|By Douglas Hanks, The Miami
HeraldMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Apr. 21, 2010--The Sagamore Hotel wants a judge to block its lender from auctioning off its delinquent mortgage to the highest bidder this week.
In a countersuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, the stylish South Beach boutique accused lender LNR Property Corp. of duping it into halting loan payments in hopes of restructuring its debt. LNR plans to auction off the $32 million mortgage, setting the stage for a foreclosure on the 93-room hotel.
A spokeswoman for LNR, which is headquartered in South Beach, did not respond to an interview request.
Lawyers for the Sagamore asked a judge to let the hotel make the loan current and halt the upcoming auction. The court papers cite the Sagamore's attempt to recast itself as a Playboy outpost -- a restaurant and bar deal that would have brought the famous bunnies to South Beach and, according to the Sagamore, pump an additional $1 million a year into the hotel.
Instead, according to the court papers, LNR executives walked out of a December presentation by the Playboy team before the pitch could even begin.
To see more of The Miami Herald or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.herald.com.
Copyright (c) 2010, The Miami Herald
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For reprints, email email@example.com, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.