Another chance: After much negotiation, Legend Communities late Friday was able to ward off a foreclosure sale of many parcels and properties in Harborwalk, a luxury waterfront development on West Galveston Bay. The foreclosure sale had been scheduled for Tuesday.
“We have negotiated an agreement with the lender to cancel the foreclosure sale,” said Tim Connolly, a principal of Corporate Strategies Merchant Bankers.
Legend Communities hired Connolly’s firm to help reverse fortunes of the development, which includes 380 residential lots, a 150-slip marina and yacht club 2.4 miles west of Interstate 45 on state Highway 6.
The foreclosure sale was to take place at the Galveston County Courthouse, 722 21st St., in Galveston.
“The Harborwalk Development Group is confident of our future success with this foreclosure cancellation,” Connolly said.
The foreclosure sale posting listed various parcels and properties in the community — common areas that don’t affect owners of the more than 70 homes in the development. The parcels included in the posting were used to secure a $12.5 million promissory note. The lender is Canada-based Romspen Mortgage. Romspen bills itself as a leading non-bank mortgage lender specializing in commercial and industrial real estate.
In 2012, Legend Communities, a developer of single- and multifamily residential and associated commercial projects, bought Harborwalk from BBVA Compass bank.
Harborwalk LP originally developed the community of waterfront homes. But there was trouble.
In January 2010, Harborwalk LP filed a lawsuit against Compass Bank, which later was bought by BBVA, after the bank sent a notice of default on an amended $30 million note and refused to allow the company to draw any more money to cover project costs.
The lawsuit sought an injunction prohibiting Compass Bank from foreclosing and barring cancellation of the developer’s debt, among other remedies.
Harborwalk LP officials at the time said they had not defaulted on any provision of the loan agreement and had made timely payments. But Compass Bank blamed declining value of property used as collateral for its decision to call the note.
Legend Communities still believes in the development’s potential, Connolly said.
“With the help of Corporate Strategies Merchant Bankers, Harborwalk will use the knowledge gained from the past to design and implement a new marketing strategy that will allow Harborwalk to grow into the pre-eminent resort and primary home community sought by waterfront homebuyers throughout the Galveston area,” Connolly said.
Power outage: Meanwhile, Cajun-inspired restaurant Floyd’s on the Water, which operates at Harbowarlk, is temporarily closed as it recovers from the effects of Hurricane Harvey.
“Our building had a power outage during hurricane Harvey that lasted five days,” the restaurant posted on its Facebook page in early September. “We are attempting to conduct repairs and get up to code with limited resources available.”
Roadrunners: The Texas Department of Transportation‘s ambitious state Highway 146 expansion has prompted two well-known, longtime Seabrook eateries to move.
Burger buzz: First, there’s much buzz about the famous Tookie’s Burgers in Seabrook moving to Kemah. Barry Terrell, whose family owns Tookie’s, has signed a lease to move the restaurant to 406 Texas Ave. in Kemah in the building freshly vacated by Ichibon Japanese Seafood, which closed in August after 20 years.
Ichibon managing partner and owner Jim H. Wang had largely blamed the closure on lease negotiations and partly on the Highway 146 expansion. But observers say the expansion won’t directly affect the 406 Texas Ave. building.
Tookie’s, 1202 Bayport Blvd., has been around since 1975 and is known for such fare as “The Squealer” (beef blended with ground hickory-smoked bacon) and “The Bean Burger” (beef topped with Pace Picante Sauce and melted cheddar cheese on a base of heated refried beans and a layer of crushed Fritos). The Texas Department of Transportation is taking Tookie’s Seabrook property through eminent domain. Tookie’s Seafood, 1106 Bayport Blvd., is staying put.
The state’s expansion project will widen Highway 146 from six lanes to 12 and include a new expressway bridge west of and parallel to the Seabrook-Kemah Bridge.
Time to fly: Meanwhile, another Seabrook institution — Mario’s Flying Pizza — has leased 3,500 square feet at 2100 E. NASA Parkway at Seabrook Center.
Mario’s Flying Pizza, 1304 Bayport Blvd., has been a coastal Texas staple since Mario Bonaccorso and Giovanni Smecca opened a Galveston restaurant in 1969. In 1991, the popular pizza purveyor opened in Seabrook. But the highway expansion is forcing a move, owner William Whitney said.
“We’re disappointed to be displaced from our original location, but finding 2100 NASA Parkway has made the transition so much easier,” Whitney said.
The 24,700-square-foot Seabrook Center, an office building, is leased and managed by Derek Beck of Beck Group and Brantly Minor of Discovery Consultants Commercial Real Estate. Mario’s Flying Pizza is joining Untangled, a beauty salon, in the center.
Water torture: If highway expansion isn’t drastically altering the restaurant scene, Hurricane Harvey is.
Opus Bistro, 1002 Aspen Road in Clear Lake Shores, took in more than 4 feet of water from the Harvey deluge. Business partners Charlie Felts and Chef Chris Simon likely will seek another location for the restaurant, which is a favorite among locals. Nine years ago, Felts and Simon leased the waterfront restaurant building just before Hurricane Ike, which struck in September 2008. They rolled up their sleeves, gutted the building and opened Opus, serving classic French cuisine. Felts on Friday said it was probably time to move Opus to higher ground.
Grille going good: But Felts and Simon are reporting brisk business at their latest venture, Opus Ocean Grille, 1510 Marina Bay Drive, in the Watergate Yachting Center. And Harvey didn’t keep that restaurant, which opened last year, down for long. Fans of the first Opus have been filling Opus Ocean Grille, which serves seafood from the Pacific and Atlantic oceans — flown in fresh — as well as from the Gulf of Mexico.
Electric shock: An island building, circa 1957, will soon get a makeover. Mathew Baby has acquired the Galatex Electric building, 112 19th St., at Harborside Drive. The building has for decades housed an electrical business and is considered light industrial. Baby on Friday said he plans to completely redevelop the 10,000-square-foot building for commercial and retail tenants. V.J. Tramonte of Joe Tramonte Realty was the listing agent. Nellie Zapata from the same agency represented seller Electrical Troubleshooters Inc. Stay tuned.