Foreign condo buyers in SF help risky loan bet pay off

From left: Infinity at Brickell, Paramount Bay and Jade Ocean in Sunny Isles Beach

When ST Residential outbid seven possible suitors, including the Related Companies, for failed Corus Bank of Chicago’s national distressed loan portfolio, industry observers believed the firm overpaid for the loans as the market headed for collapse.

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But the Miami Herald reported that ST Residential will pass its first test with the loans when it completes a $150 million payment to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. It can thank the buyers of 1,400 South Florida condominiums, many of whom were foreign, who accounted for about $650 million in sales, the Herald said.

The fund, which ST Residential bought from the FDIC for more than $550 million in 2009, is comprised of a 40 percent managing equity stake in a loan portfolio with an outstanding balance of $4.5 billion — priced at 60 percent of the book value at the time — backing 23 million square feet of mostly new condominium development financed by Corus in South Florida, Los Angeles, New York and Phoenix. It included Infinity at Brickell, Paramount Bay and Mint in downtown Miami, Artecity in Miami Beach, Jade Ocean in Sunny Isles Beach and Artech Residences in Aventura.

To cushion the financial burden the FDIC issued $1.38 billion in notes that would be repaid over three payments. Thanks in large part to the success ST has had because of foreign buyers in the active Miami sales market, ST will easily make the payment tomorrow, and already has the funds ready for the remaining $1.27 billion that needs to be paid. [Miami Herald]