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Foreclosure washes away water park plans in Fishers

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Lender Fifth Third Bank has taken ownership of a high-profile piece of land in Fishers, ending a developer’s plans to build a hotel and water park on the site.

Paradise Bay was to have been constructed on the former Britton Golf Course site at State Road 37 and East 131st Street.

The $80 million project, led by Indianapolis-based Puller Group, included plans for a 16-acre water park and 244-room Wyndham Hotel within Fishers Marketplace, a mix of shops, restaurants and offices.

The local office of Cincinnati-based Fifth Third began proceedings to foreclose on the property in July 2009 and attempted to collect nearly $8.6 million owed on the balance of a loan it gave to Puller and H2o Resorts II LLC, an entity formed to develop the hotel and water park.

On Tuesday, the latest hearing on the matter in Hamilton Superior Court was canceled after the Puller Group finally relented on its months-long battle to retain ownership of the land.

Calls to the developer were not returned. But its attorney, Bill Wendling, said his client, considering the difficult commercial real estate environment, was pleased with the foreclosure agreement.

A spokeswoman for Fifth Third said it has “no solidified plans on how the land will be utilized at this time.”

Fifth Third’s decision to foreclose on the property follows similar actions taken by Evansville-based Old National Bank to foreclose on land adjoining Fifth Third’s property.

The 104-acre Fishers Marketplace was to be built on both parcels. Old National owns the southern half and Fifth Third the northern half.

Old National purchased local developer Skjodt Thomas’ piece in December 2009 for $5.9 million during a sheriff’s sale. It since has started infrastructure work on the property to make it more attractive for development.

The bank has hired Thompson Thrift Development Inc. to develop the land and install roads and sewers, which should be finished by April, said Steve McGlothlin, Old National executive vice president.

He said the bank already has received about a half-dozen calls from companies interested in building on the property.

“They’re nothing definitive but they’re beyond speculative,” McGlothlin said of the amount of interest.

Fishers attorney Doug Church said he remains confident the land will eventually be developed. “We continue to see things [developed] up and down that corridor,” he said, “so there’s no reason to think it’s not going to continue.”

Britton Golf Course was built by late Fishers businessman A.W. "Mac" Reynolds in 1986 and sold for about $16 million in 2005. Skjodt Thomas, which purchased the former golf course property and sold 57 acres to Puller Group, had planned to develop its parcel under the Britton Park Development LLC name, with the infrastructure serving both sides.

Work stopped in the summer of 2008 after Britton Park failed to repay a $12.3 million loan it received from Old National, according to a lawsuit filed in 2008 by the lender.

Skjodt Thomas co-owner Paul Skjodt is the owner of the Indiana Ice and the son-in-law of former Indiana Pacers co-owner Melvin Simon, who died in September 2009.

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  • can you read?
    No one said anything bad about the Simon's numskull. Skjodt is not a Simon and everything said here is true. The guy is a dirtball...period. get a clue TIM.
  • Do Facts Matter?
    You loser bloggers have nothing better to do then comment on articles you know nothing about and about one of most respected families in Indiana. They support multiple foundations and do nothing but give back to the community for the last 30 years. Mr.Skjodt is still very active in the community and your other ignorant comments are not even worth responding to.

    Britton Park never finished the project from the original developer after former ONB Senior V.P Robert Tolle attempted to defraud Britton Park after they agreed to finish the project for the bank.

    He forged their personal signatures on the ONB note from the former developer who bought the property from the Reynolds family. Britton Park pulled out when the fraud was discovered, Robert Tolle was fired and ONB agreed to take the property back. Get your facts straight before making comments about a project you know nothing about.

    Robert Tolle pleaded guilty in September and is serving two years in Federal Prison.
  • Frustrated in Fishers
    Maybe Fishers should think before they change zoning and allow a nice green area and golf course to be torn up and become an eye sore for years. Maybe we need more car dealerships and auto parts stores to help our property value.
  • shifty
    Yep. That guy is as shifty as the day is long. Kinda surprised they haven't nailed him on anything yet to join Laikin and Durham. Only a matter of time.
  • fraud...
    Skjodt was partners with Danny Laikin in Builtmore (crappy) homes and with National Lampoon, and tried to distance himself after the insider trading scandal broke. He is and has been leeching off his wife for years - this joker is no different that Danny.

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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

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