The Real Deal Miami

Vulture buyers circle Corus projects

September 11, 2009 04:24PM

The sprawling, overextended empire of Corus Bancshares loans, many of them in Florida, is attracting interest from major distressed debt investors. Thomas Barrack, who first made his fortune in the aftermath of the savings and loan crisis; Barry Sternlicht, the man behind the Starwood empire; Jay Sugarman of iStar Financial, the public real estate giant; and New York developer Stephen Ross, sometimes called the King of Columbus Circle, in league with Lubert-Adler, a big property investor in Philadelphia, are all mentioned as possible buyers of these troubled loans and tattered projects. Early this year, federal regulators ordered Corus to raise capital or put itself up for sale. It was unable to do either. In late June, the bank reported that its entire capital base had been wiped out. Auditors Ernst & Young have walked away, and the stock faces delisting from the Nasdaq exchange.