Lender sells $60M note on ‘abandoned’ Wadsworth apartment project

1225 Wadsworth scaled

This uncompleted apartment complex at 1225 Wadsworth Blvd. in Lakewood was scheduled to be finished in 2022. (Maia Luem/BusinessDen)

A $60 million blunder along Wadsworth Boulevard that was all but abandoned in January is now a stable, $117 million apartment project and two-thirds complete, its receiver said.

Aspen Heights Partners, a Texas developer, broke ground in 2020 on a 352-unit apartment complex at 1225 Wadsworth in Lakewood, with plans to finish it by the end of 2022. Amenities were to include a heated pool, dog park, bike repair shop and golf simulator.

That didn’t happen. Instead, millions of dollars in mechanic’s liens piled up and Truist Bank, which loaned $59.9 million to the project, tried suing to get its money back.

“Truist has become aware of significant cost overruns, scheduling delays and defects in the course of construction of the project,” the Atlanta-based bank wrote in a lawsuit that it filed in Golden in January. “Additionally, work on the project has come to a standstill due to infighting between the two primary members” of Aspen Heights’ development team.

On Jan. 22, Judge Lindsay VanGilder appointed a caretaker for the property: Michael Staheli of Cordes & Company, a real estate management firm. In his first report since being named receiver, Staheli told VanGilder on June 4 that conditions are improving at the site.

Truist has spent $740,000 to stabilize the 380,000-square-foot project, he said. That includes making $390,000 in overdue insurance payments, spending $313,000 on windows and doors, building fences to keep out homeless folks and hiring 24/7 onsite security “to protect against unwelcome trespassers and discourage theft of materials,” in Staheli’s words.

Court records indicate the project was initially co-developed by Aspen Heights and Willton Investment Management, which is located in the Empire State Building. The CEOs of those companies did not answer BusinessDen’s requests to discuss the project.

Meanwhile, in mid-May, Truist Bank sold its $59.9 million loan for an undisclosed price to DeBartolo Development, a Florida firm that buys distressed projects. DeBartolo has replaced Truist as the plaintiff in the bank’s breach of contract lawsuit against Aspen Heights.

More than 30 people or companies were interested in buying that loan this spring, according to Staheli, who escorted those interested parties on tours of 1225 Wadsworth.

1225 Wadsworth scaled

This uncompleted apartment complex at 1225 Wadsworth Blvd. in Lakewood was scheduled to be finished in 2022. (Maia Luem/BusinessDen)

A $60 million blunder along Wadsworth Boulevard that was all but abandoned in January is now a stable, $117 million apartment project and two-thirds complete, its receiver said.

Aspen Heights Partners, a Texas developer, broke ground in 2020 on a 352-unit apartment complex at 1225 Wadsworth in Lakewood, with plans to finish it by the end of 2022. Amenities were to include a heated pool, dog park, bike repair shop and golf simulator.

That didn’t happen. Instead, millions of dollars in mechanic’s liens piled up and Truist Bank, which loaned $59.9 million to the project, tried suing to get its money back.

“Truist has become aware of significant cost overruns, scheduling delays and defects in the course of construction of the project,” the Atlanta-based bank wrote in a lawsuit that it filed in Golden in January. “Additionally, work on the project has come to a standstill due to infighting between the two primary members” of Aspen Heights’ development team.

On Jan. 22, Judge Lindsay VanGilder appointed a caretaker for the property: Michael Staheli of Cordes & Company, a real estate management firm. In his first report since being named receiver, Staheli told VanGilder on June 4 that conditions are improving at the site.

Truist has spent $740,000 to stabilize the 380,000-square-foot project, he said. That includes making $390,000 in overdue insurance payments, spending $313,000 on windows and doors, building fences to keep out homeless folks and hiring 24/7 onsite security “to protect against unwelcome trespassers and discourage theft of materials,” in Staheli’s words.

Court records indicate the project was initially co-developed by Aspen Heights and Willton Investment Management, which is located in the Empire State Building. The CEOs of those companies did not answer BusinessDen’s requests to discuss the project.

Meanwhile, in mid-May, Truist Bank sold its $59.9 million loan for an undisclosed price to DeBartolo Development, a Florida firm that buys distressed projects. DeBartolo has replaced Truist as the plaintiff in the bank’s breach of contract lawsuit against Aspen Heights.

More than 30 people or companies were interested in buying that loan this spring, according to Staheli, who escorted those interested parties on tours of 1225 Wadsworth.

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