Byline: Diane Dorrans Saeks

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Fashion Center will be put up for auction March 28. The sale was originally planned for January, then postponed until Thursday, but has been rescheduled again so the receiver can coordinate all participating lenders.
The 740,000-square-foot complex, built in 1990 for $91 million by Atlanta-based Portman Cos., has been in foreclosure since last July. The Fashion Center, which has never been more than 50 percent leased, is said to owe more than $128 million to its primary lender, Pittsburgh-based Mellon Bank.
Brokers and business insiders estimate a fire-sale bid of less than $30 million may seal the fate of the troubled building. After various deals and offers fell through last year, there have been rumors that the building would be converted to city administration offices, a sports complex, college classrooms or a hotel.
Most of the approximately 30 fashion reps remaining in the building have signed leases with the nearby Gift Center and Jewelry Mart and will move there in May.

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