Friday, December 16, 2011

210 Trade Investments talking to hotel chain about development rights

The developer 210 Trade Investments LLC is negotiating with a hotel chain over air rights above the EpiCentre entertainment complex in uptown, talks that could be in jeopardy if court proceedings don't progress, attorneys said Friday.

The EpiCentre is in bankruptcy protection and its developer and others have been accused by its lender in court of self-dealing and manipulating and falsifying bookeeping records. The company 210 Trade is affiliated with EpiCentre developer Afshin Ghazi. Last year, it bought development rights for what ultimately was a failed condominium tower on the corner of the project at Trade and College Streets.

On Dec. 8, 210 Trade Investments asked the court to let it record documents that it says have sat in escrow for two years. The documents involve ownership of some air rights above the 302,000-square-foot complex.

But attorneys for the lender and creditors, as well as the trustee appointed to handle the EpiCentre's affairs, told a bankruptcy court judge Friday that while they are working to understand the lengthy motion, they still do not understand all the details. They are neither prepared to support or oppose the motion, they said.

Federal judge George Hodges gave a nod to the motion's complexity saying: "I was impressed it took a 28-page, single-spaced report to represent what is supposedly an administrative act."

Asked about 210 Trade's urgency in pushing the motion, the group's attorney, Bob Stephens, said 210 Trade "is a developer like any other and wants to be able to do things..."

Stephens said 210 Trade is in "real" negotiations, although there is no letter of intent, and that negotiations need to move forward before Dec. 31.

Attorney Dennis O'Dea, who represents the committee of unsecured creditors, opposes 210 Trade's request, which he calls a "land grab."

On Friday, O'Dea told the judge that instead of trying to "revive" a document that O'Dea considers "misleading," 210 Trade should instead sit down with the trustee to talk and "do what they have to do."

The two parties continue to talk and a new court hearing will be scheduled.


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't trust Ghazi as far as I could throw him.

Anonymous said...

You would think as much as CO covers this story they have a 'vested' intrest in it?

911 Trade said...

The Ghazi Stripper

911 Trade said...

Nothing says billable hours like 28 pages of single spaced motion verbiage.

Anonymous said...

What about the people that bought condos there and lost their money -- what compensation do they get when the air rights are sold?

Anonymous said...

If they win, maybe 210 Trade will pay delinquent property taxes? Not like we're laying off teachers or anything.