Managing Partner, Robert M. Steeg, was quoted in The New Orleans Advocate in the article, “Lake Vista condo project in New Orleans, once seen as a boon for neighbors, stalls out.”
As noted in the article:
A three-story building containing 16 unfinished condominiums stretches across half of the property, but work on the building stopped some time ago.
With financial problems mounting and none of the condos completed, work on the Wren Street project came to a halt. All activity at the site ceased, and construction equipment and materials disappeared.
Property records show that Chicago-based NES Equipment Services Corp. filed a labor and materials lien against the project in August 2016, claiming that the developer had failed to pay $35,000 owed to the equipment rental service. And other liens would follow.
Among other costs, property taxes on the condominiums were stacking up. Orleans Parish Assessor’s Office records show that Wren Street LLC owes the city $104,000, a debt that became delinquent in February.
Lori Stewart, who is listed in business filings as owner and manager of Wren Street LLC, blames delays in the condo project on other development work the Stewarts have under way. “We have a lot of projects going on,” she told a reporter during a brief phone conversation in mid-June.”
Robert Steeg, a New Orleans real estate lawyer who has no connection with the Wren Street project, said it appears that the Stewarts face steep hurdles before they can finish and begin marketing the condos.
“The taxes and liens are issues that have to be satisfied before the developer will be able to proceed, and certainly before they will be able to sell any units,” Steeg said.
Eventually, if the taxes continue to go unpaid, the city could put the condos up for a tax sale, perhaps as early as next spring.
The Stewarts might also consider selling the property to another developer, though a prospective purchaser might be reluctant to assume the potential liability for a project that was built by someone else, Steeg pointed out.