Deadline approaches for Richelieu offers

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The son of philanthropists whose name graces the music school at Indiana University is selling a 100-year-old apartment building off Massachusetts Avenue that he owns with another investor.

John Jacobs and a Cleveland-based partner have put a Friday deadline on offers for the 62-unit Richelieu apartments, a two-building property at the intersection of North and East streets and Mass Ave.

The property containing mostly one- and two-bedroom units has been owned by Jacobs since 2003. He put it on the market in late 2007 but pulled it the next year when the real estate market started to unravel, said Amy Burmeister, a broker with CB Richard Ellis who has the listing.

It came back on the market in March, and the price has since been reduced from $4.95 million to $4.65 million. Burmeister said the Richelieu is 95 percent occupied and renters pay between $600 and $1,400 a month.

Burmeister noted that the asking price, which amounts to $75,000 a unit, is less than the $89,000 a unit paid in January 2009 for The Argyle, a 36-unit apartment building just across East Street. But The Argyle, unlike the Richelieu, has retail space on the first floor.

Burmeister is hopeful her client will have several offers to choose from after the deadline passes. She said well-located properties with stable ownership are drawing more interest from potential buyers than they were a year ago.

The Richelieu isn’t in financial distress, but another local property owned by Jacobs, Meridian-Shoreland Tower apartments at 3710 N. Meridian St., is in receivership. Flaherty & Collins principal Jerry Collins was appointed receiver for the 195-unit building in March, at which time his company took over management of the property.

The property had been managed by locally based Buckingham Properties, which manages the Richelieu and Jacobs’ other properties here: Overlook at Valley Ridge, on Southport Road, and Summerwood on Towne Line on the north side.

Jacobs’ parents, David and Barbara, were IU alums. His father, a real estate developer and former owner of the Cleveland Indians baseball team, died in 1992. Barbara Jacobs died in 2005, not long after donating $40.6 million to the Indiana University School of Music, which now bares the family name. Cleveland’s baseball stadium also was once known as Jacobs Field.


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  1. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  2. If you only knew....

  3. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

  4. The facts contained in your post make your position so much more credible than those based on sheer emotion. Thanks for enlightening us.

  5. Please consider a couple of economic realities: First, retail is more consolidated now than it was when malls like this were built. There used to be many department stores. Now, in essence, there is one--Macy's. Right off, you've eliminated the need for multiple anchor stores in malls. And in-line retailers have consolidated or folded or have stopped building new stores because so much of their business is now online. The Limited, for example, Next, malls are closing all over the country, even some of the former gems are now derelict.Times change. And finally, as the income level of any particular area declines, so do the retail offerings. Sad, but true.