Rash of foreclosures hits commercial properties

By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.

Foreclosure proceedings have started on a number of South Florida commercial properties with their owners facing lawsuits or being forced to relinquish the properties.

A nearly 74,000-square-foot office building in Boca Raton, known as the Courtyard, has gone into foreclosure. The owners owe just more than $5 million on the property and have been sued. They purchased the property in 1999 at a cost of $9 million, but the appraiser in Palm Beach County has put the current value at $7.5 million.

In West Palm Beach, a 57,940-square-foot office building has changed hands in lieu of foreclosure. The building, Commerce Pointe, was signed over in exchange for forgiveness of the outstanding mortgage. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has offices in Commerce Pointe.

In Parkland, the Riverstone Shoppes center has been acquired by Tate Capital of North Miami. Last year, a commercial mortgage-backed securities trust sued the holder of the $12.8 million mortgage. More recently, the securities firm liquidated the loan, losing 72 percent of the loan value. That center has several vacancies among its 64,153 square feet.

Elsewhere in the area, the owner of three area gas stations also faces a foreclosure lawsuit as a South Florida bank is seeking to collect on its $3 million mortgage.

The stations, located in Lauderhill, Sunrise and Miramar, are owned by a Palm Beach County man who filed personal bankruptcy earlier this year. When he filed his bankruptcy papers, his holdings already had been sued 29 times. Much of his self-reported $30 million debt stems from convenience stores and gas stations he owns.

And in Miami-Dade County, a closed assisted-living facility will be auctioned off after a bank won its lawsuit against the owner over a $2.7 million mortgage. The facility closed in September following a rash of reports that residents had been mistreated.

That property, on 5.7 acres along Southwest 137th Avenue, sold for $6.1 million in 2005.

Source: South Florida Business Journal “Boca Raton office building hit with foreclosure,” Brian Bandell, Dec. 16, 2011