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SCOTTSDALE, AZ-A portion of Safari Drive, a mixed-use project launched during the heyday of the area’s condo development craze, is headed down the path to foreclosure. A recent article in Business Real Estate Weekly of Arizona reports the trustee’s sale for the project’s first phase is scheduled for June 9.

The first phase, consisting of close to five acres, was completed at 4601 N Scottsdale Rd. on the site of the old Safari Hotel. BREW reports that out of the 86 units built, 17 have been sold. The site also contains an undeveloped, one-acre parcel that was to consist of 100,000 square feet of residential and mixed-use space.

Though Corus Bank is the senior lender, the first part of the project was financed by a short-term, non-resource loan held by the New York City-based Lehman Bros. Developer Riverwalk Square Development LLC has been unable to negotiate better terms with Corus Bank because of the Lehman Bros. bankruptcy, BREW reports.

Riverwalk Square Development consists of a partnership between Vanguard City Home and the Wolff Co., both of which are in Scottsdale. Both developers are well-regarded in the area, and are currently looking for more investment opportunities. Neither company could be reached for comment by deadline.

GlobeSt.com previously reported that the 14-acre project, originally named Riverwalk Square, going to be worth $100 million, and would consist of a live-work development that contained 227 residential condominiums, along with retail, office and hotel developments. All that has been completed, however, has been a part of the condominium portion. It’s uncertain what the project’s future will be.

Marc Huisken, senior vice president with Grubb & Ellis BRE/Commercial LLC’s Phoenix office tells GlobeSt.com he isn’t surprised at the pending foreclosure. He points out that projects of a similar nature are likely to face the same fate, if they haven’t already done so.

Developments financed by lenders such as Lehman Bros. or Mortgages Ltd.., the local company known for handling high-risk endeavors before its implosion, are likely to be in trouble, notes Huisken, who was uninvolved with the Safari Drive development. Furthermore, “some of the project lenders have gone so far as to pull their financing because they’re scared,” Huiskin adds. “They don’t want to put money into projects that aren’t going to work, and that they may end up owning.”

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