Mosaic Avoids Foreclosure, Files for Bankruptcy

The developer of the Mosaic highrise overlooking Hermann Park — a limited partnership between Phillips Development & Realty and publicity-shy Florida Capital Real Estate Group — declared bankruptcy earlier this week to avoid foreclosure on a $71 million loan from Chicago lender Corus Bankshares. Florida Capital, originally the equity partner, will be taking over as the general partner.

The bankruptcy covers just the first Mosaic tower. The second tower, rebranded the Montage, has not yet defaulted on its separate $71 million Corus loan.

So how have sales been going at the Mosaic? It depends, the Houston Business Journal‘s Jennifer Dawson learns, who you ask:


A total of 109 units in the condo tower at 5925 Almeda have been sold, while another 132 are under contract to be sold, [Florida Capital Group COO Katherine Christy] says. The condos are priced from $205,000 to $699,000.

Tom Cervone of Camelot Realty Group, who is marketing the Mosaic condos, said in November that 110 condos had been sold and another 57 were under contract.

A comparison of the two sales figures would indicate that 75 condos have gone under contract in the last two months, although Cervone and Christy say Mosaic sells an average of eight units a month.

The statistics also show that no contracts have been closed since November.

Incidentally, Mosaic reported a total of 230 buyers in April 2008, when it won the Houston Business Journal’s Landmark Award for best multifamily project of 2007.

Plus: More musical chairs with the Florida Capital takeover, though with slightly different results than predicted by Swamplot’s source 2 weeks ago:

Houston-based Camelot Realty Group will continue to market the condos, but Gables Residential will now manage the Mosaic’s condo association and lease and manage the units in Montage. . . .

Also, retail developer and brokerage firm NewQuest Properties will takeover leasing of the project’s retail space.

Photo: Flickr user Phillips Development

9 Comment

  • J. Dawson states that the tower is in the “museum district.” Since when is the area over by the bayou and the other side of the park in the museum district?

  • Fuzzy math since the beginning on this project. I feel so bad for those who bought here. The developer didn’t know what they were doing and built too much in a market that would not absorb that many condo units at one time. Just another story about out-of-towners thinking they can come in a make a killing without knowing the Houston market or the people. Houston, if anything is about being real, and the developer’s expectations and greed were way too high. Those involved didn’t know how to say no or be realistic. I wish the place luck under its new management.

  • The discrepancy in sales figures can probably be explained more easily than you might think. For instance Camelot Realty probaby is not counting one or more large blocks of units that Flordia Capital is trying to sell at a steep discount to investors in order to try and raise cash. That kind of action would probably not be handled by Camelot. They may not even be aware of the developer’s efforts to that effect.

  • It’s all good. Philips, Florida Capital and Corus Bank dropped $175 million or so into our local economy, gave us two really nice buildings in an area that can really use this kind stuff. I couldn’t care less if they all lose their shirts.

    Don’t cry too hard for the 100 or so that bought condos. If the post forclosure units flood the market and crash the value of the already sold units, the early buyers will be in line for a goverment bailout. I hope they didn’t put down too big a down payment.

  • Anyone who’s been following this project knows not to trust any sales figures they release. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, three times, four times, shame on me.

  • They did have some nice parties to show off the property, but just looking around would tell you it’s over priced unless you are on the north side of the building and get the beautiful view of downtown. It’s just selling that other side of the building…

  • It is a tragedy that beautiful 100 yr old trees and nesting rare birds and animals had to be destroyed (done in the middle of the night to avoid fines) to build these 2 monstrosities.

  • It’s a Damn shame about those nesting rare birds but look on the bright side, if these condos keep selling like they have there will only be rare birds living there and trees growing up through the lobby anyway! See everything comes full circle dear.

  • I hadn’t been around there in a long time. We passed the site a couple of weeks ago and discussed how ugly they were. Today I was on Herman Drive and could see them in the distance. Remarked to the wife: I wonder if they’ll be able to finish those horrible things.

    This is a story being repeated around the nation because developers are losing their financng. At least it’s not as bad as Miami Beach.

    Real estate developers are the next group lining up for bailouts.