Some good news for buyers who’d purchased units in the loft portion of downtown's Concerto building earlier this year: Today a bankruptcy judge ruled that sales could proceed at developer Sonny Astani’s project. Judge Vincent Zurzolo's ruling also means that proceeds from the units can be used to finish the tower portion of the development at Figueroa and 9th streets. "I'm very happy," said Nathalie Bui, one of a handful of buyers who showed up at today's hearing at the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building on Temple Street (the hearing had been continued from Monday). For those just catching up, shortly after the August sale, the bank’s lender, Corus Bank, was taken over by the FDIC. The FDIC sold the loan to Corus Construction Ventures LLC. Starwood Capital has a 40 percent stake/the FDIC has a 60 percent stake in Corus Construction Ventures LLC, and it's said they bought the loan for $80 million (the original Corus-held loan was $160 million). Unable to buy back the original loan, and worried about risks from the new ownership structure, Astani put the building in Chapter 11, which complicated the process of closing sales on the units.
Meanwhile, Corus Construction Ventures LLC has a few weeks to approve the budget for the project, but in that time, no work can be done on the tower portion, a topic that was addressed by Astani. "We’re pleased that the sale was approved,” said Astani after the ruling. “But we hope that FDCI/Starwood are going to cooperate with the approvals and finalization of the budget so we can complete the project before the rainy season.”
Indeed, given that Astani is paying interest on the loan, obviously he is interested in getting the tower finished and seeing the sales process completed. Following the budget approval, the tower portion will take about three months to complete, according to Astani. Prices will also have to be determined in the tower, he said.
· Loft Portion of Concerto Sells Out at Big Downtown Sale [Curbed LA]