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U.S. Bank NA Files Foreclosure on the Four Seasons Resort at Las Colinas, TX; 
Seeks Repayment of a $183 million Loan on the Resort

By Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning NewsMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

January 14, 2010 --One of the Dallas area's most exclusive hotel properties is facing a possible foreclosure.

Lenders have filed to foreclose on the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, a 400-acre hotel, spa and golf club in Irving.

The more than 400-room hotel is one of the state's top-rated accommodations and hosts the annual HP Byron Nelson Championship golf tournament.

U.S. Bank NA is seeking repayment of a $183 million loan on the property and has scheduled a forced sale on Feb. 2, according to legal filings.

The foreclosure posting is the largest in North Texas in more than 20 years.

"I don't think we've seen one this large in the business cycle," said George Roddy, CEO of Addison-based Foreclosure Listing Service. "That's a very big complex."

The California-based owners of the Four Seasons Resort have been in a dispute with the project's lenders since last fall.

In November, a lawyer for Los Angeles-based BentleyForbes said the borrowers had missed a scheduled debt payment and were negotiating with the mortgage holders. He said the lenders were taking tactical moves to "get their attention."

The Four Seasons has been on watch lists of major properties with troubled debt for several months while negotiations with the lenders were continuing.

The hotel owner said Wednesday that the foreclosure posting was not unexpected.

"BentleyForbes remains in proactive discussions with its lenders at the Four Seasons Dallas and is committed to working out a successful financial structure recognizing the interests of all vested entities that will bridge the challenges of the current situation," spokesman Chris Egger said.

"BentleyForbes has demonstrated its good faith and continued commitment to the Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas at Las Colinas through $60 million of improvements during the past two years, improvements that reflect a significant contribution of capital and vision to the long-term success of the property."

BentleyForbes has owned the Irving resort complex since 2006. Four Seasons operates the facility with a long-term contract.

"We do not expect any change in our day-to-day operations or services," Las Colinas Four Seasons general manager Michael Newcombe said Wednesday. "This request for [debt] restructuring is consistent with similar actions being taken by many hotel owners nationally and internationally in response to global economic conditions. We are not unique in this regard."

George Conant, tournament chairman for the 2010 HP Byron Nelson Championship, said the golf tournament will not be affected.

"We are pleased with the improvements that have been made to the property in recent years to enhance the golf and fan experience at the tournament, and we look forward to another fantastic championship this May," he said.

The hotel complex is by far the largest such property to wind up on North Texas foreclosure lists in recent years.

In 2001, lenders foreclosed on the 286-room Westin Beechwood hotel in North Fort Worth, but the debt on that property was only $53.5 million.

Last year more than 2,400 commercial properties, including hotels, were posted for foreclosure in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to Foreclosure Listing Service.

Commercial foreclosure filings were up 27 percent in 2009.

Staff writer Bill Nichols contributed to this report.


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