March 2010

SAN DIEGO, CA (March 25, 2010) – Douglas Wilson Companies (DWC) has been appointed receiver for the 39-unit Barn Lofts — an adaptive reuse condominium development encumbered by a $19.6 million loan — at 940 East 2nd Street in downtown Los Angeles.

A specialist in distressed real estate and court-appointed receiverships, DWC will oversee the final piece of construction on the conversion of the 57,703-square-foot brick and steel A-frame structure built in 1906 as a warehouse for the Spreckels Brothers Sugar Company.

“The project was 90 percent completed when the developer/owner went into default,” said CEO Douglas P. Wilson. “Our job is to protect and maintain this unique asset while completing construction and preparing the units to go to sale.”

Located on the eastern edge of downtown in the heart of the L.A. Arts District, the Barn Lofts were designed in 2006 by Rockefeller Partners Architects as three-story loft-style town homes: ground floor for office/studio, main floor for living/dining room and kitchen, and the third level as a master suite. Exterior brick walls were refurbished and preserved, although the original roof was replaced in order to create individual skylights.

Construction is expected to be complete and all outstanding encumbrances resolved within 120-180 days.

Based in San Diego, Calif., Douglas Wilson Companies operates six offices around the United States, including Atlanta, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando and San Francisco. To date, the company has provided problem resolution for more than 600 projects involving assets valued in excess of $10 billion.

Contact: Jan Percival, 858-452-8958,

Founded in 1989, Douglas Wilson Companies is one of the largest firms of its kind, providing a wide range of specialized business and real estate services to law firms, state and federal courts, corporations, partnerships, pension funds, REITS, financial institutions and property owners nationwide.

Services include workout and problem resolution, crisis/force majeure response, asset management, consulting, business planning, receivership, development, entitlement, and construction management.

DWC Receivership in Los Angeles

by DWC Team on March 9, 2010

LA Art District

DWC was appointed as Receiver to preserve and manage a 39-unit condominium complex in the Art District of Los Angeles.

The partially built Stanford Regency is a 346,000 square-foot wholesale condominium structure. Located in the fashion district of Los Angeles, CA, the building will contain 200 units, ranging from 800-2,000 square-feet, when complete. Project managers have been charged with overseeing the operations, preserving and completing construction.

Resolution Trust Corporation

During the last major economic crisis, the government’s Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) accumulated troubled assets and sold them in bulk to third party capitalized institutions.  These institutions then worked the problem assets for a period of years and were able to make incredibly good profits over time.

Historically most problems in real estate are solved with time and money.  A developer who owns distressed real estate will always come to the bank and ask for those two things; more time, more money.  That’s what happened when the RTC sold assets to well capitalized investor groups; they had the money and were able to bide their time as the economy came back.

But this time around, there is no RTC. Assets aren’t being bulked up and sold into the marketplace in groups because (A) buyers want too big of a discount, and (B) the government approach is different. In order to unload their problem assets, regulators today are partnering with banks that are well capitalized or have the ability to go into the market to get capital.

These well-capitalized banks reap the benefit of the trouble.  And there’s plenty of it to go around; there

are still hundreds of distressed banks needing rescue and/or resolution.

Economic crimes: who’s cooking the books?

by DWC Team on March 8, 2010

Economic crimes

For over 20 years, we’ve been involved in some pretty big frauds. No, not as perpetrators, but as forensic investigators appointed by the courts.

Working as a special master under a judge, we peel back layers of questionable business practices: reviewing contracts, tracing suppliers, analyzing histories of sales and basically following the money trail.

We figure out who cooked the books and how bad the damage is. We take the stand as an expert witness. And after our report is in the hands of the judge, we recommend systems and processes to thwart further corruption and fraud.

Some of our cases are pretty high profile, like the famed oceanfront Dillingham Ranch just 45 minutes outside of Honolulu, where a hit network television show was occasionally filmed. For several years, we stepped in to operate the property’s myriad of businesses while handling forensics on alleged accounting failures.

When partners cheat each other, when sisters and brothers fight over assets, when fathers and sons think the other has doctored the books, that’s when we get the call.

We’re just finishing a case involving the sale of multiple gas stations/mini-marts. Our next project involves the sale of several hotels to an operator who’s not quite sure the books look right.

Helping unravel the complexities of a Ponzi scheme is a fascinating part of our business.