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Dallas, Texas Courtyard by Marriott Becomes the Final
Roberts Company Hotel to Seek Bankruptcy Protection

By Lisa Brown, St. Louis Post-DispatchMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

May 24, 2012--A Dallas hotel owned by St. Louis-based Roberts Cos. has filed for bankruptcy, becoming the holding company's last hotel embroiled in a $34 million lawsuit to seek bankruptcy protection.

Roberts Hotels Dallas LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in St. Louis on Wednesday. The hotel lists an estimated $1 million to $10 million in assets and between $10 million and $50 million in liabilities.

The hotel, which remains open, operates as a Courtyard by Marriott at 2383 Stemmons Trail in Dallas.

The Dallas hotel is one of six hotels owned by Roberts Cos. that is involved in a lawsuit Bank of America filed against the company in April.

In the suit, Bank of America alleges Roberts Cos. defaulted on a loan to renovate six hotels it owns outside of Missouri and owes more than $34 million. All six of the hotels filed for bankruptcy since April. The hotels are located in Tampa, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Shreveport, La., and Spartanburg, S.C.

Tom DeWoskin, Roberts Cos.' attorney in the bankruptcies, said the company acquired the hotels in the mid-2000s, when real estate values peaked. When the recession took hold, revenue at the hotels was insufficient to cover the cost of acquisitions and renovations, he said.

DeWoskin said Roberts Cos. is in the midst of hiring a broker to sell the six properties or attract investors.

"The goal is to get Bank of America paid," DeWoskin said.

Another Roberts Cos. hotel, located in Jackson, Miss., which is not related to the Bank of America lawsuit, filed for bankruptcy in December.

The Roberts Cos., a privately held company owned by brothers Michael and Steven Roberts, owns 11 hotels nationwide, including two in St. Louis.

In addition to its hotels, other Roberts Cos. holdings have come under distress in recent months. Roberts Broadcasting Co., which owns four television stations, filed for bankruptcy in October and is seeking to sell some of the stations to pay creditors. The stations are WRBU-Channel 46 in St. Louis, WZRB in Columbia, S.C.; WRBJ in Jackson, Miss.; and WAZE in Evansville, Ind.


(c)2012 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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