It's no wonder that the Federal Reserve has a watchful eye on commercial real estate. Lending hasn't come back, prices are plummeting and those that poured funds into the sector during real estate boom are getting killed by high vacancy rates and falling rents.
Maguire Properties is one such company. The Wall Street Journal reports the debt-laden REIT is handing over seven buildings to its creditors along with the $1.06 billion of debt that comes along with them. But rather than restructure the debt, the creditors may try to offload them into an extremely soft market, suggesting they'd rather take their lumps now rather than wait for a snapback in the market that may well be years away.
That's not good news for office building prices since such sales could pressure prices even further.
Chief Executive Nelson Rising, who was brought in by the company's board last year to succeed Mr. Maguire, said in an interview that restructuring the debt on six of the buildings, located in Orange County and Los Angeles, is one possibility. But he said the most likely scenario is that the mortgage holders will take over the properties and try to sell them. Maguire already has a deal to turn over one of the buildings, Park Place One, in Irvine, Calif., to LBA Realty, a real-estate company that acquired the debt on the property at a discount in the spring. A telephone call placed to LBA's principal wasn't returned.
Among the office buildings that Maguire will turn over to creditors is Stadium Towers Plaza.