Printer Friendly

2ND RITTER DEVELOPER PUSHES ON; CHAPTER 11 FILING WON'T STOP PROJECT PLANS, MUSICK SAYS.

Byline: Jim Skeen Daily News Staff Writer

The developer taking on the failed 7,200-home Ritter Ranch project said he plans to begin building homes in September 1999 and start making sales in 2000, even though he has filed for bankruptcy protection.

Ritter Ranch Development LLC filed for Chapter 11 reorganizing protection in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. John Musick Jr., the president of the company, listed assets of $73 million and debts of $64.8 million.

Musick said in a telephone interview Tuesday that the bankruptcy filing was made to assist talks with RPC Liquidating Trust, which holds the first mortgage on the property.

``We wanted to stabilize the situation and get it before a third-party mediator,'' he said.

Musick said the project is very much on track and that he intends to make a coming bond payment of $1.8 million in early 1999.

Musick started a billboard advertising campaign that he said is bringing in five to seven calls a day from potential home buyers. Ritter Ranch Development is taking names and pre-qualifying buyers.

``I think we're making real progress,'' he said.

Musick's optimism comes against a backdrop of slumping new-home sales in the Antelope Valley.

Housing tract builders sold 132 new homes from mid-August through mid-November, compared with 221 sold during the same period in 1997, according to a report by The Meyers Group, a real estate tracking firm in Los Angeles.

In August, Musick entered into an agreement with the city to try to revive the 10,625-acre project. The agreement required Musick to show that he could make good on delinquent bond payments on the project.

In February 1995, the Palmdale City Council authorized the issuance of $50 million in revenue bonds to pay for streets, waterlines and other improvements for the project. To date, about $18 million has been spent, officials said.

Ritter Ranch was envisioned as a state-of-the-art, master-planned community, but its original developer - a company formed by Lorimar Telepictures executives Irwin Molasky and Merv Adelson - was foreclosed upon by its lender in January 1997.

Palmdale, which is the administrator of the bonds but is not responsible for the payments, began foreclosure proceedings in May 1997 against the lender, Bankers Trust, and against RPC Liquidating Trust and a number of contractors.

In May, a settlement agreement was reached to hold foreclosure proceedings to allow Bankers Trust to find a developer to take on the project.

The original developer, Ritter Park Associates, had started construction on improvements for the site, including an earthen dam, but suspended work before any homes were built.
COPYRIGHT 1998 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 16, 1998
Words:431
Previous Article:REGIONAL BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK: LANCASTER SAVORS ADVENTURE.
Next Article:WILLIAMS KICKING UP HER HEELS - ON AND OFF SCREEN.


Related Articles
BUILDER HAS UNTIL OCT. 31 TO FUND LOAN TRUSTEE WAITING TO TAKE OVER.
RITTER OVERSEER NAMED JUDGE INTERVENES AFTER DEVELOPER FAILS TO OBTAIN FUNDING.
RITTER RANCH ROLLS ON HOUSING PLAN TAKEN OVER.
RITTER RANCH ABANDONED.
COLORADO DEVELOPER TRIES TO REVIVE RITTER RANCH CITY OFFICIALS SAY DEAL MUST STICK TO PLAN, REPAY BONDS.
CITY WANTS FAILED PROJECT FINISHED; NEW DEVELOPER SOUGHT TO COMPLETE RITTER RANCH.
DEVELOPER FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY; RITTER RANCH PROJECT AGAIN ON HOLD; NO HOMES BUILT YET.
RITTER RANCH SOUGHT SAGE GETS INTO POSITION FOR NEW TAKEOVER TRY.
BUILDERS ANGLE FOR RITTER RANCH.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters