Broe Group Invests Cash In Arkansas Loans, More

by George Waldon  on Monday, Mar. 11, 2013 12:00 am  

A private investment firm from Colorado remained low profile even as it made high-profile real estate acquisitions in Arkansas at year-end.

The Broe Group of Denver dipped its considerable toe in the state when Metropolitan National Bank of Little Rock sold assets to raise cash and tidy its balance sheet.

Among the assets Broe acquired from Metropolitan are Fayetteville’s Legacy Building, a nearly $4.3 million transaction, and 223 undeveloped acres and 17 lots in Maumelle’s Riverview residential development, a $3.7 million transaction.

Broe affiliates also bought three loans secured by separate projects: the 20-story River Market Tower in downtown Little Rock, the 125-unit Holcombe Heights Apartments in the Riverdale area of Little Rock and the 20-acre Riverbend town home project in North Little Rock.

The outstanding balance of the three loans and prices paid weren’t disclosed.

The last recorded loan balances on the public record were $47.6 million in 2007 for the River Market Tower, $5.1 million in 2007 for Holcombe Heights and $1.8 million in January 2012 for Riverbend.

Susie Smith, senior executive vice president and chief operating officer for Metropolitan National Bank, declined to discuss specifics of the asset sale.

“We’ve never disclosed the details of those transactions and the components of it,” she said.

The December asset sale allowed Metropolitan to post its only profitable quarter during 2012. The $1 billion-asset bank recorded net in-come of $761,000 during the fourth quarter.

On Jan. 9, The Broe Group announced a cash purchase of an $80 million portfolio of non-performing loans and real estate from an unnamed “billion-dollar regional bank” for an undisclosed sum.

Asked whether the non-performing assets referenced in the announcement, which included high-rise condominiums, commercial and residential developments and multifamily properties, came from Metropolitan National Bank, the bank’s CEO, Lunsford Bridges replied, “I really don’t know what they were talking about.”

A requested interview with Broe executives failed to materialize. Patrick Broe, the 65ish corporate namesake who founded the company in 1972, and Bob Jacobs, chief investment officer, couldn’t be reached for comment.



Please read our comments policy before commenting.