Hail and high water finally did in Lincoln Plaza Office Park.
The lender has started foreclosure proceedings against the property because the owner has been unable to keep up payments.
Lincoln Plaza Office Park, 4545 N Lincoln, was among thousands of commercial buildings and homes severely damaged in an extraordinary hailstorm May 16, 2010. Hail wrecked the flat roof. The next month, heavy rains caused flooding that so thoroughly damaged the 270,000-square-foot property that tenants could not conduct business and started vacating.
Tenants forced to leave included the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, which was leasing some 150,000 square feet, more than half the space. Many other tenants also were state agencies invoking a 30-day opt-out clause in all state office lease agreements.
The owner, Dr. Vinod Gupta, a California cardiologist and 20-year-plus real estate investor in Oklahoma City, found himself in trouble with his lender, an entity of Wells Fargo.
With income cut to a fraction of what it was before the storms, the value of Lincoln Plaza Office Park collapsed, and Gupta's Lincoln Plaza Office Building LLC owed the lender more than the property was worth.
Gupta started trying to work out a refinance of a $7 million note. With the roof repaired and interior cleaned up but not rebuilt, he started trying to market the space to new tenants and gain back old ones.
A year ago, he openly wooed the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, promising to make the agency the anchor of Lincoln Plaza Office Park, with exclusive signage rights and other extras.
Apparently, the agency had no interest in moving back, even though it was looking to relocate from its temporary home at Shepherd Mall Office Complex.
Within months, the health care authority had signed a deal with Gardner Tanenbaum Group to relocate at the former Lincoln Plaza Hotel, 4345 N Lincoln.
Gupta's property continued to limp along. The lender filed a foreclosure motion in state district court March 11. The court appointed Jim Parrack, of Price Edwards & Co., as receiver.
Bert Belanger, an attorney and real estate broker who works with Gupta, said the family worked with the lender “and took some steps to make sure the (other) state tenants were handled” as well as possible.
Nether Vinod Gupta nor his son, Amil, vice president of operations for the family's property management company CR Operating Co., could be reached Thursday.
Belanger said the Guptas' fortunes have been vastly different at Landmark Towers, their office buildings at 3535, 3545 and 3555 NW 58.
“The Guptas have cooperated fully with the lender and have helped get a receiver in place,” Belanger said. “We continue to renew state leases at Landmark, and we are over 90 percent occupied, with several tenants seeking to expand.”