Bank of America foreclosed on the Willits property in April in an effort to collect on $36 million in outstanding debt from a $56 million loan that Willits Town Center Partners LLC took out in 2007 for the project from LaSalle Bank of Chicago, which Bank of America acquired in late 2007. The debt, with interest and other fees, has now risen to $38.2 million.Joseph Freed and Associates has recently made an offer to Bank of America to buy back the entire Willits Town Center project, but Thompson said the bank has yet to respond to the offer.
ASPEN BASALT REAL ESTATE – After no one showed up to bid at a foreclosure auction Wednesday, Bank of America ended up paying $10.5 million for seven undeveloped blocks of the stalled Willits Town Center project, according to the Eagle County public trustee’s office.The auction was part of a foreclosure proceeding by Bank of America against Willits Town Center Partners LLC, a subsidiary of developer Joseph Freed and Associates of Chicago.Bank of America had set a minimum bid of $10.5 million and because no other parties showed up Wednesday morning with a bid, the property is now owned by the bank.“No one attended the auction,” said Jayne Thompson of Jayne Thompson & Associates Ltd, a public relations firm in Chicago that represents Joseph Freed and Associates. “It means there is a new owner for the property.”However, Thompson said the formal purchase of the property by the bank essentially keeps in place the current “status quo,” as the bank already controlled the property through its foreclosure action.
By Brent Gardner-Smith, Sept. 16, 2010 Aspen Daily News
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