Two more iconic commercial properties are in mortgage foreclosure.
One is a South Bend office building and the other is a hotel and condo complex on State Road 933 North.
Both buildings have been dangling in default for an extended period of time. Both are now scheduled for auction at a November 14th Sheriff’s Sale with the proceeds to be used to try and settle outstanding debt.
“I have no idea what the situation was here, I know we’ve paid our rent on time every month, once every month we’ve been here,” said Jeff Rea, President of the St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce.
Yes, the agency that exists to help local businesses thrive is located in the so-called Commerce Center at 401 E. Colfax in South Bend, which is the subject of foreclosure proceedings.
The Commerce Center is 95 square feet of riverfront property that lies on the west bank of the East Race.
According to court documents, Commerce Center owner Tycore Ltd. and Richard Gabriel owe OneWest Bank, FSB $3.8 million.
“And you start thinking about uncertainty. If there’s uncertainty related to this building, to Chase, (the Chase Tower) to other prominent buildings,” said Jeff Rea. “It’s a pretty important time for downtown.”
Down the street and out in the county, the Waterford Estates Lodge is in the same boat. The Waterford is also scheduled to be sold at a foreclosure auction on November 14th.
Court documents show that the Waterford has a total of 200 condo units and that 115 of them combine for an unpaid property tax bill of $351,000.
Court documents in the Waterford case indicate that S.B. Condo Hotel, LLC owes MCC Funding, LLC more than $21 million.
Earlier this year, the One Michiana Square building went through a Sheriff’s Sale and the Chase Tower—South Bend’s tallest building has been in court supervised receivership since February of 2011.
As for the Commerce Center, “We aren’t interested in being the landlord here, but somebody may. Somebody may see this as an important piece of downtown or our East Race location, the number of tenants we have in here, I think it would be attractive to folks, certainly we’re optimistic that happens in the next few weeks,” said Jeff Rea. “We’ve had a receiver involved in the property here for some time that has continued to help sort of make things happen here and so there’s a piece of me that feels that it’s all part of the process of working through an owner who wasn’t able to meet his obligations and maybe it helped clear the way for that new owner to step in and look forward instead of looking backward.”