A bankruptcy judge has rejected a motion by Oklahoma City landlord Lew McGinnis and his wife, Jennifer Price, to repurchase two Wichita apartment complexes that they lost last year to bankruptcy.
The order issued this week ended a month-and-a-half-long effort by the couple to buy the bankruptcy trustee’s interest in Riverpark Apartments and Villa Del Mar Apartments, both near downtown.
The two apartment complexes are part of a large portfolio of apartment complexes and office parks the couple owned in Wichita and Oklahoma City through their company, Macco Properties. The company declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2010.
Although their company is in bankruptcy, they personally are not, and are welcome to bid, said Jim Bellingham, the Oklahoma City lawyer representing the bankruptcy trustee, Michael Deeba. The trustee’s job is to recoup the most money for Macco’s creditors.
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“Their money is the same as anybody’s,” Bellingham said.
But McGinnis and Price had their offer rejected because they couldn’t close the deal.
They have made bids for other properties in the portfolio, Bellingham said. The judge made the sale of the two apartment complexes contingent on closing the other deals. Deeba even agreed to at least five extensions while they tried to arrange their financing.
But they couldn’t come up with the money, Bellingham said.
Larry Pinkerton, a Tulsa lawyer representing McGinnis and Price, said his clients bid on the properties because they consider them valuable.
McGinnis and Price contend they did a fine job of running the properties, he said, and would do so again if they resumed management. It was only after the bankruptcy trustee took over that serious maintenance issues cropped up.
“They went into decline after the trustee took over,” Pinkerton said. “Look, I’m not saying they were in excellent condition, but these people made their living from managing property, and they know what they’re doing.”
He said he isn’t criticizing the current property managers, Wichita’s Martens Cos., but that taking properties over suddenly is difficult. The Martens Cos. is also trying to sell the Wichita properties for the bankruptcy trustee.
Steve Martens, president of the company, said he had strong interest in most of the properties. The portfolio also includes Cedar Lake Apartments, Madison Park Apartments, Chalet Apartments, Holly Park Apartments and the boarded-up and long-vacant Battin Apartments.
With McGinnis’ offer officially off the table, Deeba might move quickly on other offers.
“We have submitted numerous offers for individual properties, combinations of properties and the entire portfolio to Mr. Deeba,” Martens said.