Ahhh, real estate! You can file for bankruptcy protection for your old company while creating a new multi-million dollar real estate investment company the same week.

The 11 properties in the joint venture have a combined 1 million square feet. The partners, according to the release, set a goal of acquiring more than 200 facilities in the West over the next three years.

Roberts, Onyx CEO, filed last week for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection for Charlevoix Homes.

My first reaction was, “Stay away from self storage.”

* UPDATE *

Bankrupt builder shuts down new venture… which he now says had no money anyhow.

A Scottsdale home builder who filed for bankruptcy protection has shut down a new venture that was pursuing acquisition of self-storage units.

Michael Roberts, founder of Charlevoix Homes, said that Onyx Trust Inc. was shutting down in the wake of publicity about his bankruptcy filing.

Onyx Trust announced last month that it had reached agreement to buy 11 self-storage facilities for $78 million and hoped to acquire others.

Former Phoenix Mayor Skip Rimsza, an unpaid board member in Onyx Trust, resigned after learning of Roberts’ financial troubles.

“A lot of people don’t want their name involved,” Roberts said of Onyx Trust. He was CEO of the limited-liability company.

Roberts filed for a personal Chapter 7 bankruptcy in July, listing $118 million in debts. He has also filed for bankruptcy protection for Charlevoix Homes, listing many of the same creditors.