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BEAVERTON, OR-The future owner of the Round at Beaverton Central, a debt-ridden mixed-use project surrounding the city’s downtown light-rail station, will be decided over the next few months by secured creditors and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Portland. The creditors have been waiting for payment since work stopped abruptly on the ambitious, $100 million project in early 1999 for lack of financing.

The creditors will be voting on two proposals that have emerged to revive the 4.5-acre development, one by an original development partner and the other by the city itself in partnership with Enron Microclimates, which holds a $1 million judgment lien against the Round for a state-of-the-art energy system. The original developers of the Round are two companies controlled by Selwyn Bingham and Sylvia Cleaver. Under a plan Cleaver submitted last week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Portland, she would put up $4.8 million and form an LLC to take back full control of the project and pay most of what is owed to secured creditors, $1 million to Enron and most of what is owed to unsecured creditors. The city’s competing plan, in partnership with Enron, would pay $1.3 million to creditors to take back the project from bankruptcy court.

The Cleaver plan is obviously the better one for creditors, but only if she can obtain financing, the lack of which caused these bankruptcy proceedings in the first place. Dan Vidas, attorney for the two development companies controlled by Bingham and Cleaver, tells GlobeSt. that financing is a legitimate concern for creditors, but says the business climate has improved from 1999. Moreover, he says Cleaver fully expects to get financing from one of two entities with which she is currently negotiating, and that the city and Enron’s proposal would leave secured creditors with only 45 cents on the dollar.

On Dec. 11, Vidas tells GlobeSt. the court will rule on the completeness of the financial disclosure statements required to accompany the plans for resurrecting the development. Disclosure statements are rarely approved on the first go-round, says Vidas, but it’s possible only minor additions would be needed and both documents along with a ballot could be in creditors’ hands by Christmas. Once received, creditors have 45 days to decide which plan they prefer. If Cleaver can show financing by that time, it would most likely be the preferred plan, as more creditors would see more reimbursements. A court hearing to certify the vote and name a controller is expected in February if the timeline holds.

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