing anyone in the room who may have had a hand in encouraging such letters, he said that he had stopped reading the letters once he realized who'd sent them. He also indicated that it was entirely inappropriate that such letters had been sent at all, and that they would not be considered in this bankruptcy case.

This email was sent last week, shortly after Concerto's loan was sold on October 16th:

Dear CONCERTO Buyers:

We appreciate your continued patience. We have just learned that the FDIC sold our loan to Starwood Capital. We have already reached out to Starwood and have an appointment scheduled to meet with them later this week. Our hope is to gain their support and convince them that approving the sales makes good business sense because it’s a win-win situation for you, the subcontractors, us and Starwood.
Nonetheless, as you know next Tuesday, Oct. 27th at 11am we have our Hearing with Judge Zurzolo who will rule on our case pertaining to our sale to you. If you can make a few hours on the 27th, we think it would be crucial that you attend the Hearing so that Judge Zurzolo will see the human side of his decision. Unfortunately it is difficult to predict these events and they will more than likely run late. The Hearing will take place at:

U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Edward Roybal Building
Courtroom 1368
255 E. Temple Street
Los Angeles 90012

Your support is much appreciated. Thank you again for your patience. We hope to see you on Tuesday.

Best regards,

Concerto Staff

And today, Concerto staff sent another email:

Since our last communication, we'd like to offer you the following update:

As you know our motion to approve the sales of the Loft residences was heard before the court-appointed Judge today.

More time was needed for due diligence and court proceedings have been rescheduled for Thursday, October 27th at 10:30.

We will keep you posted and you will hear from us immediately following the ruling on Thursday.

Thank you so much for your patience!


Concerto Sales
900 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015