The SRKO Family Limited Partnership filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday, Feb. 19, in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Denver.
The company is owned by local developer Jannie Richardson.
The action signals a new phase in the life of the beleaguered 150-acre Colorado Crossing multi-use development at Interquest and Voyager parkways.
Richardson had been under pressure since last summer to pay dozens of lien holders for work already completed on the project, which has stalled in recent months.
The move doesn’t come as a complete surprise to those who had worked on the project. G.E. Johnson Construction Co. President Jim Johnson said Richardson had mentioned as early as last October that she might pursue bankruptcy in order to possibly secure last-ditch, debtor-in-possession financing.
The general contractor is owed about $9 million for work completed on a new Cinemark multiplex theater and a parking garage. The project was planned to eventually include 1.6 million square feet of office space, retail, housing and entertainment users.
As Johnson pointed out, “a lot of different things can happen” once a bankruptcy is filed.
“Jannie was pretty stalled out with her own financing – as were other interested parties. There is financing and there are investors willing to participate when a developer goes into bankruptcy. She has met with some of them and has probably been advised this would allow her a way to get the money to complete the development,” he said, adding that Colorado Crossing remains a highly desirable parcel because of its location near future new household growth.
While Johnson is a secured creditor, which makes him first in line to be paid once bankruptcy issues are resolved, he doesn’t expect to be paid in full.
“I don’t have a lot of experience in this position,” he said. “Our other clients have all secured their financing. Jannie never really did.”