Archive for Thursday, December 2, 2010

Judge approves receivership for Bella Sera condominiums; bank owed $13.5 million

December 2, 2010


The Bella Sera condominiums project has been pushed into receivership, as the bank that loaned more than $16 million for the development seeks to recover unpaid funds.

The project, at 4500 Bob Billings Parkway, now is being managed by Block Real Estate Management Co., based in Kansas City, Mo.

Judge Peggy Kittel approved the receivership order this week in Douglas County District Court.

M&I; Bank filed suit last month, seeking the appointment of a receiver and foreclosure on the 37-unit building, which also includes a workout room, pool, theater and other communal amenities.

“We’re working to keep the whole project going while the banks and the parties and the court determine what the appropriate outcome is,” said Harry Drake, Block’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.

The suit seeks repayment from Bella Sera Capital LLC and Bella Sera Development LLC, owners of the project. Developers and leaders of the project have been Jes Santaularia and Karl Capps.

As of July 30, according to the suit, the owners owed $13.5 million to M&I; Bank in principal and interest, with interest continuing to accrue at a rate of $2,227 per day.

Phil Harrison, who purchased the project’s first condo before construction even had started in 2006 and continues to live there, said he was sad to see the developers lose their property, which had become inevitable as the residential market sagged.

But he’s pleased to see the project getting a chance to turn a corner.

“It’s kind of like having surgery: I’m sorry I’m going to have it, but I’m happy to get it over with,” said Harrison, a real estate investor who is former president and managing broker for the former Gill Real Estate and Insurance in Lawrence.


David Holroyd 7 years, 1 month ago

HOw many units are left unsold as to date? Only 37 units? No wonder it has trouble. The HOA fees must be extravagant with so few units. Who has been managing the condo building? Is there any reserve fund? Normally that is funded by the developer.

Journal World, get a real story about the place. Some meat in the story about the financials of the condo association. Does it have officers? Does it have a board of directors? How does the county appraiser treat the value of the condos for tax purposes. How much is the common area worth?

Personally, Bella Sera made the same mistake as Hobbs Taylor. Not enough units and those that were built were too big.

the idea was good but should have been on the alvamar golf course some 20 years ago, then Alvamar wouldn't be in the mess it is in either.

Could Bella Sera be moved?

Steve Jacob 7 years, 1 month ago

Hobbs Taylor I think is doing very well, apartments anyway, why do you think they are building more condos at 9th and NH?

hail2oldku 7 years, 1 month ago

Wilbur knows not of what he speaks concerning Hobbs-Taylor. The condos there did very well initially. Any units that are now vacant are not owned by the H-T group or by the bank (unless through foreclosure). The mistake of Hobbs-Taylor is in it's retail space.

Steve Jacob 7 years, 1 month ago

Looks like a very nice place, built at the wrong time.

BigPrune 7 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Don Zimmer 7 years, 1 month ago

One eye;

get agrip. With today's 24/7 news channel people expect too much. Let the process play out as I am sure even the parties involved are not aware of all the twists and turns and the end results. This will be a very complex situation and may take months or years to resolve.

And why are you so interested in the minute details?

Don Zimmer 7 years, 1 month ago

The only winners will be the lawyers.

If this project had been downtown or next to the University it would have been a success and missed the real estate recession.

kernal 7 years, 1 month ago

I would be surprised if units priced at $300,000 to $1,000,000 would have sold any better "next to the University", and where do you think they would have been able to build a condo project that large and luxurious nearer the University? The only vacant land I can think of, that's large enough, is on campus,

Don Zimmer 7 years, 1 month ago

In my opinion this has alreaddy been accomplished by the prices received by the Condos that were part of the Oread Hotel. They bought existing buildings and demo'd them. As a former Hobbs Taylor owner those pricesabove were obtained due to its location. I agree with oneeyed in that the main problem was lack of nearby amenities.The project itself has unmatched amenities, not found elsewhere but until they are all sold and the owners can contribute to HO association dues will be high.

LogicMan 7 years, 1 month ago

Too bad the project failed financially. But now hopefully all the units can be sold and occupied at a reduced cost. Just bad timing, and maybe location, for a luxury project.

George_Braziller 7 years, 1 month ago

Bella Sera is one butt ugly monstrosity. It was the wrong project, with the wrong architecture, in the wrong place.

It would however fit in very nicely on the Florida coast as part of a planned retirement community with assisted living options as part of the package.

Don Zimmer 7 years, 1 month ago

What a great recruiting tool.

Think what tthe money paid to Lew, Mangino, and Gill would have bought.

pace 7 years, 1 month ago

I called about them for an elderly friend, the person who answered the phone on two calls, was snotty and wouldn't answer questions directly. She was a piece of work. Without knowing my friend she said that it didn't sound like my friend would like it. I thought it well built but badly marketed. They told me they were against renting, only interested in the "right" buyers.

Hoots 7 years, 1 month ago

You have to understand big money finance to understand why she said that. Did you see the daily carry cost? They needed big chunks of money coming in all at once. That deal was DOA before it started. Count your friend lucky they didn't rent. She could have been kicked out by the bank yesterday.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 1 month ago

The bank should have done a study or two to see if the Lawrence market could in fact absorb these new dwellings.

The bank should have done a study or two to see if the Lawrence market might be flooded before lending any money for any new real estate project.

Why do banks lend money before confirming results of the two suggested studies? Don't rely on information from the builders for they may tell a financial institution just about anything.

Lawrence is not a hot real estate or retail market.

Art,music,KU and basketball is about it for Lawrence,Kansas substance.

gatekeeper 7 years, 1 month ago

Good banks do study before loaning money. So many reasons to do business with sound, local banks instead of large banks like M&I.

hail2oldku 7 years, 1 month ago

DD was completed by the bank before loans were extended. The inability of the contractor to get the structure up in a timely manner allowed many of the contracts to lapse which ultimately saved the potential buyers since the market headed south right about the same time as this project was being completed.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 1 month ago

The 9th and New Hampshire may well be a blow out as well. There are tons of rentals with empty bedrooms in Lawrence,Kansas. AND this deal at 9th and New Hampshire is NOT providing its' own parking for the tenants...... as far as we know.

gatekeeper 7 years, 1 month ago

Or how about charge for that parking and add it to the rent the people will pay. If people are so smug that they'll sit on lists for years just to be able to live downtown, then they should be willing to pay for parking also. The people living above the shops aren't getting free parking.

But we all have to remember that making Compton happy is all the city leaders care about. This is such a corrupt, BS city.

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years, 1 month ago

I'll never understand the "let's stop growth at any cost crowd." One day they are complaining that growth on the outer edges of town hurts downtown and the next day - when someone announces a project that will implicitly generate sales downtown - the same crowd complains about it. I'd like to think it is because this crowd hates anything Compton does... but it seems clear that it's more an inability to have an intellectually coherent position on an issue for more than a week at a time.

gudpoynt 7 years, 1 month ago

Try understanding that it's not "at any cost". The anti-growth crowd is mostly anti-sprawl, anti-big-box-stores pushing out local business. That's all. When they put restrictions on Wal-mart and Lowes, that's why. Not because they don't want growth. They just don't want to see Lawrence turn (even more) into every other town that had chosen to develop that way, thereby sucking the marrow out of the town's character.

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years, 1 month ago

Do you have any evidence at all for anything you are saying? No. Back to mowing lawns for you, old man.

LadyJ 7 years, 1 month ago

How much did this cost taxpayers for things like infrastructure? And last I looked there was a lot of unpaid taxes.

Alceste 7 years, 1 month ago

Bella Sera is a historically significant building. It would be a travesty to even discuss tearing it down. It's historical. Leave it alone.

Sharon Aikins 7 years, 1 month ago

It was my understanding that this was just the first of at least three buildings in that complex. My guess is that it will never expand past the one. What a waste of money!

Terry Sexton 7 years, 1 month ago

As a story, it's not that interesting. Development group speculates on a niche in the market, fails miserably. It happens once in a while. Seems ballsy to have built the thing without having pre-sold more units. Luxury urban condo buildings in Lawrence feel out of place to me, especially placed in the wide open 'burbs. Even Hobbs-Taylor has me scratching my head. No disrespect to the residents; it's your choice, but it seems a tad pricey for an amazing view of the Bottleneck. At least Hobbs is located in a more urban environment.

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