The DMN reports that German journalists are saying foreign lenders backing the Victory Park development downtown are facing pushback from Hillwood Development (Perot’s development arm and Victory’s owner/developer) about meeting debt payments securing the Victory loans. The possible (although I suspect unlikely) result? A foreclosure on a portion of the Victory project. The report comes as virtually all of the retail development originally installed at Victory has now left the project.
According to a DMN story, Hillwood owes about $185 million on the Victory project, and the company and lenders are doing the financial dance that often preceeds a loan reworking and/or foreclosure filing. I doubt that Hillwood is going to default on the loan, because when the economy rights itself, I suspect there remains plenty of money to be made completing the site. And I also doubt that foreign lenders are eager to take over the property by forcing a foreclosure for many of the same reasons AIG has so-far been spared — some deals just seem to big to be taken down. Plus, dislodging Hillwood would force the lenders to hire another developer to lease and/or liquidate the property, and taking over a deal of this size would probably result in far more losses on the investment than simply allowing Hillwood to rework the deal.
One caveat: Hillwood probably assumes exactly the same thing and will probably attempt to drive a hard bargain with the lenders. And as we all know, not everyone walked away unharmed at the OK Corral.