Finnito: Developers file for bankruptcy after Beverly Hills project unravels

The 10.6-acre site has been on the market for six months

Los Angeles /
Sep.September 26, 2017 11:26 AM

UPDATED, Friday, September 29, 2017, 2:00 p.m.: After struggling to develop a massive “landlocked” lot in Beverly Hills, a group of Finnish investors have filed for bankruptcy at the project, The Real Deal has learned.

The Beverly Bellevue Estate LLC, the entity behind the property at the Kirkland Drive cul-de-sac, had big plans for the nearly 11-acre site. Its website called for the development of three large mansions with the potential for five more, or perhaps even a five-star gated community. Tiula Architects was to design the project.

But the team behind the project, Helsinki, Finland-based Timo Lindberg and Pasi Raitala, never quite got it off the ground. They were hampered by its location — it has no access to public roads and is surrounded by other residential homes. There are four easements to the property.

They filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Sept. 20, according to documents filed with the city.

Megan Zucaro, who has the listing for the site, said the property has received a few offers in the $5 million to $7 million range. Lindberg and Raitala, who paid nearly $16 million for the site, are reluctant to accept that figure, she says.

“I’ve watched many people go down financially because they live the dream of trying to accomplish what they wanted to build in Beverly Hills,” Zucaro said. “It’s a different animal when you don’t have people on the ground.”

Zucaro, head of Real Estate Concierge, said the company swapped a 23,000-square-foot mansion in the Dominican Republic, plus an extra $4 million in cash, to the first mortgage lender — Donald Okada — for the property in 2014.

Okada, an architect who is now in the restaurant business, said he only accepted the deal to rid himself of a problem-ridden situation with what he described as a fraudulent partner. Okada was to receive the property in the Dominican Republic as part of the deal, but faced trouble along the way. He was only able to resolve the problem after taking his partner to court,he said.

In the U.S., however, the deal continued to languish. Okada, who has been attempting to foreclose on the Beverly Hills property since Beverly Bellevue Estate stopped making payments, says Lindberg and Raitala owe him nearly $3 million.

According to Okada, him and his former partner handed the Europeans all the tools for success, including unsigned contracts and plans for construction. “For the past three years they did absolutely nothing to bring that property to fruition,” he said.

“Everybody is trying to make a quick buck,” Zucaro said. “It’s not all bliss.”


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Downtown Burbank's Transit Oriented Development Specific Plan (Photo via Downtown Burbank TOD/City of Burbank)
Burbank’s downtown specific plan could add thousands of units of housing around its Metrolink station
Burbank’s downtown specific plan could add thousands of units of housing around its Metrolink station
A rendering of the project with East End Capital managing principals Jonathon Yormak and David Peretz. (Relativity Architects, East End Capital)
East End Capital to convert cold storage into movie studio
East End Capital to convert cold storage into movie studio
(Proper Hotel, Google Maps)
Downtown LA’s Proper Hotel to open in July after years of delays
Downtown LA’s Proper Hotel to open in July after years of delays
Michael Nourmand (Facebook via Nourmand & Associates)
Compass tries to recruit brokerage owner Michael Nourmand
Compass tries to recruit brokerage owner Michael Nourmand
Braemar Hotels & Resorts Chairman Monty Bennett with Mr. C Beverly Hills. (Ashford, Mr. C)
Mr. C Beverly Hills sells to Monty Bennett’s Braemar Hotels
Mr. C Beverly Hills sells to Monty Bennett’s Braemar Hotels
Tony Gonzalez and 807 Cinthia Street (Getty, Redfin)
NFL great Tony Gonzalez scores $21M mansion sale
NFL great Tony Gonzalez scores $21M mansion sale
J.H. Snyder partner Lon Snyder with One Museum Square. (J. H. Snyder, One Museum Square)
JH Snyder lands $172M loan on new luxury rental tower
JH Snyder lands $172M loan on new luxury rental tower
Corcoran Global Living CEO Michael Mahon and the Beverly Hills location. (Corcoran, JLL)
Corcoran sets up shop in Beverly Hills
Corcoran sets up shop in Beverly Hills
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...