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Dallas-Fort Worth Commercial Foreclosures for April Top $1 billion
Including the Element Hotel and Four Seasons Resort & Club

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

Mar. 23, 2010--Commercial property foreclosure filings in the Dallas-Fort Worth area top $1 billion for the upcoming April sales.

That's much higher than commercial foreclosure posting totals in recent months.

"It's certainly the highest we've seen in this cycle," George Roddy of Foreclosure Listing Service said Monday.

The Addison-based foreclosure-tracking firm counts 333 D-FW commercial properties scheduled for auction by lenders next month.

During the last few months, the auction totals have averaged about 250.

Among the properties set for sale next month are the Element Hotel in Irving, with $13.1 million in debt, and the Firewheel Distribution Center in Garland, with $13.1 million in debt, according to Foreclosure Listing Service.

Part of Allen's Star Creek development on State Highway 121, with about $15 million in debt, also made the April foreclosure list.

The biggest current foreclosure posting is still the Four Seasons Resort and Club at Las Colinas, with $183 million.

Although the 400-acre resort has been facing auction for several months, owner BentleyForbes and its lenders have reached a "standstill agreement" while debt negotiations continue.

BentleyForbes officials said earlier this month that they "expect that a resolution will be reached in the near future."

But it's not unusual for a mortgage holder to continue posting a property for foreclosure while talks go on.

Not all properties listed for foreclosure each month are actually sold by the lender. Many times, the borrower reaches a new mortgage agreement or delays the forced sale.

In 2009, the number of commercial properties posted for foreclosure in Dallas-Fort Worth jumped almost 27 percent. More than 2,400 properties, including offices, warehouses, shopping centers, hotels, apartments and commercial land, were posted for foreclosure last year.

It's no wonder that Dallas-Fort Worth's commercial property foreclosures are spiking.

A new report by First American CoreLogic says that D-FW led the nation in commercial mortgage maturities in February. More than $4 billion of about $20 billion in U.S. commercial property loans that came due in February were on properties in North Texas, the researchers found.

The Houston area was second, with almost $3 billion in maturing commercial mortgages.

With lenders still keeping a tight rein on real estate debt, it's often impossible for borrowers to extend or refinance commercial property loans.


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