Rittenhouse condo lender calls for foreclosure

CENTER CITY - September 22, 2010

From the outside, the 33-story Rittenhouse condominium shows no signs of pending financial trouble.

Looks may be deceiving as the senior lender for 10 Rittenhouse Square wants to foreclose amidst months of legal infighting.

According to realtor Dan Tobey of Coldwell Banker, an actual foreclosure can poison a condo project's reputation, trashing its value.

"It can damage reputation, people who are in there that have purchased have mortgages are cash buyers or what have you, they are not going to be able to sell, they are not going to be able to recoup their investment," Tobey said.

There are doubts that will occur in this case as some say both sides of this souring financial deal know an actual foreclosure would be too costly to everyone.

"It's just too high quality of a building, too important of a building," Joanne Davidow of Prudential Fox & Roach said.

Real estate agent Allen Domb thinks cooler heads will prevail as too much is at stake.

"No lender will want to take any property to foreclosure; as soon as they do that they have lost 30 percent in value; they have tainted the property," Domb said.

Day to day operations of 10 Rittenhouse is in the hands of a union pension fund.

John Decker, managing partner of Rittenhouse Pension Investors, says he has carefully explained what is going on to current owners and those who are actively shopping.

"What we are telling them is 'come look at project, come look at the institutional strength of this owner,'" Decker said.

Decker says homes sell from $300,000 to 12-million and everything in between.

As of now, the brass behind 10 Rittenhouse remains optimistic and are definitely open for business. If you are looking for a place on Rittenhouse Square they would be glad to show you around.

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