Tamarack Resort.BOISE, Idaho — A judge has picked winners and losers in the Tamarack Resort foreclosure fiasco, leaving some contractors with the prospect of never collecting millions of dollars for work at the vacation destination that started failing in 2007.
Fourth District Judge Patrick Owen ruled that Banner-Sabey LLC, a Seattle-based joint venture that oversaw Tamarack’s unfinished $91 million Village Plaza centerpiece, is due at least $5.5 million if and when the property is sold. Tri-State Electric Inc. of Boise is due about $1.2 million. But Owen also decided on May 11 that lien claims totaling millions of dollars from some companies including Beaverton, Ore.-based Teufel Nursery and Meridian, Idaho-based YMC Inc., a plumbing contractor, were inferior to those of a lending syndicate led by Credit Suisse Group.
The Credit Suisse-led claims top $306 million – far above what the resort likely will fetch through fire-sale prices at a foreclosure auction. As a result, while Banner-Sabey and Tri-State will likely be paid, Teufel, YMC and others face the prospect of getting nothing. “As a practical matter, because the property value is almost certainly much less than the total of claims, it is unlikely that any lien claimant whose interest is inferior or subordinate to Credit Suisse will receive any part of the foreclosure proceeds,” Owen said. “By the same token, it is more likely that those claimants whose interests are prior to and superior to the Credit Suisse mortgages will have their claims paid.”
There are dozens of other lien claims against Tamarack behind Credit Suisse totaling “many more millions of dollars,” Owen wrote. “You look at the business that came as a result of Tamarack resort, and how few are remaining,” said Rick Christensen, who heads Teufel’s landscape and design business in Beaverton. “We’re one of those casualties. When the Tamarack project closed, we were forced to leave the area, as many businesses were.”
It’s now clear the resort 90 miles north of Boise was in dire straits by mid-2007 – despite public claims at the time by majority owner Jean-Pierre Boespflug that it was slowing the pace of work only to get a handle on what was then Valley County’s largest construction project. Credit Suisse spokesman Duncan King didn’t immediately comment.
Another Idaho judge issued a warrant last week to pressure Boespflug into court after he skipped a hearing meant to determine the value of his assets. That involved a separate case brought by Bank of America’s leasing division over two ski lifts in which there’s a $4.9 million judgment against the French-born resort developer. Boespflug, who had given personal guarantees for those lifts, has transferred assets to a Nevada company that he created. Bank of America’s lawyers said in court documents they suspect he’s trying to shield the assets. A contempt hearing is set for May 26.