A multi-million dollar west Lawrence condominium development now is in the hands of an area bank that said it will begin searching for a new owner for the complex.
M&I; Marshall & Ilsley Bank was the successful bidder at a sheriff’s sale Thursday for the financially-struggling Bella Sera at the Preserve condominium development along Bob Billings Parkway near Wakarusa Drive.
Developers had fallen behind on a mortgage for the property and owed M&I; a little more than $13 million on the project.
The bank won the sheriff’s auction with a $2.075 million bid, which was the only bid made during the auction.
Cassie Writz, an attorney with the Kansas City-based law firm Bryan Cave, said her bank clients now would begin marketing the property to potential buyers.
Writz said the bank likely would look at selling the property to a single purchaser, but also may consider selling individual condos to interested buyers.
The property includes about 38 unfinished condominiums, a vacant parcel of land adjacent to the development, and several common areas such as a swimming pool, lobby, outdoor kitchen and bar area.
The auction attracted a large crowd, including many of Lawrence’s more prominent developers of commercial and real estate property.
About 13 units in the 50 unit complex are occupied. Writz said maintenance of the property’s common areas will continue under the bank’s ownership and that the development would operate in a “business as usual” mode during the transition.