An I-Team Investigation reveals developers still cannot say precisely when La Quinta’s Talus resort development, formerly known as SilverRock, will get the money needed to complete its construction.
Construction crews have made little progress on the main resort since last summer. And the city has now issued a 60-day deadline. The Robert Green Company promises the Coachella Valley’s first five-star development, including two branded luxury hotels by Pendry and Montage, a spa and conference center, and 84 turn-key single-family homes and condominiums.
In a statement issued Tuesday afternoon, in response to our latest request for a hard date of financing, developer Robert Green indicated financing is imminent. "Through careful planning, strategic partnerships, and a steadfast dedication, TALUS has successfully navigated the complex financial landscape to secure the essential funding needed to bring the project to completion. Currently, the final loan documents are being processed, and we anticipate a smooth closing for the project's final funding," the statement from Green read.
This follows months of delays and continued questions surrounding the funding behind Green’s project on land south of Avenue 52, west of Jefferson Street. An occasional golfer, some weathered wood framing on a main resort building, and a water truck to keep the sand down were some of the few activities I-Team investigator Jeff Stahl saw at the site.
Some work continues on building private residences, but funding for the major hotel, spa, and conference center facilities has remained elusive.
In an emailed statement to News Channel 3 on May 24, La Quinta City Manager Jon McMillen said, “The City fully expects Green to have closed the funding for the commercial components of the project within 60 days.”
It was in December, News Channel 3 reported the latest construction timeline missed by the Robert Green Company. It wouldn’t be completed by this fall as required by the city in its latest contract revision, but instead early next year 2024 for portions of the resort. And that was if all went as anticipated.
Robert Green updated the La Quinta City Council in January saying funding might take until February to close.
“I’d like to sit here and tell you I know exactly when we’re going to close the senior loan, therefore the PACE financing,” Green said continuing, “but it could lapse well into February.”
In January, Green described 3 vital loans he said he absolutely needed to build two luxury hotels, a spa and a conference center, along with private homes and residences.
One was a $60 million construction loan City Manager Jon McMillan confirmed to NewsChannel 3 on May 13, Builder’s Capital is no longer committed to.
There is also $170 million in C-PACE Financing with a group called Lieef. Green this month said it's ready to fund, but won’t pay out until a third key loan also pays out first.
That third loan is a $100 million Senior Construction Loan. Green still hasn’t given the city a date of when that loan will close.
In a May 12th email statement to News Channel 3’s Jeff Stahl, he did not give a hard date but stated lenders, “have verified their commitment to close our loans at the earliest possible date.”
He’s faced soaring interest rates and construction costs ballooning the project from $450 million to an estimated $600 million. Then, add the lending turmoil following Silicon Valley Bank and other bank collapses.
City council members have had many questions. Kathleen Fitzpatrick said, “Robert, I’m disappointed. I think every single day, each and every one of us gets questions about what’s going on.”
The City of La Quinta purchased the undeveloped land for $42 million in 2002, created the SilverRock Golf Couse, then sold the same ground in 2017 to Robert Green for $1 a parcel in hopes of collecting future tax revenues from its commercial activities.
The 2017 agreement gave Green the project’s Transient Occupancy Tax for 10 years. That’s money guests pay normally to the city.
City leaders pushed for progress, Mayor Linda Evan saying at that January meeting, “Get us the money” while also promising monthly updates to the council from Green. He last appeared before the council a month later.
In March, Green’s rep told Jeff Stahl a funding agreement was expected in two to three weeks.
There’s no mention of Montage La Quinta, one of the site’s two expected luxury hotels, on Montage’s current projects webpage.
It’s the same for the other Pendry Luxury Hotel. A Google search of the Pendry website also fails to show any La Quinta mention.
“We’re all anxious,” said Fitzpatrick. Evans said, “You are the developer. You are developing the project.”
Council member John Pena said, “What’s going on with Talus / SilverRock?”… “Other projects have been built.”
Again, Green says the final essential loan documents are currently being processed, and he anticipates a smooth closing for the project's final funding.
The city’s 2021 default notice has a provision allowing La Quinta to buy back the land. Would it, if a 60-day notice came and went?
The City Manager told Jeff Stahl in a statement Tuesday, "If loans haven’t closed by the middle of July the City will be exercising remedies available under the Purchase Sale and Development Agreement."
Jon McMillen added it's not appropriate at this time to disclose any action the City may take. He also said the City is currently working with Green as loan documents from prospective lenders are being finalized and continues to monitor progress on closings. Actions will be implemented if and when appropriate, he said.
Stay with KESQ News Channel 3 for continuing coverage of the Talus La Quinta development.
SEE LIVE VIDEO FROM TALUS LA QUINTA HERE.
Read Robert Green’s Full Tuesday 5-30-2023 Statement Below:
“Through careful planning, strategic partnerships, and a steadfast dedication, TALUS has successfully navigated the complex financial landscape to secure the essential funding needed to bring the project to completion. Currently, the final loan documents are being processed, and we anticipate a smooth closing for the project's final funding. We would like to express our gratitude to all our partners, investors, and stakeholders for their unwavering support throughout this process. Their confidence in our project and shared commitment to innovation and progress have played a pivotal role in reaching this important stage. We remain committed to upholding the highest standards of excellence as we move closer to finalizing the funding for the TALUS project. Our team is excited about the prospects of bringing this transformative venture to life and delivering exceptional results for all involved. Thank you for your continued support.”