SunCor Development Co Announces Bankruptcy
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PRESS RELEASE - SunCor Development Co Enters Bankruptcy
Pinnacle West Capital Corp. subsidiary and once-prominent local developer SunCor Development Co. has filed petitions in U.S. Bankruptcy Court as a final step toward dissolving the company and its remaining subsidiaries.
Tempe-based SunCor Development's board of directors signed a resolution Friday authorizing the voluntary bankruptcy filing, which includes 17 SunCor subsidiaries.
Those subsidiaries include SunCor Construction Inc., SunCor Golf Inc. and Suncor Homes Inc., along with SunCor subsidiaries in Idaho, New Mexico and Utah, and several limited-liability companies formed around specific SunCor real-estate projects.
Most of the entities listed in the bankruptcy petition are essentially shell companies with few assets or liabilities, court documents show.
Incorporated in 1986, SunCor grew to become one of the Southwest's most prominent developers in the 1990s and early 2000s, developing residential communities, golf courses and commercial-real-estate projects.
At the peak of its success in 2005, SunCor had nearly 800 employees, according to Pinnacle West.
The company ran into serious financial trouble in 2008, after the collapse of both the residential and commercial real-estate markets.
Pinnacle West said in 2009 it would try to sell many of its real-estate holdings to focus on its core business, providing electricity through subsidiary Arizona Public Service Co.
SunCor officials initially had planned to keep about $70 million in commercial-real-estate holdings and sell about $400 million in housing assets, but the company later decided to place all assets up for sale, including its remaining Hayden Ferry Lakeside properties in Tempe.
Many of SunCor's real-estate assets were purchased in 2010 by local master-planned community developer Sunbelt Holdings. The rest were sold to other buyers or were repossessed by lenders.
The only company listed in the bankruptcy petition with stated financial liabilities of more than $50,000 is SunCor subsidiary Sedona Golf Resort LC, which has stated liabilities of $100,000 to $500,000.
Phoenix attorney Thomas Salerno, who is representing SunCor in the bankruptcy case, said filing for Chapter 11 reorganization, and not Chapter 7 liquidation, allows the company's current board of directors, led by authorized representative Joseph Lapinsky, to oversee the final dissolution of SunCor.
Under Chapter 7, the companies would have been handed over to a court-appointed trustee who would necessarily lack a deep understanding of the company's financial situation and history, Salerno said.
Salerno said the goal of the bankruptcy proceeding is to deal with any remaining, miscellaneous debts owed by the company and its subsidiaries prior to dissolution.
"This process will resolve those remaining liabilities," he said.