In a sign of just how difficult things are in the real estate world these days, the DMN is reporting that Ross Perot Jr.’s Hillwood company is in the process of turning over ownership in "most" of the buildings in its downtown Victory Park project to lenders after failing to meet loan covenants.

According to the story, Hillwood already has sunk about $68 million in the project and stands to lose another $100 million as part of the ownership transfer, but the company will retain management and operating control over the development. Hillwood also retains ownership of the remaining vacant land, according to the story, and that land will eventually be valuable development sites again some day.

I imagine Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars owner Tom Hicks — a minority partner in the Victory development until the German lenders became involved a few years ago — is watching these negotiations with interest, because just a few months ago, who would have thought Hillwood would lose its signature project? It seemed like one of those deals that was too big to fall into the lenders’ hands. And with Hicks playing Russian Roulette with his lenders on the sports teams right now, holding back on interest payments in an effort to renegotiate loan terms, there’s probably a little more trepidation as that deal continues to be worked out.