Developer planning apartments near UTA files for bankruptcy

07/02/2014 3:59 PM

07/02/2014 4:01 PM

An entity of an Irving-based development firm planning a 254-unit student apartment community near the University of Texas at Arlington has filed for bankruptcy reorganization.

MMJV Sapphire L.P., a partnership of Maxum + Mint, filed its Chapter 11 case in Fort Worth on Tuesday. The filing lists assets and liabilities of $1 million to $10 million, as well as one to 49 creditors.

Jay Matthiesen of Maxum + Mint said Wednesday that the UTA project is still planned despite the bankruptcy filing.

“I can’t really comment. The project will happen,” Matthiesen said.

In April, the Arlington City Council voted to reimburse Maxum + Mint up to $1 million for tearing down three aging apartment complexes to make room for the development and agreed to waive $450,000 in development fees.

The complex will be between Center and Mesquite streets and Mitchell and Hosack streets on the southeast edge of the campus.

Jim Parajon, the city’s community development and planning director, said that the project’s site plan was approved months ago and that the developer was obtaining building permits. The permits won’t be issued until a required easement is secured, he said.

Bruce Payne, the city’s economic development manager, said he learned of the bankruptcy filing when he spoke with the developer Wednesday to get a project update.

He said that there’s no reason to think the project won’t be completed and that the developer is in no kind of breach regarding the incentive.

“They assured me it was an issue with the terms of a bridge loan with the lender,” Payne said. “They need to hash it out. They continue to be committed to the project. They’ve come a long way with us.”

Maxum + Mint has received $650,000 from the city for the demolition, Payne said. It will receive another $650,000 if it starts construction by Dec. 31, he said.

The developer has said the project will be completed in August 2015.

Maxum + Mint took over the project in November from Lev Investments, which had planned to build 335 market-rate units at the site. That project stopped when Lev Investments had difficulty obtaining financing.

Sapphire Inspired Living will provide housing for up to 760 UTA students. Construction was originally expected to start this April.

Some council members praised the project, saying it could serve as a catalyst for more development in a blighted area.

Maxum + Mint is also behind the Residences at Park Place, a proposed 262-unit multifamily community at 1801 Park Place Ave. in Fort Worth, according to its website.

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