|By Kimberly Pierceall, The
Press-Enterprise, Riverside, Calif.
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
May 21, 2006 - A La Quinta hotel project that lost its Embassy Suites brand and spent more than $71 million on construction but never opened has foreclosed.
County records show Chicago Title, which helped finance the project, paid $2 million and $1.54 million for the property's two deeds in February.
Last week, the Florida-based title company paid the city of La Quinta $111,835 for what the development's separate condo project, Casitas Las Rosas, owed La Quinta in transient occupancy taxes, said Assistant City Manager Michael O' Conner.
Since 2000, hotel owner Santa Rosa Plaza LLC spent $71 million to build 142 condos and an almost finished 146-room hotel but suffered financial setbacks and lawsuits.
La Quinta-based Santa Rosa Plaza's developer, Daniel Brown said last November that the hotel owed creditors $15 million and needed another $3.4 million to finish.
At that time, Santa Rosa Plaza was saddled with at least 60 liens against the property, from businesses such as Otis Elevator Company and United Rentals Northwest. The firm also owed thousands of dollars in state and federal taxes.
The hotel had been scheduled to open in August 2005. Recently, Embassy Suites pulled its brand from the project.
Brown and Chicago Title representatives did not return several requests for comment. It's unclear what will happen to the hotel.
The condos and unfinished hotel sit at the corner of Desert Club Drive and Calle Tampico on 15 acres.
La Quinta's only other hotel is the 800-room La Quinta Resort and Club.
"We had always hoped they would file bankruptcy and the bank would take it over," said Mayor Don Adolph of the project in November.
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