Potential Chase Tower buyers come from far and near

It was a year ago this month that a proposed sale of South Bend’s tallest building, the Chase Tower, publicly fell apart at the seams.

Since that time, interest in buying the Chase has come from as far away as New Zealand, and as near as Elkhart County.

It was in January of 2012 that the very public offer of a Chicago area businessman Satish Gabhawala was withdrawn, after the South Bend Common Council tabled—one time too many--a request to contribute $5.7 million to the project.

Court documents provide a peek of what has quietly happened since, including information about a Letter of Intent from the Pandey Hotel Corporation, based in New Zealand.

In August, attorneys for the bank that foreclosed on the Chase note they have drafted a motion to sell.

In October, attorneys revised the motion and performed some title work.

In November, the court appointed receiver suddenly shifts gears and “discussed a new sale scenario with the plaintiff.”

Also in November, attorneys for a group of investors based in Elkhart County went to court, “having tendered a proposal for the purchase of the Chase Tower.” The group mysteriously withdrew from the foreclosure case a couple of weeks later.

The problem with monitoring the latest on the possible sale of the Chase Tower through court documents is that the most recent submission covers day to day operations through the end of November 2012.

News Center 16 today contacted a member of that Elkhart County based investment group who did not want to be publicly identified, but said that the local group “has continued interest in the building and feels it’s a very important part of downtown South Bend and the South Bend community.”

Scott Ford with the South Bend Department of Community Investment said that the city has been in touch with prospective purchasers and remains positive about future development opportunities. Ford did not directly indicate whether the city had been asked to play a financial role in any recent purchase scenario.

The Chase Tower has been operated by a court appointed receiver since February of 2011.

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