Foreclosure not likely at Bayside, attorney says

By 
Pete Stidman and Bill Forry, Staff Editors
May. 7, 2009

The Bayside Expo Center on Columbia Point is scheduled to be auctioned to the highest bidder next month—according to a legal ad published in the April 30 edition of the Boston Globe—but an attorney for the Bayside said it will not come to pass. He expects a “very positive resolution” to the matter.

The legal notice said a public auction would be held on the grounds of the Expo Center at 200 Mt. Vernon Street on May 28.

The expo center, once a busy site of conferences, concerts and weeklong shows, has seen a slow but steady decline in show traffic as it has aged. Most recently it suffered the loss of its most popular show, the Mass Horticultural Society’s New England Spring Flower Show, which has moved into smaller venues. The Rhode Island Spring Flower and Garden Show has since changed its name to the 2009 Flower Show of New England absorbing some of the exhibitors.

Adjusting to the downturn, Bayside Expo owners Corcoran Jennison Companies have laid out plans to re-develop their waterfront property into a massive new residential, office and shopping area that would transform Columbia Point—though that project has stalled recently for a lack of financing sources in a down economy.

In a statement released by the Corcoran Jennison Companies on the evening of April 30, John Mostyn, identified as an attorney for Bayside Expo Center, had this to say: “We understand that these are very tough and hectic days for real estate lenders. However, we want to assure everyone that we have been holding ongoing discussions with our lender and anticipate that there will be a mutually satisfactory and very positive resolution to this matter.

“Given these discussions, we find it very strange that the lender is suddenly publishing legal notices in newspapers without notifying us in advance,” Mostyn stated.

But Bruce Bennett—the attorney handling the auction for loan servicer LNR Partners—said on Tuesday that the auction was still on track. A call to LNR, which bought the mortgage from the original lender, caused a call back from Jen Brown, working for an unnamed outside PR-firm hired by LNR.

“As a matter of policy we don’t comment on the assets and special servicing,” she said, adding that she could not confirm whether Corcoran and LNR were in negotiations or not.