new hope for Baltimore's Westport...
1. To inform about plans and projections regarding the Middle Branch Harbor.
2. To help with the placement of owner occupants and responsible investors who may help to improve and contribute to the community while also increasing their investments in
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Jul 10, 2014, 11:55am EDT
Developer Patrick Turner appears to have found an investor that has pulled his Westport Waterfront project from the clutches of foreclosure.
A Wednesday U.S. Bankruptcy Court filing shows Turner's lender, Citigroup Global Markets Realty Corp., is transferring its $30 million claim on the 43-acre Westport parcel to a group called Westport Property Investments LLC. State records show the LLC was formed last month and describes its purpose as "to purchase real estate."
A second court filing Thursday shows Citigroup sold the mortgage note to Westport Property Investments for an undisclosed sum. Turner and Citigroup could not immediately be reached for comment.
If a real estate investor has convinced Citigroup to sell its the note, it would mark a huge turning point in Turner's long-running efforts to develop the land for his mixed-use development once promoted as the next Inner Harbor. There was no indication in the two court filings that Turner is connected to Westport Property Investments, but he had been working on a deal with Atlanta-based Stein Investment Group to purchase the note.
Stein Investment Group could not be reached for comment.
Stein had made an initial $7.5 million offer to purchase the note, but Citigroup refused because it would have been a huge discount on the $30 million mortgage. The bank in March began an aggressive effort in to unload the Westport property in a foreclosure auction, but the auction was canceled because of a last-minute court filing by a creditor, Towson-based Tiderock Capital LLC, which claimed it should be party to the bankruptcy proceeding
That court filing appeared to be the best hope for Turner to save the property, which he has been working on for nearly 10 years. Turner had much to lose if the property went to auction, including a $160 million tax increment financing plan approved by the City Council that would not pass to a new owner.
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