Nate Paul making good on comeback pledge

Shell company tied to Paul’s World Class Holdings buying up own assets at auction

Nate Paul, Austin
Nate Paul (Getty)

Nate Paul is making a comeback.

Rising Tide Investments LLC — a shell company affiliated with the Austin developer’s World Class Holdings — has bought up the assets of at least five World Class entities, according to the Austin Business Journal.

The entities, also shell companies affiliated with World Class, include WC Met Center LLC, WC 511 Barton Blvd LLC, 6th and San Jacinto LLC and WC 3rd and Trinity LP. The assets range from a scenic hilltop tract off Barton Springs Road to a bar venue on East Sixth Street.

Most recently, it bought the assets of WC South Congress Square LLC — prime land on South Congress Avenue, near the street’s popular retail strip — in a late July auction. Rising Tide won the auction with a bid of $95.1 million. World Class has until the end of the month to finalize the deal, or it will go to the second highest bidder, NIA ATX LLC with $95 million.

Overall, Rising Tide has put down more than $221 million for these acquisitions.

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Paul’s business troubles first set off in 2019, when the FBI and Treasury Department raided his personal office and home. The same year, a debt fund alleged that Paul had defaulted on a $64 million loan. In 2020, creditors claimed they were owed roughly $135 million through 16 bankruptcies tied to 28 properties.

Over the past three years, World Class has filed at least two dozen bankruptcy cases, though a few have since been resolved. Real estate activity by Rising Tide shows how Paul is reinvesting the proceeds from unloading $588 million of his portfolio in the spring of this year. World Class reportedly netted at least $95.5 million from the deal, though $82 million was held in reserve for unresolved claims, so it’s unclear how much Paul ended up with.

When The Real Deal spoke with Paul in March, just after he sold his massive portfolio out of bankruptcy, he vowed a comeback.

“Are there things that I wish could have been done differently or some regrets?” Paul said. “Yeah, there are, but I really focus now on how can we continue to go out there and make the best decisions.”

Maddy Sperling