Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009 | Pay no attention to the distressed assets behind the curtain.
That’s more or less the message of local developer Doug Wilson these days. Wilson’s business of sorting through banks’ troubled assets is booming, even while some of his own boom-time investments have busted.
He’s sold his stake in high-rise condo project The Mark at a loss. He stopped making payments on millions of dollars in loans that he used to buy the Mission Valley Resort and land to develop in the College area.
It’s a contrast that’s not lost on the development community. While many developers dropped prices or went bust during the recent downturn, in 2007, well after the peak of the market for downtown condos, Wilson threw a lavish party that featured Kobe beef burgers and go-go dancers.
He now attributes some of that boldness to the deep-pocketed partner he’d snagged for The Mark and other projects. He didn’t have to slash prices on The Mark, he argued, because he could afford to wait for the market to get better. He had Lehman Brothers investing in his projects — not just a fund, but the main company.