Oklahoma's First National Center Owners Didn't Qualify for Loan Extension

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The owners of the landmark First National Center bounced a $99,000 check marked for loan extension fees and did not meet other basic requirements to extend their $19 million mortgage on the property, a banker testified at a foreclosure hearing for the art deco tower on Monday.

Los Angeles-based Milbank Real Estate did not qualify for an extension on its $19 million loan that matured in June, David Sondesky, a senior vice president of Capmark Bank, testified at hearing in Oklahoma County District Court on Monday. Milbank failed to meet requirements including maintaining a minimum 65-percent occupancy rate at the building. A check Milbank wrote to Capmark for loan extension fees was returned to the bank for insufficient funds, Sondesky testified.

Milbank Real Estate maintains it is in compliance with the terms of its loan and has vowed to fight foreclosure proceedings on the building.

"A reasonable determination was never made and (Capmark Bank) made up their minds before they were even asked for an extension," attorney Leif Swedlow said, who represents Milbank. "Putting this property into receivership would be the worst thing to happen to it in its 75-year history. …