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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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