Clear Lake condo tower to reopen in April
A REPORT FROM THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE'S CAROL CHRISTIAN
With repairs under way and bankruptcy behind it, the 30-story Endeavour Clear Lake is preparing for a grand reopening in April and marketing of unsold condos will resume.
I think the property is really going to come to life," said John Gilmore, a major player in the high rise's emergence from bankruptcy.
The NASA Parkway condo tower was the first high-rise on Clear Lake, opening in 2007 with 80 units priced from $400,000 to $2.5 million.
Saddled with 44 units that didn't sell in a depressed market, the developer, Endeavour Highrise LP, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May 2009.
As part of the bankruptcy settlement, a Houston-based court allowed the 44 units to be auctioned in December.
The winning bidder, at $9.5 million, was Wonmore Ltd., a partnership formed to buy the Endeavour units. Wonmore's general partner is Houston-based Richmore Properties, which Gilmore co-founded in 1997.
Richmore Properties specializes in buying distressed properties that need renovation and has investments in about 40 properties in the Houston area, Gilmore said.
On top of the purchase price, Wonmore paid another $4 million for expenses including renovations, paid past-due taxes and interest, and 2010 homeowner assessments for owners of the previously sold 36 units who had paid last year's fees. It was crucial, Gilmore said, to replenish the homeowner association's coffers, just to keep the lights on.
As soon as Wonmore closed on the 44 units, the partnership sold 15 units to a partnership led by Andrew Rosenberg, Gilmore said.
Rosenberg, who paid about $5 million cash for the 15 condos, said he is already marketing them and is financing them himself.
One of the reasons I bought them is the banks are paying 1 percent interest," said Rosenberg, who also owns a shopping center on Garth Road near Baker Road in Baytown. I can carry people on notes for 6 percent."