Ambassador Developer Receivership

On 2/23/08, the Pasadena Star News posted the following:

PASADENA – With a crucial part of the Ambassador West development in receivership after its owners defaulted on a $44 million loan, completion of one of the city’s largest, most prestigious housing projects has been thrown into doubt…

Councilman Steve Madison, whose district includes Ambassador West, said residents would have to be “a little bit patient” while a new builder is being sought at “a really bad time for real estate development.”

Neighbors have expressed concern to him, he said, but he has advised them to apply a “reality check” on the progress on the west campus.

“When I was elected nine years ago Ambassador Auditorium was on the chopping block,” he said. “And (Legacy Partners) were asking for 2,000 units” on the combined 46-acre east and west campus.

Worldwide Church of God, which put the 49-acre campus on the market in 1999, later sold it in three pieces: Maranatha School and Harvest Rock Church – owner of Ambassador Auditorium – moved on to the west campus in 2004; that same year Sares Regis bought the 12-acre east campus for a mixed retail and residential development, now underway.

Fred Zepeda, president of the West Pasadena Residents Association – which fiercely opposed both earlier plans for the property – said the neighborhood had been stunned by Ambassador West’s recent problems.

“We’re anxious to find out what’s going on,” Zepeda said. “I don’t think anyone knows what’s going to happen – everyone’s still staring at each other.”  

It is somewhat ironic that the developer is in receivership as the State improperly placed the old Worldwide Church of God into receivership in the late 1970s.  Another group (Legacy, not to be confused with Legacy Institute) trying to develop the properties also had other problems

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