I had been wondering when Novare was going to get into trouble with all the empty condos it has around town (and elsewhere). Looks like Novare will be lucky to restructure its debt without going into bankruptcy. The whole story is worth a read, but it is something I've speculated on a little bit here in the past.
It might be too early to write the obituary on Novare - who knows if they'll make it. They've been around a lot longer than some folks realize. Jim Borders converted a number of Midtown and Downtown office buildings for the Olympics, including what is now the Metropolitan at Five Points, and Peachtree Lofts where the Vortex is. He also did Renaissance Lofts on Ralph McGill and Centennial House, too. He really was a pioneer for Atlanta urban housing, although I don't want to give the impression that he was alone in this regard.
It is probably worth comparing Novare with another Atlanta giant - Cousins. Cousins made a number of poor timing choices, too. Their Terminus project has a lot of empty units and office space. However, Cousins didn't use a construction loan for the project. They don't run the same risk of foreclosure that Novare does and can ride out the recession a little bit easier. Because they are a large REIT, they can now raise more capital and be in a position to buy other assets on the cheap.
h/t: Jeanne Bonner