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Another setback for The Uptown as judge appoints a receiver

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A Marion County judge has appointed a receiver to take control of three properties involved in a long-delayed redevelopment proposal for College Avenue between 49th and 50th streets in Indianapolis.

The $19 million mixed-use proposal, already hobbled by an unsuccessful quest for government grants and a weak lending environment, faces an even more uncertain future after the ruling by Marion Superior Court Judge Patrick L. McCarty.

The judge appointed Jeffrey A. Adams of locally based Cohen Garelick & Glazier as receiver, setting aside pleas for more time from developer Leif Hinterberger, who has spent six years and most of his life savings trying to turn the blighted block into apartments and retail space.

Hinterberger already lost control of three duplexes on the northern half of the block needed for the project, dubbed The Uptown. The run-down retail buildings now under receivership represent the southern half.

The mortgage holder on those buildings, an entity controlled by real estate investor Bryan Chandler, initially filed to foreclose on the $500,000 note in December 2010, after it matured the previous February. Chandler's company, Strategic Mortgage Funding, bought the note from Indiana Business Bank in November 2010.

Hinterberger, who owns locally based Carreau Design Corp., said Chandler approached him after buying the note at a discount and offered to help try to get the project off the ground.

Hinterberger called the appointment of a receiver "irrelevant" and said he's still working with city officials, neighbors and lenders on a plan to "clean up the block comprehensively."

"The lender is trying to take over and steal the ground," Hinterberger said. "We've given every opportunity for them to step to the plate and do the right thing."

Chandler declined to discuss the properties.

Court records suggest Strategic Mortgage Funding wasn't in a big rush to wrest control of the properties from Hinterberger. The company did not ask for a receiver until March, more than a year after the note matured without payment.

The outstanding balance on the mortgage is about $561,000, which includes principal, interest, unpaid property taxes and legal bills, court records show. The properties listed as collateral are 4902 and 4918 N. College Ave., and 654 E. 49th St. The buildings have a combined assessed value of about $170,000.

The buildings on College Avenue are vacant and considered beyond repair. But Hinterberger has moved two tenants into the 49th Street building: Lamp Gallery and a retro boutique called Reclamation. He said neither is paying rent after agreeing instead to invest in fixing up their space.

The arrangement apparently did not impress the mortgage holder.

Even if Hinterberger pays back the note and regains control of the buildings, he likely would have to scale back his vision for The Uptown. He reached agreement with a lender last year to allow short sales of three duplexes he had bought and planned to raze for the project.

The plans for The Uptown most recently called for 46 apartment units over first-floor retail, with parking behind the building. The total project would have been about 65,000 square feet, down from an earlier proposal for 180,000 square feet.

Hinterberger on Wednesday would not say whether he still envisions a project of similar dimensions.

"We're really getting close to being able to create a win-win," he said Wednesday, echoing a pitch he made to frustrated neighbors back in 2010. "Our whole neighborhood and city will lose if we can't get rid of what's at 49th and College."

Hinterberger last year said his company had spent a total of $3.8 million to acquire properties and develop plans for The Uptown, on top of the $1.2 million it paid to renovate the historic building at the southwest corner of 49th Street and College Avenue into the Uptown Business Center.

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  • TIF
    Blighted, Historic, Mixed Use, Nodes pay for the TIF! They are the properties that have the incremental increase in property tax, which will pay for our community, regional and corridors foundation! They are the underutilized asset that goes from paying nothing to our City and State, rotting out our Community and City, to having the incremental increase in tax's, paying back many thousands of times over! Oh, Unless the residential community wants to have more and more property tax increases or sell what ever else we have to pay for less and less amenities??? This is what it means to shop local, reinvest local, keep our dollars local!
  • Public Private Partnerships Take Time
    For all who feel we are being held hostage, who are frustrated with Development Delays, realize delay comes not from developer. I assure you delays, putting more dollars forward with no return, and feelings of being held hostage are felt by no one more than primary investors, developer, and surrounding community. Yes, 49th & College for 25 plus years has been a blighted zone with in our community and City, a place that creates negative ROI, instead of positive ROI, a place where people do not want to be. It is now time to finally change this!!!

    By Design, Our City and Neighborhood via Comprehensive Community input have demanded Smart Growth, Mixed Use Redevelopment at this most important location, the center of our MidTown Neighborhood, and preferred quarter of our City. It has clearly been demanded to create a place where people want to be, not just another unacceptable strip center, or single tenant big box use, at this location. In order to add these elements of mixed use, smart growth it requires more time for our City, and Neighborhood to implement their imperative leadership, to do what is right for the many long term, so we can ââ?¬Å?ReBloom UpTownââ?¬Â? ââ?¬Å?ReBuild Indyââ?¬Â?, By Design.

    This requires our City to implement the finance able development package, implementing the imperative Public/Private Partnership, to cover costs congruent with what all our City and National studies show as imperative to prevent further core decline. At Carreau Design we have continued to do what the Community, City, and State have asked to do.

    The costs of smart growth; infrastructure, economic development, mixed use housing, LEED Green, quality construction within the center of our community and corridor requires City Economic, & Community Development Leadership. Once the City initiates we can create the many long term Benefits for our Community, although yes this has taken a lot of extra time, and a lot more upfront investment. Hopefully now our City is ready to allow us to all move forward, reinvesting into the location that will create large Returns for our relatively small Public reinvestment. Please stay tuned, get informed about the Sustainable Solutions and Benefits; Not just complain! www.ReBloomUpTown.com
  • nonsense!
    More of the incoherent blithering; not to mention the grammatically incorrect sentences. MK (and the MKNA) have been held hostage by Leif and his "vision" far too long. It is time to move on and do something constructive (without Leif). Do not let the TIF discussions be held hostage by the Uptown project. If Melina supports Leif and his project, she will not get my vote.
  • Mis Quote / Facts / Clarifications
    Cory Schouten: Miss Quote / Redirect:
    The Appointment of the Receiver is very relevant! I did not say this was irrelevant! What I said to Cory Schouten was, â??I thought he (Mr. Schouten) was trying make a story about the receivership, and his story was not a complete story, and thus not relevant to the imperative bigger issue, the real story that our neighborhood, ReBloom UpTown Community Partners and our City have been working on. We are trying to support our City, so we can ReBuild Indy, and have Sustainable Solutions. It is important for him to take the time to get the real, complete facts. Sit will us, review the details, use 2011 Census Data, not 2000 or even the last NSP 2007 studies and write about the reality, the details, the imperative needs, and show the UpTown Regional Community & Economic Solutions and Benefits, so we can clean up center of MidTown and the College Corridor, so we can all move forward, and Rebuild our Community as the many have said imperative to do!

    This being said, Bryan Chandler has communicated as of last week that he will delay or stop the receiver from moving forward with the receivers next steps, although to date we have not seen the actions necessary for this to happen. Again we are continuing to work with the City, working to be mindful of our lenders, working to find the â??Sustainable Solutionâ?? For All, and all that has been demanded of us, at this location.

    Reporting Facts / Clarifications:
    Chandler Bought Note Nov 1, 2010. All payments where current until this date. Chandler bought note and as a surprise to us, chose to not renew note. I have never seen a faster court process to try to take control of a property. Simply it has not been a year, it has been a little over 5 months since he bought note. Even still when Cory Schouten called me trying to dig up a story, I was very clear to say, I do not want to have him say anything negative against Bryan Chandler we are working on trying to find a solution. This location, in the center of the community is so important. It is imperative we all work together to achieve smart growth, sustainable solutions, win, win, wins, for us all. Now with a little City leadership, we CAN DO! a lot; Create the HARMONI!

    Project Details / Clarifications:
    The UpTown project is 72 units, approx 80,000 sf above ground; Not 46 units and 65,000 sf. We have been zoned since 2008, working since before that to do what the Cities and the Community have requested to design, build, and since working for our community to earn the Cities leadership and imperative financial commitments, participation, allowing the betterment of our whole MidTown Region and College corridor. We have done extensive studies evaluating the benefits, the pro/cons of smaller and larger projects, 20,000 to 180,000 sf. The studies show the imperative needs for more density mixed use, design by the inch, not too large, the â??Momma Bearâ??, the â??Marinade of MidTownâ??. Via our collaborative approach working closely with the architects, neighborhood groups, the City and State, together via everyone who has spent the large amounts of time reviewing the balance of development size and financial sources, we have come back to this approved project is the optimal project. Throughout this collaboration, based on the Community, City, & State requests, additional parking underground, LEED Green Gold Certification, Balconies, Brick, etc. have been added to improve the project. It is imperative our community and economic development project now have the relatively small amount of City Leadership, sources to cover the cost of smart growth, so we can all move forward. The large lost Public revenue for this site alone continues to be a damaging community and City wide set back, and it is at this imperative time via 20% City Public participation we can comprehensively set into motion the neighborhood impact project, so we can Rebuild Indy, ReBloom Uptown. FYI, the 20 % of public sourcing gets paid back , Just to Build the Building, Via Property, Sales, and Income Tax. And then becomes a community and City massive positive cash flow, lowering our overall community burdens, creating the many Benefits!


    Finally Yes, People are tired of Talking & Visioning.
    We all look forward to moving forward, being allowed to â??ReBuild Indyâ?? & seeing the Imperative City Actions, allowing Harmoni and our ReBloom UpTown Community Partners to ReBuild Indy. www.ReBloomUpTown.com Now is the time for us all to support the Harmoniâ??s MidTown Comprehensive Master Plan, and all that we have put forward to assist the opportunity to ReBuild our community comprehensively. We have supported our City, Community Partners, Harmoni, Meridian Kessler, CAN DO!, Broad Ripple, etc. throughout their education envisioning process. Now as we move forward to implementation the regional impact project it takes City commitment, leadership willing to Turn Key, support and implement the imperative Form Base Code, and Form Based Financing, so we can ReBuild MidTown to DownTown, by Design.
  • green space
    Probably not a cost effective place for greenspace. My guess is that we'll see some sort of smaller development there in a couple of years, probably with some level of help from the city, but certainly not to the extent that would have been necessary for the original project.

    We'll see some teardowns of beyond repair residential plots in the more rundown areas of the neighborhood, however, and turning a couple of them into pocket parks or urban gardens might, with local support to maintain them, provide enough increase in value to surrounding properties to justify that sort of use.
  • Time for Greenspace
    It's time for eminent domain action by the city with some $$$ to the lienholders. Return it to green space. Wait until a future era when the economics for private parties investors make sense on this parcel. The greenspace created will help the neighborhood. This needs to happen all across the city. Return all the blighted areas back to greenspace. It is the only solution in these times of economic hadship.
  • Thank You Councilor Vaughn!
    Last night at the Mayor's Night Out in M-K, we learned from Ryan Vaughn the huge importance retail economic development plays in generating tax revenue to pay for needed infrastructure improvements. Bottom Line - it's a no brainer that the City must invest in the Uptown Project. Or...Melina Kennedy will cause she gets it!
  • unfortunate
    It's unfortunate that the developer bit off more than he could possibly chew, and created an even more blighted situation than he bought. He has proven that he "can't do"; those commercial buildings have sat and rotted for the better part of the last decade.

    The truth is that neither the failed developer nor the vulture lender is good for the neighborhood.
  • Unfortunate
    It is unfortunate projects like this (ie. appropriate density, good urban design) all too often can't get off the ground in Indianapolis.

    I was at Upland Tasting Room last Friday and asked why they didn't have outdoor seating. The response was that they have had "issues" with the City. Indianapolis Planners don't encourage outdoor seating? It doesn't take a lot to understand why developers continue to build auto-centric strip centers all over the city...it's the easiest type of development to get through the system.
  • What's good for the neighborhood?
    At point the best thing for the neighborhood would be to clean up the blight. Taking sides over who cleans it up seems to be counter productive. the current owner has expressed grandiose plans that have never come close to fruition.
  • Time to Step Up!!
    When when when will our MKNA Leaders rightfully demand the needed City support and quickly get this project off the ground??
  • Wolf in Sheep Clothing
    Why doesn't Chandler work with Leif and the neighborhood for a big win-win? Maybe he is a snake in the grass trying to get something for nothing. You know he represents the ole boy network!
  • Cory Blooper.....
    The temperature is getting hotter in the kitchen! Schouten doesn't always get the facts right. Chandler and his cronies are not community-minded, they're greedy Mr. Potter's. Leif's plan will hit a home run for the neighborhood, corridor, and city. See ya'll tomorrow night!
  • About time
    At this point the details of the owner no longer concern me. Let's clean up that blight and have the new investors put something up on the site. Apartments, retail, etc would be a great for the neighborhood. Now all that remains is the Calle 52 site...
  • Hooray
    Bryan Chandler is one of the most standup guys you will ever meet. The fact that he and his investors didn't foreclose or seek receivership for over a year after the loan was in default shows that he has only good intentions for the area.
  • One step closer
    Hopefully this is one step closer to getting Hinterberger out of these properties. He's done a good job on the renovation/occupation of the building south, but the time to abandon this and move to something more viable was long, long ago. In the meantime, us in the neighborhood continue to avoid walking past the decay of these buildings. At this point, I hope someone razes the northern two of these buildings until someone figures out how to make that block work--Recess, the vet clinic, and Upland Tasting Room could probably use the extra parking.

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  1. I still don't understand how the FBI had any right whatsoever to investigate this elderly collector. Before the Antiquities Act it was completely legal to buy, trade or collect Native American artifacts. I used to see arrow heads, axes, bowls, corn grinders at antique shops and flea markets for sale and I bought them myself. But that was in the late 60's and early 70's. And I now know that people used to steal items from sites and sell them. I understand that is illegal. But we used to find arrow heads and even a corn grinder in our back yard when I was a child. And I still have those items today in my small collection.

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