The last time there was a mention of 9900 Wilshire, the planned Richard Meier-designed condo project, was back in March. That was when Candy & Candy---the dashing British brother team of Nick and Chris Candy, and the development managers on the project--laid off its Beverly Hills staff and said they were looking to resolve the financing of the project (Chris Candy’s Guernsey-based CPC Group and investor Richard Caring are the developers of the property). You'll recall that back in the fall of 2008, lender Banco Inbursa filed a notice of default on the site. Well, in June, Mexico apparently decided it wanted its money back because it filed a civil suit in LA Superior Court seeking judicial foreclosure on the 8-acre site (which includes the old Robinsons-May), claiming the developer's failure to repay a $356 million loan. Banco Inbursa is part of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu's empire (he's the same guy that bailed out the New York Times). And $356 million is quite a bit of money.
In response to Banco Inbursa's suit, lawyers for the development--listed as Project Lotus LLC---filed papers on July 9th. They didn’t contest the foreclosure, and essentially, said, "Hey, take the land." But three weeks ago, on July 23rd, Banco Inbursa withdrew its suit. Why? That’s where things get hazy. In an email to Curbed, a rep for Candy & Candy expressed total bafflement at what's going on. "The Lender Group withdrew their claim. We do not know why," wrote the spokesperson.* Lawyers for Banco Inbursa didn't return calls. So there really aren't a lot of answers, but things look quite dicey for the developers. You'll recall that CPC and Caring paid $500 million for the site at Wilshire and Santa Monica Blvd, purchasing the land from New Pacific Realty, a Beverly Hills real estate company that’d paid just $33.5 million for the land three years earlier.
And here's how the site was looking last Sunday:
[Pic of the Candy Brothers via Evening Standard; Rendering of 9900 Wilshire, right, via 9900beverlyhills.com]
* An earlier version of the story quoted the Candy & Candy rep by name; the word spokesperson has replaced the rep's name