Developer Rick Ferguson Juggles Debt After High-End Meltdown

by George Waldon  on Monday, Jun. 10, 2013 12:00 am  

Ferguson transferred 75 acres of undeveloped land about 4.5 miles west of Waterview Estates to IberiaBank of Lafayette, La., to partially settle debt owed on an unsuccessful industrial deal through I-30 Land Co.

He put up 127 acres about two miles northwest of Valley Falls Estates as collateral on $1.6 million of remaining debt with IberiaBank.

Cauley and Ferguson's I-30 Land originally owed IberiaBank $5 million secured by the 57.3-acre former Lucent Technologies development at 7400 Scott Hamilton Drive.

The 572,800-SF industrial facility in southwest Little Rock was sold a year ago for $2.47 million to Goodwill Industries of Arkansas Inc., led by Brian Itzkowitz.

"You just keep working hard," Ferguson said of his business travails.

In the Meadows

The president of Mike Kuhn Construction Inc. reports that several new homes will start construction in the coming weeks in the neighboring Waterview Meadows neighborhood.

“It’s definitely picked up,” said Mike Kuhn, a Waterview Meadows investor. “We have seven presolds we’re fixing to start on out there.”

The project’s $11.6 million financial package has been modified and extended six times by Centennial Bank of Conway since September 2007. The latest changes to the three Waterview Meadows loans were made in April and include a two-year extension.

“Centennial has been absolutely fantastic to work with,” Kuhn said. “They’ve adjusted rates to help. What else can they do? They don’t want to make this difficult. We’re all partners in this together.”

To help generate activity, a group was formed within the group. Five of the Waterview Meadows investors established WVM Construction LLC, which built and sold two spec homes.

WVM is composed of Randy Ferguson, Carl Henson, Bill Parkinson, Oscar Washington and Bret Franks.

A 3,136-SF home on a 0.63-acre lot was sold for $475,000 in July 2012, and a 3,587-SF home on a 0.6-acre lot sold last month for $454,000. In an effort to reduce the price point of home sites, the original 40-lot configuration of the first phase was replatted into 58 lots.

“We got started on this at a bad time, when the housing market slowed down,” Kuhn said.



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