Seattle bank forecloses on Park Pointe
March 16, 2010
By Warren Kagarise
A Seattle bank foreclosed on the developer behind Park Pointe last week, and took control of the Tiger Mountain land near Issaquah High School where the developer wanted to build hundreds of residences.
Meanwhile, a federal judge dismissed the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case tied to the developer, Wellington Park Pointe LLC.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Karen Overstreet dismissed the case after attorneys for the developer withdrew a plan to finance and build Park Pointe. Court documents dated March 3 allowed Regal Financial Bank to proceed with the foreclosure.
“The parties wish to avoid incurring additional attorneys fees, in what has been a very expensive matter, and what in all likelihood would be a very expensive trial,” the documents state.
Attorneys for the developer and Regal Financial Bank could not be reached for comment.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the forested Park Pointe land, city officials said the plan to preserve the 140-acre tract remains unchanged. Under a complex development-rights swap, they want to allow more residences to be built in the Issaquah Highlands in exchange for preservation of the Park Pointe site.
King County records show the bank took control of the property through a $10.8 million trustee deed — far less than what the developer had said the land was worth.
The developer held $29 million in assets — with most of the value associated with the Park Pointe property — but owed about $15 million when the company entered Chapter 11 in November, court documents state. A January appraisal valued the land at $18.9 million.
Since the developer proposed the project in the mid-1990s, opponents said Park Pointe could damage the environment, lead to more vehicles on city roads and spoil views of Tiger Mountain.
Plans for Park Pointe evolved throughout the decade, from a high-density urban village in the mold of the highlands and Talus to low-density residential, the latest zoning for the land. The most recent plan presented by the developer called for up to 344 residences on 67 acres.
City and county officials announced a watershed plan in September 2008 to preserve the land through a transfer of development rights, also known as a TDR. But the process slowed as the developer entered Chapter 11, after it defaulted on a loan from Regal Financial Bank.
Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.