The foreclosure of many of Newport RE’s downtown Atlanta buildings and parking lots was postponed Nov. 7 but are expected to be sold at public auction in January, according to a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
German developer Newport defaulted on a $75 million loan with Miami-based BridgeInvest after a deal to sell its entire South Downtown portfolio to a local firm fell through last month. Eighteen properties, including the portfolio’s centerpiece at 222 Mitchell and some buildings on Historic Hotel Row, were advertised for foreclosure on the Fulton County Courthouse steps.
An attorney who represents BridgeInvest did not give the AJC a reason for the foreclosure’s postponement. The attorney said the properties would likely be sold at public auction in January.
Newport announced in July it would be selling its entire portfolio — 53 buildings and six acres of parking lots — to Braden Fellman Group. But Braden Fellman Group terminated the contract, according to Newport.
Newport entered Atlanta’s real estate market in 2016 and began buying up vacant and boarded-up Downtown buildings. The company’s vision was to transform 10 blocks of the neglected area near the Five Points MARTA station into a thriving neighborhood dubbed “South DWNTN” with retail, restaurants, offices, hotels, and apartments.
The first phase of the project included the rehabilitation and renovation of Historic Hotel Row on Mitchell Street and also of 222 Mitchell, a hulking building that spans an entire block. Newport had to stop work on 222 Mitchell earlier this year but completed work on Historic Hotel Row. The estimated cost for phase one was $131 million.
When investor funding dried up due to global market turmoil brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as rising interest rates, Newport said it was forced to sell its entire portfolio.
Newport planned to invest more than $500 million in the entire South Downtown project.