‘Merchant Builder’ Model Worked Well Until Credit Crunch Dealt Blows to Asset Sales and Debt Refinancing

Opus Corp., until recently one of the largest private real-estate developers in the nation, is facing the biggest crisis in its 56-year history, showing how the recession is humbling even companies once regarded as well-managed.The problems of Opus also could be an early indicator of trouble brewing for private real-estate companies, whose struggles often remain quiet until they end up in court.”The question is, is Opus the canary in the coal mine,” said Stephen Blank, a senior resident fellow for real-estate finance with the Urban Land Institute. “There are any number of large private developers, who have the same potential issues.”
By Christina S.N. Lewis, July 15, 2009, WSJ

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