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Bank to offer Custom Highline building for sale

Automobile-sales lot closed nearly a year ago

The former site of Custom Highline at 1527 W. Sixth St. is expected to be listed for sale by Central National Bank by the end of the year. The bank and two other creditors have settled their differences with the building's owners and one of the business's owners.

The former site of Custom Highline at 1527 W. Sixth St. is expected to be listed for sale by Central National Bank by the end of the year. The bank and two other creditors have settled their differences with the building's owners and one of the business's owners.

November 6, 2008

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Custom Highline site to be sold

A former co-owner of Custom Highline has been ordered to pay more than $1.5 million to the closed car lot's largest creditor. Enlarge video

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The former home of Custom Highline is poised to be listed for sale, nearly a year after the auto-sales business closed under pressure from its lenders.

Central National Bank plans to put the building and parking lot on the market by the end of December, now that the bank and two other creditors - Auto Leasing Corp. and National Bank of Kansas City - have settled their differences with the building's owners and one of the business' owners.

As part of the settlement, the creditors agreed to dismiss civil proceedings against Raonak Ekram and Eston J. Schwartz, Lawrence physicians who own the building at 1527 W. Sixth St.; and David Rueschhoff, a co-owner of Custom Highline.

"Lawrence did what Lawrence does: It found a positive solution to a difficult situation," said Bruce Woner, an attorney for Central National Bank. "The doctors and Mr. Rueschhoff met their obligations to their creditors and their community, and my hat's off to all three."

Custom Highline's other owner, Zarif Haque, was not a party to the settlement and - in an order approved Oct. 30 by Douglas County Distrist Judge Peggy Kittel - has been ordered to pay Central National Bank $1.5 million, plus interest and other charges.

Haque had started Custom Highline at 2441 W. Sixth St., the former home of Rueschhoff Locksmiths and Security Systems, before buying out Quick's Bar-B-Que and relocating his operation in March 2007 to a larger showroom he had built on the former Quick's lot.

Within eight months, however, Custom Highline's lenders had moved to foreclose on the business - having discovered that their separate loans had been secured using the same Cadillac, Lexus, BMW, Mercedes and Infiniti vehicles on Custom Highline's lot.

Two months later, Haque was promising to reopen the business within a month, blaming his "dispute between inventory financing and a line of credit" on his business getting too big, too fast.

Last week, representing himself before Judge Kittel, Haque signed the judgment that acknowledged his debt of $1.5 million, plus more than $140,000 in interest.

"I don't have any doubt that the young man has dreams and aspirations, and I wish him the best with regard to those dreams and aspirations," Woner said. "I feel positive we've reached a final agreement."

Comments

Steve Jacob 6 years, 1 month ago

Central National Bank might as well right off most of that $1.5 million. Anyway, some used card place in Lawrence could get a nice deal, but they might have trouble getting loans too, the way things are going.

LogicMan 6 years, 1 month ago

The place on the south side, on Iowa across from McDonalds, is closed and the building is for sale too. Any of the same people involved?

MIke Mallory 6 years, 1 month ago

anyone heard of stealing from peter to pay paul. sounds like he got got with his hand in 2 cookie jars. he should go to jail.

somebodynew 6 years, 1 month ago

Hawk - I must be on drugs I don't know about, I am agreeing with you twice in one night !! While it won't work out, that is a good plan.

gccs14r 6 years, 1 month ago

Van Tuyl Motors should buy the place and move across the street.

another_concerned_parent 6 years, 1 month ago

Yes, some of the same people are involved. Some chicken place was to move in, but owners did not have enough capital to remodel the way chicken place wanted, so now it is demolished inside and for sale.

Tony Holladay 6 years, 1 month ago

Vista should move back in. I hate driving to Manhattan to get my Vista fix.

Slim 6 years, 1 month ago

City restrictions are as follows: unless another car dealership occupies the building, the parking lot is no longer large enough to accommodate a building of this size. If the building would change useage, a new site plan will need to be filed for whatever business occupies the building, and once that is approved, a parking variance will need to be filed and approved by the City. Whoever buys this building should expect 6-8 months minimum delay if they occupy it for their business. If it's bought as an investment, unless the buyer has someone lined up, expect the vacancy to be much, much longer since a new business will need to be convinced to wait it out with zero guarantees the City will allow it.Tax abatements only work for industrial.Good luck with that.

poppygirl 6 years, 1 month ago

I second a return of VISTA BURGERS !!! oh those good ole days.....

newsreader 6 years, 1 month ago

Another Concerned Parent;I dont know what you're talking about, but the empty AutoExchange building on Iowa is not related to the Custom Highline building or owners in any way.

otto 6 years, 1 month ago

I think the building in question - is the building to the east of Custom Highline but on the N. side of the road. It used to be a medical supply or doctors office. They started remodeling and now is sitting empty. I've heard ( I have no proof ) that this building was being remodeled by owners of Custom Highline

otto 6 years, 1 month ago

Someone asked about history of Quick - Custom Highline building and property. Quicks sold to Custom Highline for around $863,000 then had to demolish the old building and spend a bundle on the new building. In my opinion Quicks had a decent business. This much for the property at that time was hard to pass up.

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