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In Beverly Hills, the Mountain’s fate looms as foreclosure auction gets delayed

In Beverly Hills, the Mountain’s fate looms as foreclosure auction gets delayed



The Mountain — a stunning 157-acre property touted as the city’s finest undeveloped piece of land — is barely keeping its peak above water in Beverly Hills.

The prized property burst onto the market last summer boasting a potentially record-breaking price tag of $1 billion with a snazzy branding strategy and a marketing budget of $1 million. On Thursday, however, it was nearly auctioned off outside a Pomona courthouse before the owners took drastic measures to delay the sale.

It was a new low for the coveted acreage set at the highest point of the so-called Beverly Hills Post Office area.

The foreclosure auction was announced after the now-former owner, a limited liability company called Secured Capital Partners, failed to secure Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month. Court records show Secured Capital owes about $200 million on the property.

Two days before it would belong to the highest bidder, however, the owner strategically transferred the deed to a limited liability company called Tower Park Properties.

Both companies are controlled by Victor Franco Noval, son of convicted felon Victorino Noval, who pleaded guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion in 1997 and was sentenced to federal prison in 2003.

The transfer of ownership makes the foreclosure auction — which was initiated by the lender and not ordered by a court — “legal suicide” for the lender, according to Ronald Richards, attorney for Secured Capital Partners.



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