New owner says "‘Resolving’ $8 million in liens, re-signing Whole Foods Market are priorities"… Construction stalled on the supermarket building in September 2008 when JFA ran out of financing. The foundation was poured and much of the infrastructure was completed, but the construction site has been abandoned for 2 1/2 years, a casualty of the Great Recession.
ASPEN BASALT REAL ESTATE — The Kansas firm that acquired the Willits Town Center development in Basalt last week in foreclosure proceedings aims to resolve financial issues plaguing the project and resume construction soon.The firm has started talks designed to get Whole Foods Market re-signed as the anchor tenant for the project. Whole Foods signed leases twice to locate at Willits Town Center, but both were terminated when the former owner couldn’t construct the grocery store building. Ryan Anderson, co-president of Mariner Real Estate Management, said he couldn’t lay out a specific timetable for resuming construction yet because of the two major unresolved issues. “We’re excited about the project and hope to get going as soon as possible,” he said. Mariner needs to “resolve” nearly $8 million in mechanics’ liens filed by the contractor and subcontractors for work they performed on the Whole Foods building, he said. The construction firms contend they weren’t paid by former owner, Joseph Freed & Associates (JFA). They established a superior claim for their liens in a court case. Anderson said resolving the mechanics liens’ is Mariner’s “number one priority.”
By Scott Condon, May, 14 2011, AT
Photo courtesy of AT: Stalled construction site of planned Whole Foods Market, Willits Town Center, Basalt, CO