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Local real estate developer files for bankruptcy

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A prominent Indianapolis developer is seeking to liquidate $11 million in personal debt he attributes to the prolonged slump in the real estate market.

Cornelius M. Alig, chairman and CEO of Mansur Real Estate Services Inc., filed for Chapter 7 protection Monday in federal bankruptcy court.

Alig, 56, co-founded the firm in 1982 and has developed several well-known commercial and residential projects in the downtown area, including Market Tower, the Century Building and, more recently, WFYI’s headquarters on North Meridian Street.

Mansur’s more notable residential projects include Fall Creek Place, the Conrad Hotel condominiums and Janus Lofts on South Meridian Street.

Despite the bankruptcy, Mansur continues to operate and will be unaffected by the bankruptcy brought about by personal loan guarantees to keep company projects afloat during the recession, Alig said.

“In anticipation of a turnaround, I continued to invest to preserve our position in these projects,” he said. “More time passed, and the window barely opened. I still remain optimistic, and I think there’s a lot of energy downtown.”

The largest debt listed in the filing is a $2.9 million loan Alig received from PNC Bank for the Janus Lofts development that the bank is seeking to foreclose upon. The five-story building with 23 apartments is 100-percent occupied. But an entity affiliated with Mansur defaulted on a 2003 construction loan after attempts to refinance failed. Alig said he's hopeful the dispute will be settled.

Other debts include six personal loans to Alig totaling nearly $1.9 million from several banks, including Huntington Bank, the former M&I Bank, Old National Bank and Regions Bank.

Alig is disputing an $800,000 claim submitted by Brian Bash, a bankruptcy trustee charged with recovering funds for investors of Ohio-based Fair Finance. The company was led by indicted Indianapolis financier Tim Durham until his financial empire collapsed in late 2009.

Alig said that in 2003 he repaid a loan he had taken out the year before from one of Durham's companies. At the time, Alig was a board member of Indianapolis-based Obsidian Enterprises, a company that Durham co-owned.
 
About half of Alig’s $11 million debt is considered secured. He listed nearly $3 million in assets tied to three homes and a lot.

Alig and business partner Charles Cagaan acquired full ownership in certain Mansur assets in 2001 after a split with former business partner Harold Garrison.
 

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  • Another Victim of the Runup
    Lee is a man of his word. One who dedicated his work to improvements in living arrangements in Indianapolis and surrounding communities with a goal to make a decent living. Greedy? Overly ambitious? No, just one of thousands who got stuck when real estate fell off the cliff. Many feasted from that trough.

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  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.

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