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Meruelo Maddux Properties adds to Chapter 11 filings

Downtown Los Angeles' largest landlord brings into its bankruptcy filings an unfinished 35-story luxury apartment tower and a project in Chinatown.

September 11, 2009|Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Downtown Los Angeles' largest landlord, Meruelo Maddux Properties Inc., has added an unfinished residential tower and a project in Chinatown to its bankruptcy filings.

The 35-story luxury apartment tower, located near Staples Center at 705 W. 9th St., was supposed to be finished by the end of the year. That's still the plan, said Michael Bustamante, a spokesman for Meruelo Maddux Properties.

"The filing occurred on a Thursday and workers were there on Friday and Saturday and they were there this week too," Bustamante said.

The tower and Chinatown projects were the only two parts of Meruelo Maddux to be left out of the company's Chapter 11 filings in March, he said.

The idea then was that excluding the two projects would help bring them to fruition, but the ongoing restructuring of Meruelo Maddux is now better served by bringing the last two pieces into Chapter 11, Bustamante said.

Both the tower project and Meruelo Chinatown filed for bankruptcy protection Sept. 3. The collapse of the commercial real estate market has taken a significant toll on the company, which filed for Chapter 11 last spring after defaulting on nearly $266 million in debt.

Shares of Meruelo Maddux closed at 43 cents on Thursday, down from a high of more than $10 in 2007.

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nathan.olivarezgiles@latimes.com

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