We have talked plenty about Troy’s twin property purchases in the Park Cities. But who bought his Larry Boerder-designed home on Highland Drive?
They would be a MORENO, MICHEL B & TIFFANY. Deed transfer date is July 9, 2013. Now I have heard there was one other buyer lined up, so much that Troy actually called the movers and told everyone to get into action, he was moving (into a house on Lakeside)! But that deal fell through because the almost-buyer wanted more of a basement to park his vast collectible auto collection. This was right around the time Troy took the Highland home, listed for $14 million, out of MLS.
Then came the Morenos!
Anyhow, googling around I see that Michel Moreno is the Chairman of the Board and CEO of Green Field Energy Services. Looks like he’s from Lafayette, Louisiana. Originally from Cuba. Don’t know how long he’s lived in Lafayette , but he purportedly played baseball at USL for a while in college. Pretty darn good looking dude and just in his early 40’s. Green Field is an oil and gas services company for the fracking industry and has concentrated its hydraulic fracturing efforts in the Permian Basin in West Texas, the Eagle Ford Shale in southern Texas, and the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. Here’s what the company website says:
“GREEN FIELD ENERGY SERVICES has become this innovator for alternative fuel and technology, by learning from those before us and creating a better and more responsible energy future for those who come after. We are in the beginning of a new era in energy, where advancements in hydraulic fracturing can open doors and give America an independence its never had before.
But just Sunday, Green Field filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, hoping to reorganize its approximately $500 million in outstanding debt — about the same amount it lists in assets.
“The man with the Midas touch, whose business deals almost always seem to end up in a heated court battle, might need to pull a rabbit out of his hat to get this venture out of bankruptcy.”
I spoke to Leslie, and she confirmed that the guy with the Midas touch is Mike Moreno.
Moreno is apparently a Realtor’s (and real estate blogger’s) dream. He likes to buy homes, big homes, multiple homes, and live the high life. Leslie tells me Moreno owns several multi-million dollar homes, including one at 2307 River Oaks Boulevard in Houston, and one stunner in Lafayette, LA, in an upscale neighborhood called River Ranch:
That Lafayette home is stunning.
But you should see the Moreno’s Houston mansion: 11, 236 square feet, five bedrooms, eight full and three half baths, a stunning Italian estate located on toney River Oaks Blvd. The home was built in 1951 but has been totally updated with gourmet kitchen, custom cabinetry, grand formals, marble-y master with dual baths, custom closets, elevator, Lutron lighting, copper gutters, pool, spa and fountain, summer kitchen, apartment quarters and an exercise room. The home was listed for $7,900,000:
Gorgeous! Moreno also owns a gorgeous thoroughbred and the steed, named Moreno, is racing in this weekend’s $5 million Breeders Cup.
According to a source in Lafayette, Moreno also “has a major yacht and plane”. Well, duh! He also owns several companies and created a restaurant in Dallas near the Quadrangle, JoJo Eating House and Bar, featuring chef Laurent Poupart who was once his personal chef. According to the brilliant Teresa Gubbins at CultureMap, Dee Lincoln is “taking over the restaurant”.
He has certainly looked at a lot of real estate in Dallas. My LA sources tell me Mike Moreno is well-liked in southwestern Louisiana and is the kind of guy who always manages to make lemonade out of lemons in his business dealings. Once or twice he’s had a company in trouble, but pulled his way out. Once a company was “saved” by a hurricane.
It appears this bankruptcy is going to add some folks to the unemployment list, but I’m told Green Field was a company already in trouble when Moreno bought it in 2011. He, along with a group of investors, purchased the Hub City Industries in 2011, re-named it Green Field, and increased the manufacture and use of turbine equipment in the field. Since 2011, Green Field has expanded from 75 to more than 500 employees companywide, with operating districts in Lafayette, Texas and Pennsylvania.
Leslie writes “it’s unclear how many of Green Field’s 355 people at 14 facilities throughout Texas and Louisiana have been laid off. An ABiz source with information about its local operations says about half of the roughly 40 office staffers in Lafayette lost their jobs.” And the story is apparently just beginning:
The Wall Street Journal reports that of its Chapter 11 filing Sunday in Wilmington, Del., Green Field had $255.9 million in bond debt, an $80 million credit facility owed to Shell (the national newspaper points out that Green Field argues in court documents that Shell failed to perfect liens securing this debt, which the WSJ believes is a hint that a potential court fight could be in the making) and $98.6 million in trade debt. Green Field lost $74.6 million last year and $81.4 million so far this year.
Is the guy who bought Troy Aikman’s house taking on Shell Oil? Wow.
Sounds like Mike Moreno is the perfect new owner for a famous former quarterback’s mansion!