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Bank buys Bella Sera condo complex at forclosure auction

August 19, 2011

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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.

Comments

toe 2 years, 7 months ago

M&I no longer exists. It was bought out by a Canadian Bank.

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Mr_B9 2 years, 8 months ago

Who were the developers that defaulted on the loan?

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clovis_sangrail 2 years, 8 months ago

I think it would make a nice place for the homeless shelter.

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nativeson 2 years, 8 months ago

This is a good resolution. The bank will likely write down the loan value to something reasonable, and the units will be sold at a rate that the market will sustain. I believe the concept of a condo development aimed at an affluent senior population will be successful at the right price point. This came in too high.

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faceit 2 years, 8 months ago

It would be a great place for color-blind people to live. The multi-colored paint job is hideous. It looks like something out of the Miami ghetto. All it needs is laundry hanging from the balconies.

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Keith 2 years, 8 months ago

Combination night club and retirement complex. Name it Last Call.

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onceinawhile 2 years, 8 months ago

"Foreclosure," not "forclosure."

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distant_voice 2 years, 8 months ago

You live in Kansas where you can buy a beautiful home for a song...and you want to buy a half-million-dollar apartment? I never got the concept and still don't. Good luck trying to unload these babies.

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bootlegger 2 years, 8 months ago

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

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oneeye_wilbur 2 years, 8 months ago

Pay no more than $50,000 for a shell in the place.

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hoshi 2 years, 8 months ago

The bank is already carrying the $13+million loan so in essence they paid about $15+ million for the property.

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Lee Eldridge 2 years, 8 months ago

Obviously the story yesterday was in error.

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Dave McClain 2 years, 8 months ago

How is it that yesterday's article stated that the minimum bid would be 13.2 million (I do not remember the exact figure, but it was over the 13 million) and the bank that owns the loan can bid just over 2 million?

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Maracas 2 years, 8 months ago

While it was being built, I never did get why that whole Bella Sera thing was such a good idea.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

At $2.075 million those Condo's might become a great buy if the bank does not become too greedy.

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