Today's the day for developer Sonny Astani, who will appear in a downtown court in an attempt to convince a judge to allow him to proceed with closing sales on those 77 units at his downtown Concerto development. If you're just catching up, here's the backstory: Buyers purchased 77 units at a sale earlier this year, but then Astani put Concerto in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, all part of a tactical move to essentially protect the property from the new owner (lender Corus bank was taken over by the FDIC, who then turned around and sold all of Corus' assets to Starwood Capital). This morning, the case was briefly heard, but then continued until the afternoon. Here's what we know so far: There's a new owner of the loan. Meet Corus Construction Ventures LLC, which has ties to Starwood Capital.
Lawyers for Corus Construction Ventures LLC were present for a brief hearing this morning, but per a request from Astani's lawyers, the hearing has been continued till this 1pm. The courtroom was packed with both buyers (the 30-something looking guy sitting next to us had taken the day off from work to see if his condo would be able to close) and lawyers. And so far, things seem very good for Astani. His lawyers told the judge that Corus Construction Ventures and Astani's reps were very close to finalizing what sounds like a deal to release the units to buyers. The hearing is set to resume at 1 pm, but again, at this point, it sounds like Astani's gamble has paid off and the units will be released. (The judge has told the courtroom he has to leave at 1:45 pm for a doctor's appointment so we know the 1 pm hearing won't drag on, and hopefully some sort of decision will be made in that timeframe.)
*The word entity was originally used to describe the relationship with Starwood. We understood there is a relationship, but the word "entity" is incorrect.
UPDATE: Part II is here.
· Sonny Astani Puts Downtown's Concerto in Chapter 11 [Curbed LA]