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Cincinnati investors buy apartment complex anchored by mansion

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A group of Cincinnati investors has purchased an Indianapolis apartment complex anchored by a mansion listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Sundance Real Estate Holdings and other investors closed on the 37-unit Mansion Row apartments at 2550 Cold Spring Road Dec. 30. Russell D.  Kornman, a principal in Sundance, said his ownership group will upgrade some of the units within the next year and has enough land to add 24 more.

The centerpiece of the property is the Renaissance Revival Henry F. Campbell mansion, which houses 10 of the apartment units. Campbell was an associate of Harry C. Stutz of Stutz Motor Car Co. fame.

Kornman wouldn’t disclose what his group paid for the property, which was sold by Old National Bank after a previous owner lost it in foreclosure. An affiliate company, Cincinnati-based Sundance Property Management Co., has taken over management and leasing from locally based Flaherty & Collins, which had managed it for the bank. Sundance manages 2,500 apartment units in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

The Mansion Row property was offered for sale seven years ago for $895,000, according to a listing in Indianapolis Monthly magazine from December 2002, but that was before most of the apartments were built.

Four years ago, 24 two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments were added to the 5.5-acre grounds. A former caretaker's quarters and a stable house three more units. Rent in the complex ranges from $500 to $1,000.

Kornman said about 50 percent of the tenants are students at IUPUI or at Marian University, which is less than a mile away. All but three of the units in Mansion Row are occupied.

Kornman’s group also owns the 48-unit Park Lane apartments in Carmel. In the last 18 months, it sold the 88-unit Dublin Glen apartments in Brownsburg and the 84-unit Lakeside at Walnut Hills complex in Plainfield.

Amy Burmeister, a broker with the local office of CB Richard Ellis who represented Kornman’s group in those sales and in the purchase of Mansion Row, said the sale of bank-owned apartment complexes should be a theme over the next few years as banks dispose of properties they’ve gotten in foreclosure.

“It should create some amazing opportunities for those who have cash or the ability to finance,” Burmeister said.

In Mansion Row’s case, the opportunity included a property with a unique history, which is rare for apartment complexes. The name Mansion Row refers to the stretch of Cold Spring Road south of 30th Street where automobile industry magnates and Indianapolis Motor Speedway financiers James Allison, Frank Wheeler and Carl Fisher built opulent homes in the early years of the 20th century.

In 1916, Henry Campbell hired D.A. Bohlen & Sons architects—the same firm that designed the City Market and Morris-Butler House—to design his house on what would become Mansion Row. But Campbell never lived in the house, the construction of which was put on hold in the 1920s after he ran out of money.

The concrete and steel house wasn’t finished until 1941, and was then almost immediately carved into 10 apartments, nine of which are one-bedroom units. The largest unit is a three-bedroom apartment on the mansion’s top floor.
 

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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.

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