Business Irish

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Florida feels heat from the tentacles of Anglo

Published 06/12/2012 | 05:00

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We all know that Anglo Irish Bank's tentacles reached far and wide as it embarked on an orgy of lending in the last decade. And the negative impact of that lending is keenly felt.

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Anglo lent $27m (€20.6m) to Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp of New York in 2006 to buy a retail complex in Tampa, Florida. And the whole affair has turned into an unmitigated mess.

The complex, called Channelside, is now in disrepair and barely has any tenants. Anglo foreclosed on the Ashkenazy loan in 2010 and appointed a receiver to run the down-at-heel complex.

The city's Port Authority owns the land the complex is built on, but Anglo – or Irish Bank Resolution Corporation – controls the mortgage on the retail and entertainment complex.

The Port Authority had threatened legal action in an effort to evict Anglo, but backed off to allow the bank time to find a buyer.

New owners were poised to acquire it just recently, but they've been scared off by the legal minefield that includes the rights of Ashkenazy. And now the Port Authority is mulling action against IBRC again.

It figures the legal circus could take four years – and a mountain of legal costs – to conclude. All the while, the retail development falls further into further decay.

A cinema chain there closed recently. A notice pinned to its door said it couldn't continue to operate under the "deplorable and unsafe" conditions in the mall. This is a show that will go on and on.

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