FDIC Walking Away from Leases of Failed Banks

Troubled Los Angeles-based office REIT Maguire Properties is facing default and currently is in discussions with a special servicer to resolve its financial woes.  The goal is to have the special servicer take over Maguire’s $106 million CMBS financing covering the Quintana office campus it owns in Orange County, CA.  The campus’s major tenant was Washington Mutual Bank, which failed last year.

As receiver for WaMu, the Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC) gave up its majority of the Quintana lease effective in March and does not have to pay rent or other compensation connected to the lease termination.  A little-known provision  gives the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) the authority to break leases between the bank and the landlord once a financial institution has been taken over.  One side effect of this provision could be that we’ll see fewer branch banks in the future as the FDIC breaks additional leases inked by failed banks.

As a result of the FDIC’s ending the lease, the Quintana campus’ occupancy was reduced approximately 250,000 SF to 40 percent.  According to Nelson C. Rising, Maguire’s president and CEO, the FDIC’s rejection of the leases was “a highly unusual and unfortunate event.”