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.


rockchalker52 3 years, 4 months 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.


redmoonrising 3 years, 4 months 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!


Alceste 3 years, 4 months 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.


LadyJ 3 years, 4 months ago

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


Richard Heckler 3 years, 4 months 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.


Richard Heckler 3 years, 4 months 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.


not_holroyd 3 years, 4 months ago

You gotta listen to oneeye Wilbur.

Because the 1200 block of Louisiana, and the Oread neighborhood in general, demonstrates his development background. Contact the Oread Neighborhood Association to obtain his assistance.


pace 3 years, 4 months 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.


michaelclayton 3 years, 4 months ago

oneeye is dead on, it will be rentals. I would suggest that KU buy it and make it the mens basketball dorm.


George_Braziller 3 years, 4 months 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.


LogicMan 3 years, 4 months 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.


macon47 3 years, 4 months ago

tell henderson, it would be a great homeless center


doesnotplaywellwithothers 3 years, 4 months 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?


BigPrune 3 years, 4 months ago

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


Steve Jacob 3 years, 4 months ago

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


oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 4 months 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?


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