Abraham Properties Purchase Headed to Mediation
Monday, September, 3, 2018
Paul Foster and Miguel Fernandez’s proposal to buy 18 properties for more than $10 million from William “Billy” Abraham will be settled in court-ordered mediation. The deal includes 14 buildings located in downtown and is an attempt to renovate the locations, many of which have been affected by Abraham’s bankruptcy.
The request to head to mediation was initiated by Foster and Fernandez’s group Downtown Renaissance Joint Venture and approved by the bankruptcy court judge.
The majority of Abraham’s buildings are dilapidated and vacant. Many of them are historic buildings. In February, he filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Other attempts have been made to buy the buildings from Abraham, but they have not worked out.
The offer by Foster and Fernandez to buy 20 properties was rejected at a bankruptcy court hearing in July. However, the two filed a proposed liquidation plan, proposing Abraham sell 18 properties including 14 downtown buildings and use the proceeds to pay off the nearly $10 million in debt. That would leave him with six properties and approximately $200,000. The payment would be in cash and be put into a liquidating trust that would be paid to Downtown Renaissance.
Foster renovated the Mills and Centre buildings in downtown El Paso recently and is in the process of renovating the Plaza Hotel building, making it into a boutique hotel. Fernandez is CEO and co-founder of an El Paso-based telecom company with operations in the United States and Mexico. He is in the process of renovating a downtown building with plans to turn it into the Stanton House boutique hotel.
A former judge will act as mediator and determine where the deal goes from here.