August 10th, 2011

interface confusion

I've been trying to find a book to read on inner ring suburb redevelopment. My local library has _Retrofitting Suburbia_, or at least it will once Newton sends it over. In the meantime, I got _Cities and Suburbs_ on the kindle. That means I had to sort through three buttons in order to buy it: rent, buy it for myself (and pick where it should be initially delivered) or buy it as a gift. I think the renting means this is technically a textbook. I accidentally picked the gift button and had to back out, which is a little unfortunate. I doubt I'll make the same mistake twice, but it clearly demonstrates problems associated with so many checkout options. Amazon does a great job; I think this is just part of the cost of Choice.

Poor Birmingham

Their sewer woes have been in and out of the news for a while. Here's a little bit about efforts to assemble a legal team to handle the BK:

http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2011/07/sewer_debt_crisis_jefferson_co.html

I would not ordinarily mention this for a variety of reasons, but I've been poking at "dead malls" and stumbled across (I don't recall and don't care to reconstruct the path) The Source's delinquent balloon mortgage. When I was looking at General Growth's BK after looking up who did the Natick mall condos, I kept asking myself why hadn't SPG had financing troubles. Turns out SPG _did_ have financing troubles, and I'm tempted to characterize what they did with Crossroads in Omaha as jingle mail (why this is okay for a REIT mall owner and someone stigmatized for human home owners persists in confusing me -- it's all contracts), but never mind that now. As near as I can tell, SPG owns 25% of The Source, and The Source owes $124 million that it is not paying. As I was trying to find out current status on that loan, I landed in the July 2011 online issue of Shopping Center Business (a trade publication) and found myself looking at a pretty little table of the top 10 Delinquent Retail Loans -- of which The Source is #9.

Want to know what #1 is? $305 million -- yes, dear readers, almost a third of a billion dollars -- on Riverchase Galleria, a mall in Hoover, AL, near Birmingham. The hotel at the mall (I'm sure by this point you were expecting residential in some form, right?) is already in foreclosure.

Poor Birmingham.

People seem very unoptimistic about the prospects for payment on the Riverchase loan; it is expected to wipe out many tranches on the CMBS it is part of.

ETA: Looks like jingle mail on Montclair Plaza as well, by General Growth. So GGP went into BK and came out, but Riverchase Galleria and Montclair Plaza were not included in the BK, and they are the top 2 delinquent retail loans at 305 and 190 million -- a sweet even half billion between the two. Wow. Is this normal? Should I not be shocked by this? Montclair is near San Bernadino, so Inland Empire woes again.