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Premier Properties auction attracts no bids

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No bids were submitted today at an auction for control of 10 properties owned by Indianapolis-based Premier Properties USA Inc., the financially troubled development company run by Chris White.

That means Atlanta-based Dominion Capital Management LLC - one of Premier's largest lenders - will take control of the properties this afternoon and bring in property managers to operate them.

Dominion Capital has hired CB Richard Ellis to manage Premier's properties in Indianapolis. Those properties include the 600,000-square-foot Metropolis mall in Plainfield, a strip center called Plainfield Commons, and a parcel at 86th Street and Haverstick Road where another developer had proposed a Whole Foods.

Dominion Capital General Counsel Bill Armstrong said he would sign papers this afternoon that transfer control of most of the properties to Dominion. Control of the Metropolis mall in Plainfield has been transferred via a separate agreement.

Dominion Capital has received inquiries from several potential buyers, including one interested in buying all 10. Now that the properties have been offered publicly, as required by statute, those sales discussions are likely to continue privately, Armstrong said.

"We have lots of interest in the properties," Armstrong said after the auction. He added, "We have to go through this process."Nineteen people attended the hearing, but most were creditors of Premier or investors in Dominion, Armstrong said.

Among the attendees were two Premier executives: Chief Financial Officer Joshua Kane and General Counsel Bruce Smith.

A call to Smith after the auction was not immediately returned.

Dominion Capital has hired managers for Premier's other properties around the country, Armstrong said. They include several lifestyle malls in various stages of development: Sixteen West in Georgia; Bridgewater Falls in Ohio; The Foundry in Pennsylvania; The Marquis in Virginia; and The Current in Florida.

Premier and its founder, Christopher P. White, face numerous lawsuits alleging unpaid bills, defaulted loans, illegally redirected rent payments and check fraud. The company laid off half of its headquarters staff - about 40 employees - at the end of March.

The sale of Premier's real estate holdings could signal that an end is near for the 15-year-old company, which built its name on outsize deals with little margin for error but has sputtered since credit markets tightened and easy credit disappeared.

The auction was organized by Ice Miller attorney Henry Efroymson. After adjourning the auction, he said it was, "Much ado about nothing."

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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