Seattle construction firm buys Village Plaza at Tamarack

Banner Sabey bid $13.4 million, which is what was owed

For The Star-News (McCall)September 12, 2013 

A former general contractor at Tamarack Resort has taken ownership of the unfinished Village Plaza complex of shops and condominiums, once planned to be the resort's hub.

Seattle-based Banner/Sabey bid $13.4 million, the same amount the company said was owed to it by the now-bankrupt developers of the resort west of Donnelly.

The sheriff’s sale on the Valley County Courthouse steps in Cascade was the first disposal of Tamarack Resort assets since the resort’s principal investors filed for bankruptcy in 2008.

A separate sale of construction materials inside Village Plaza that was set for after the sheriff’s sale was cancelled without explanation.

Staffers from the Valley County Sheriff’s Office first asked the small gathering on the courthouse steps Sept. 5 if there were any cash bidders for Village Plaza. No one spoke up.

Kevin Bay, attorney for Banner/Sabey, then pledged the $13.4 million as the lead creditor.

“Banner/Sabey now owns it,” Bay said.

Process Not Over

The bid started the clock ticking on a six-month redemption period. Banner/Sabey was the lead creditor on the plaza, but Credit Suisse still has redemption rights as a junior creditor.

The Swiss bank could still take $13 million in cash to Valley County Sheriff Patti Bolen, who would transfer the certificate of sale from Banner/Sabey to Credit Suisse.

That holds true with about 90 or so other junior lienholders, such as wage and contract claimants owed money since the 2008 failure. It even applies to the debtor, Tamarack Resort LLC.

Michael Dunne, the principal officer in Banner/Sabey attending the sale, was relieved.

“It’s been a long haul to get to this point,” Dunne said. “We’re just trying to get everybody paid, our subcontractors and others.”

Another sheriff’s sale for Tamarack is set for Sept. 24 for parcels that would have been used to build a Fairmont Hotel near the Lodge at Osprey Meadows and 50 residences adjacent to the main ski lift.

Owning first rights for a credit bid is BAG Property Holdings, which includes Bayview Financial of Miami, Fla., plus former tennis stars Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf.

A sale on an expansion of the Lodge at Osprey Meadows was called off by Credit Suisse and has not been rescheduled. MHTN Architects is the senior lienholder in that property.

Local residents attending the Sept. 5 sale hope it moves Tamarack to a final solution.

“It’s time to get through these foreclosures,” said Tim Flaherty, executive director of the Tamarack Municipal Association, the resort’s homeowners’ group.

“They have to happen to get a new ownership,” Flaherty said. “From a homeowner’s perspective, it’s a good thing.”

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