Centerpoint Condo Towers: Bidding Starts at $8 Million, Says Company Representing Investors


The company that acquired the Centerpoint towers in Tempe in bankruptcy proceedings will start the bidding for the unfinished project at $8 million.

As we reported earlier today, the foreclosed five-acre property and two towers will go up for auction tomorrow.

Although he knows what the opening bid will be, Mark Winkleman, CEO for ML Manager, the company formed after the failure of lender Mortgages Ltd., couldn't tell us how high the company would go if other bids roll in.

But Winkleman isn't expecting a bidding war.     

A buyer would have to come up with the full amount of the winning bid -- in cash -- within 24 hours, says Winkleman.

Because of that, and the fact that prospective buyers haven't had a chance to examine the property, few bidders are anticipated at this step.

The investors behind ML Manager, who are owed the money lost in the failed project, will probably acquire the property and later market it to buyers "who can determine its condition and make the highest bids possible for it," Winkleman says. "This is going to find its new home as quickly as we can go through the process. Our mission is to try to get as much money back for our investors as we can."

ML Manager doesn't have the dough to finish the project itself, he adds.

But Winkleman says the buildings are still in pretty good shape and optimistically suggests they may take less money than estimated to finish.

Winkleman downplays any talk of a demolition.

"That's nothing but an unfounded rumor," he says. "It will be finished. What its ultimate use is -- whether as apartments, dormitories, condominiums, a hotel, or anything else -- remains to be seen."

Of course, the problem is that downtown Tempe already is awash in unoccupied apartments, condos, and hotel rooms.

The ultimate use could be... useless.

If you're still ready to break out that piggy-bank, the foreclosure auction will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday in the office of the bankruptcy trustree, the Gust Rosenfeld law firm.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern