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Citigroup strikes deal to sell St. Regis Monarch Beach resort

November 18, 2009 |  6:31 pm

Citigroup Inc. has agreed to sell the St. Regis Monarch Beach in Dana Point, which earned brief notoriety last year when insurer American International Group chose the resort as the site of a luxury retreat after accepting a huge government bailout.

Stregis Citigroup Global Markets Realty Group took over the recession-battered hotel and spa, along with its golf course, in June after its former owners, a joint venture between San Francisco hedge fund Farallon Capital and Newport Beach developer Makar Properties, defaulted on a $70-million Citigroup loan.

The pending sale was first reported by Real Estate Alert, an online newsletter that said the buyers were foreign and would pay a total of about $245 million for the property.

A person briefed on the deal, who was not authorized to speak publicly about it, confirmed to The Times that Citigroup had signed a letter of intent to sell the St. Regis.

The former owners had refinanced the 400-room property with $230 million in senior mortgages in addition to the $70 million owed to Citigroup.

The new buyers, whose identities could not be determined, had agreed to take on the obligation to pay the senior mortgages, leaving about $15 million for Citigroup, Real Estate Alert said.

-- E. Scott Reckard and Roger Vincent

Photo: At the St. Regis Monarch Beach. Credit: Tim Rue / Bloomberg News

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