On Heels of Opus South Bankruptcy, Sister Firm Reportedly Owes Big

Just days after Opus South Corp., a division of Opus Corp., filed for bankruptcy, one of the firm’s sister companies is reportedly some $160 million in debt.According to a report in the Arizona Republic, Phoenix-based Opus West Corp. reportedly owes banks more than $160 million in unpaid construction loans, interest and legal fees. An association of backers led by Bank of America issued a complaint in Maricopa County Superior Court on April 15, where the Valley’s largest developer is accused of failure to pay off the 10 loans in a timely matter. On April 23, CPN reported that Opus South–another division of Minnesota-based Opus Corp.–was forced to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing the crumbling Florida multi-family market as the main culprit. That news came just days after retail giant General Growth Properties’ bankruptcy announcement.In a release, Opus West chairman & CEO Mark Rauenhorst pointed out that the company never has encountered such troubling economic challenges in its 56 years of operation.The developer has certainly seen activity slow down of as of late, but as recently as late 2008, Opus West performed quite a few transactions. Late last year, the firm announced five new leases totaling 62,000 square feet at the 1 million-square-foot Pima Center, an office campus located at the Loop 101 freeway at Via de Ventura in Scottsdale, Ariz. And in November, the firm began construction and nailed down leases for most of the space at the 170,000-square-foot Mill Crossing retail center in Chandler, Ariz., in southeast metro Phoenix. Mill Crossing is scheduled to open in fall 2009. Also, in 2008, the firm received approval for Opus Corporate Center at Westlake Village, Calif., a $180 million, 435,000-square-foot mixed-use development slated for completion this year.