Ilikai units sold to iStar for $51M


POSTED: Friday, May 22, 2009

The sale of foreclosed residential and commercial units at the Ilikai to New York-based lender iStar FM Loans LLC was confirmed yesterday by state Circuit Court Judge Karen Blondin.

A Honolulu businessman who declined to identify himself came forward, upping the bid for the commercial units to $15.75 million, which is 5 percent higher than iStar's original offer of $15 million at the first auction held in April.

Attorney Steve Mau, representing iStar, came back with $16 million, and the bidder walked away.

“;Going once, going twice, last call at $16 million,”; said Commissioner George Van Buren. “;Sold for $16 million to the lender.”;

In April, iStar was the sole bidder for both the 203 residential units, which it offered to buy for $35 million, and the 16 commercial units at the iconic Waikiki property. No other bidders came forward for the residential units yesterday.

Following the auction outside the courtroom, Blondin confirmed the sale of residential units for $35 million and commercial units for $16 million to iStar as the high bidder. Combined, the units are being sold to iStar for $51 million.

The closing of the sale must occur within 35 days after the judge's order has been filed in court, which could take a few weeks.

Mau declined any comment to the media. The Honolulu businessman, an Asian man, also declined to identify himself to the media.

Van Buren said more than a dozen of the serious buyers he spoke to prior to the auction probably were waiting to negotiate a purchase with iStar once the sales have closed.

Big Island developer Brian Anderson's Anekona companies bought the Ilikai units in July 2006 for $218 million, with ambitious plans to reposition the property into an upscale condotel before encountering problems. The properties went into receivership in October.

Anderson owes $48.6 million on his residential loan and $24 million on his commercial loan, according to court documents.

The Ilikai's Association of Apartment Owners is owed about $1.1 million in unpaid maintenance fees, according to Richard Emery, president of Hawaii First, which manages the property. Under state law, the new owner that potentially purchases the units from iStar must pay a maximum of $1,800—or six months of maintenance fees—to the AOAO.

For 219 units this amounts to $394,200, only a little more than a third of the total amount owed.

SVC-SPE LLC, a Delaware-based affiliate of Shell Vacations, sought payments for an $80,000 lien it is owed during the proceeding yesterday, but the request was denied by the judge due to insufficient funds.

The fate of 142 employees working for Hawaii Hotel Management at the Ilikai, meanwhile, is up in the air. The employees were notified of their dismissal, effective June 3. The hotel is expected to continue operating until the sales close, but after that its future is up to the new owner.