The last 10 unsold condos in Sommerset Villas, one of the Escondido condo complexes at the center of a massive real estate real estate scheme run by Jim McConville, have been sold.

Two individuals, listed as Shahrokh Elihu and Doris Elghanayan, purchased the units on May 12. The buyers paid $620,000 for the 10 units, according to county records.

That $62,000 per unit is drastically lower than the $265,000 to $310,000 purchase prices the units were sold for last summer to the straw buyers McConville had rounded up.

They were the last 10 units left in stock for Premier Coastal Development, a prolific local condo conversion company. Premier negotiated the sale for the developers of Sommerset Villas, which had been under pressure from banks to pay back their loans.

McConville last year had contracted to buy all of the then-remaining 44 units in the complex in a bulk sale. But after selling 34 in the scheme detailed in our recent investigation, McConville disappeared, breaching his contract, said William Bramley, attorney representing the developers.

“Nobody at least on our end can get a hold of the guy,” Bramley said. “McConville, by the time he disappeared, we couldn’t even talk about any remedies (for the 10 units).”

The developers were stuck with the remaining 10 units, some of which are not completely renovated, Bramley said, and were under pressure to sell them to satisfy their lenders on the project. Unloading them wasn’t a simple task considering the recent developments and foreclosure trouble at the complex.

“We procured some interest, limited though it might be,” Bramley said. “And the bottom line is, the best deal that we could get was for the $620,000.”

Like the McConville deals, the developers had to get the bank’s approval of the purchase price. The bank — Comerica in this case — scrutinized the offer and agreed it was the best possible deal considering the circumstances.

“This was a short sale cum laude,” Bramley said. “We were on pins and needles as to whether the thing would close, but it did close.”

With this sale, Premier’s inventory of condo conversions is entirely sold.

“We have essentially ‘short sale-d’ our selves out of business right now,” Bramley said.


Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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