The economic crisis has affected a lot of industries. One of the major sectors that were affected was the real estate industry, which was greatly felt by the real estate market at Collier and Lee County, Florida where a lot of real estate developments were done during the real estate boom. However, the worst part is that the foreclosure crisis experienced by these counties in Naples did not only affect the residential sector and the investors but also the commercial sector.
According to current news, the foreclosure crisis did not only hit the homeowners but the crisis also reached the commercial market leading to the foreclosure of a lot of large and well-known commercial establishments in the area. The crisis caused numerous foreclosures of properties affecting homeowners then the investors, and now the commercial properties. According to the director of the Southwest Florida Real Estate Investment Association, although they are not predicting a second wave of commercial foreclosures in the coming months or years, the foreclosures in the commercial market for the past four years involved really large commercial properties in Naples.
The foreclosures involving large companies and commercial establishments just showed how far and worse the foreclosure crisis in Lee and Collier County had reached. According to the director, some lenders even held off and gave chances to some of the commercial loan borrowers but some lenders were not able to hold off anymore due to the worsening situation. For the past years, foreclosures were done on the small commercial properties and gradually started on the larger companies and properties.
Based on reports, one of the largest foreclosures in the counties was the Riverview Corporate Center in Bonita Springs with a foreclosure judgment of $50 million. The Riverview Properties of Southwest Florida LLC, which are connected to the McGarvey Development Co. - the developer of the park at the US 41, north of Imperial River, owned the buildings. The commercial property was foreclosed by Variable Life Insurance Co. – a subsidiary company of one of the largest insurance companies in the country, AIG.
The large insurance company also foreclosed and took over other commercial properties owned by McGarvey for the past months after obtaining large foreclosure judgments from Lee County. These large foreclosed properties include the Renaissance Center located on Marketplace Road at Daniel Parkway in Fort Myers with a foreclosure judgment of $14 million and the Bonita Bay Executive Town Center located off Bonita Bay Boulevard, north of Terry Street with a foreclosure judgment of $9.3 million. Those were just some of the big foreclosures that were done in Lee County. Other smaller foreclosure activities include foreclosure judgments ranging from $1 million to $5 million.
Although large foreclosures were done for the past months, experts and investors are expecting slower foreclosure activities in the coming months especially now that filing of default notices or lis pendens also slowed down. For the past 6 months, foreclosures of commercial properties slow down. Experts believe that this is because the bottom has been reached already months ago and hopefully, the real estate market will finally start to recover from the crisis.