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Date of Issue: July 19, 2007

GSR abandons Island properties

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The boot
This eviction notice for GSR principal Steve Noriega was posted last week at 210 Gulf Drive S., Unit B, in Bradenton Beach. The notice gave Noriega just a few days to remove his personal property. Neighbors say they have not seen Noriega in months. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin

If any unsecured investor in bankrupt GSR Development LLC thought there was any chance of getting at least some money back through the sale of the company’s numerous properties, those thoughts can now be officially laid to rest.

On July 10, attorney Stephen Leslie, representing GSR, filed a notice with the federal bankruptcy court in Tampa that the company “is hereby abandoning all interest” in its real estate properties on Anna Maria Island and any remaining interest is “abandoned to the first lien holder(s).”

 Even those creditors might be caught holding worthless paper.

On two of the properties shown in GSR’s abandonment papers filed with the court - 506 74th St. and 604 Foxworth Lane, both in Holmes Beach - the value of the property was listed as less than the amount owed to the lienholder.

Surprisingly, GSR listed the total value of the 15 properties in the abandonment as $32.5 million, but said secured claims against those properties were just $23.5 million, a $9 million difference.

But the $9 million is only if all the properties sold for the values GSR has placed on them.

The best chance for any of the unsecured creditors to get any money now appears to be the “adversarial proceedings” filed by the unsecured creditors committee against GSR principals Steve Noriega and Robert Byrne, and other “targets” involved in the bankruptcy case. The committee has asked for $3 million from Byrne, Noriega and the “targets.”

The initial hearing in the adversarial proceedings is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. July 31, at the federal courthouse at 801 N. Florida Ave. in Tampa.