Lenders Foreclose on 55 West

2007 saw many condo casualties. We reported regularly on Orlando’s downtown condo scene – and were obviously concerned about 55 West’s lack of recent activity.  

2008 has got off to an ugly start with the Lexington in bankruptcy court.

55 WestNow, the lender for 55 West Orlando, SNS Property Finance of the Netherlands, foreclosed on the property on January 7th 2008, according to recent reports.

The lender also replaced the developer, with Grosse Pointe Development Co. who say work on the tower will continue.

“The bank is willing to step up and complete the project. The job will not shut down, and the building will be finished in November,” said a representative.

Of the 405 residential units originally planned for the building, the project has written about 260 contracts (most of whom, I imagine, are asking for their deposits back). And with little interest in the penthouses (who could possibly afford them?) the new developer is considering adding a “boutique suite-oriented hotel” (read: condo hotel – which could also be a problem since it’s virtually impossible to get a loan on one.) If they follow the lead of other downtown towers like Monarch , it’s likely they may also be looking at leasing out or selling more commercial space – perhaps even a live-and-work environment.

Let’s hope it works out. It’s a handsome looking building. For a more detailed look at the recent goings on at 55 West see this Sentinel blog.

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