Ever since an entity of the FDIC and a group from Starwood Capital took over that loan on the Concerto project, things have been fairly fractious between developer Sonny Astani and the new loan owners. At that bankruptcy hearing back in October, Astani complained that the Starwood contingent was dragging its feet when it came to hammering out a budget to complete the tower. It sounds like the relationship has just gotten worse. The Wall Street Journal covers the drama, which has both parties bickering. The Journal reports that "a spokesman for Corus Construction says the Concerto loan is in default, which Mr. Astani disputes." And more: "Corus Construction said Thursday that a tentative agreement has been reached with Mr. Astani that would allow the project to continue and the real-estate developer to retain ownership. Mr. Astani said there is no such agreement." Harmonious! Who knows what's really going on, and if anyone is just using the press to gripe, but the bigger story here is the complicated relationship between these new private-public entities, and the developer, who is basically has to give up a lot of power. In the case of Concerto, what's at stake is the tower, the retail space and the one-acre park. The grassy area atop the lofts* (not the park), and the second unbuilt tower are pictured with the arrows.
· L.A. Project Gets Caught in Limbo [WSJ]