"I think the industry as a whole will feel a significant effect from this. This is a big one. It's not just a lender. It was also an equity player," said Ross Moore, executive vice president of market and economic research at Colliers International. "This is not good news for the real estate world."
The filing leaves many question marks - and likely distress - for everyone from building owners to developers. At this point, there are few answers.
At a press conference at Lehman's headquarters in England's Canary Wharf, PricewaterhouseCoopers Partner Dan Schwarzmann said administrators will sell Lehman's properties in a managed, orderly way. Analysts, meanwhile, speculate the $32.6 billion commercial property fund is unlikely to be off-loaded in a fire sale.
A Lehman spokesman declined to comment.
"Lehman is on so many different sides on so many different deals across the country," said Eric M. Anton, executive managing director of Eastern Consolidated, which has done transactions with Lehman. "It's going to be, I think, very difficult and time-consuming to unwind some of these positions."
Lehman underwrote numerous development projects, Anton said, and played in a variety of debt positions including mezzanine debt, which could take on the form of either a second mortgage or preferred equity. It also partnered in joint ventures.